Rachel Wilson blog post reflection

Rachel Wilson blog post

What have been the major obstacles you have faced in putting a research project together?

I knew what important themes such as women’s rights and race equality I wanted to discuss during my research but I had to make sure I placed these within a relevant historical context in order to meet the criteria for a history dissertation.  The dissertation topic was in some ways a bit vague so I had to address this. Also I found that the Stirling University library database was somewhat limited in terms of relevant sources for my dissertation which at first posed a threat to my topic. I also struggled understanding methodology and choosing one.

What strategies have you adopted to overcome these obstacles

Through detailed research of a variety of sources  I have established the time period of 1994-2010 for my research. I also conducted research in to the America dream, economic, social and social context of America during this time period and how it contributed to events today. This therefore set my dissertation in a key historical context and make my topic more relevant to events today which helped when it came to  justifying my topic.

I also learnt through this module that JSTOR is another good database for sources, this provided a lot of sources that could not be accessed on the online university catalogue so this really helped collate evidence for my findings.

I did further readings about methodology to consider what one would be the most suitable

What has this taught you about approaching your dissertation

In order to provide key historical context I need to continue undertaking a variety of relevant literature in order to come to evidenced conclusions relevant to my dissertation. I also need to utilise JSTOR to it’s full potential as well as use some of the universities online catalogue in order to collate all the necessary information.

It has also taught me to leave extra time for tasks in case I come up with issues during carrying them out and during research.

Which aspects of the 9X6 module heave been the most useful in helping you get your project ready to start?

The supervisor meetings were helpful in letting us know what was expected of us in order to provide successful dissertation proposals it helped us ask vital questions early on which helped our development of our dissertation. Having to do method paper really helped me think about my approaches for my dissertation and read other similar work which helped me as it helped me learn what methods seemed to be successful. Presenting my methodology paper over canvas to my peers helped me learn to justify and further understand why I was using certain sources and methodologies. I also learnt from other people’s ideas by seeing why they were for example using comparative methodology and this influenced my choice to use this.

Rachel Wilson – Annotated Bibliography

Question- I am currently working on the final edit of my dissertation question. However the topic my research will follow is how looking at the social and cultural influences that can be said to have influenced 18th century folklore characters/motifs and how the themes of politics/ sexuality and gender are explored through depictions of these characters/motifs in American media in the early 21st century.  ( 1995-2008)

  1.  Journal – Weinstein, Deborah  Sexuality, therapeutic culture, and family ties in the United States after …: StirGate from Stirling University Library (2018) History of Psychology © 2018 American Psychological Association
    2018, Vol. 21, No. 3, 273–289

I found this article through searching for gender and sexuality issues in 1990s America. The purpose of this article is to follow the progress of the development of the gay rights movement in America between 1970- 1990s.  The reader can see that society began to consider the acceptance of homosexuality as individuals began to acknowledge that medical treatment for it was unnecessary and cruel punishment.  Therefore the source closely looks at how by the 1990s America became a more progressive country in terms of looking at sexuality but it acknowledges that there was still important development needed. This source is useful to my dissertation as it establishes that sexuality in the 1990s was a highly important social issue which can link to this theme being explored in depictions of folklore in the media.

I plan to access American newspapers from the 1990s as an example of a primary source as they can also shed light on the prominence of these issues I will be discussing in my dissertation during this time period. I also plan to look at different tv shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed and True Blood which were made in this time period and how using the folklore motifs explore politics, gender and sexuality.

Blurred lines: Exploring contemporary attitudes to gender
portrayal in the media
James Bryson and David Bunker (2015) Market Research Society

I found this article through searching on google scholar for how gender is explored in the mass media, through reading this it helped me in my ability to critique how these programmes explore these important themes.

The Perpetuation of Subtle Prejudice: Race and
Gender Imagery in 1990s Television Advertising

Sex Roles, Vol. 42, Nos. 5/6, 2000

Scott Coltrane & Melissa Melino

This article was found by again searching race and gender issues in 1990s media through JSTOR. This was helpful to my dissertation as it highlighted how in television adverts white women are often seen as ‘sex objects’ and people of other races are often not shown in quite the same reguard. This helps me as it can develop my argument of how in comparison this use of folklore in the media often tries to show idealistic version of the world and represent the unpresented.

Gender, Race, and Animality in
Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Jeffrey Pannekoek and Karin Anderson (2017)

I accessed this through the library catalogue at Stirling. Through reading this I was able to see how the protagonist of Buffy the Vampire Slayer seemed to be a pioneer of feminist characters in the media, other characters in popular tv and culture were often falling prey to sexist stereotypes. This is important and useful to my dissertation as we can see the relationship between the further calls for womens rights and how women are potrayed in the media at this time.