Mind Maps and Methodologies
This week, I started thinking about topics that I would like to pursue for my thesis. Here are some mind maps to reflect that.
Based on these mind maps, I did some research on some potential methodologies I could employ to gather data:
Ethnography is described as “the study of the culture and social organization of a particular group or community.” Ethnographic research would gather data from a specific group of people in specific settings and with specific ways of life. I believe that ethnographic research will be valuable to try and understand the heavier political research that I want to do for political apathy. It would be interesting to see how in tune different groups of people are with politics and do deeper research from there. Ethnographic research would also be helping in determining the reaches of how far the influence of American politics spread as well as how communities build and engage within themselves or with other communities.
Social Constructivism is described as the belief that knowledge is constructed as opposed to created and that society exists as both subjective and objective. It has its roots in sociology. I think social constructivism could be useful in helping figure out how communities operate and how they collectively think. This could also be effective when used in tandem with ethnographic research as they could provide complimenting data. I believe that diving deep and figuring out how groups of people construct their views of the world to be essential when it comes to the more politically heavy topics.
Historical Research uses historical data from primary sources to answer questions. Data can be wide-ranging depending on the question that is being asked but can come from sources such as newspapers, government archives and records, personal correspondence, etc. I think that historical research could really help in determining political trends and community trends. This could help me understand reasonings behind the questions I’m sure I’ll ask when delving into the more politically centered topics. Historical research may also help in determining community engagement levels, especially in older communities.