As I’m writing this post I find that I am researching what research is and that within itself is redundant as I clearly already know what it is after all I am doing it now, and I realise we ALL know and do it regularly, but are rarely consciously aware of it. In simple terms research as defined by Arthur Berger is to seek information.
Lets be honest when I hear research I think uni, assignments and hours of boredom, but that is only academic research being done, so what about everyday research?
Without knowing it we research everyday on a regular basis casually and selectively, whether you are purchasing a new car, planning a trip to Europe, looking for a new TV series to binge on as you procrastinate on doing uni work or simple asking irrelevant mundane questions like when will science give us dragons? It is still all research.
Not only do we research using the Internet search engines, through reading textbooks and documents but we also research through posting on opinion columns, watching videos, special interest forums and simply asking friends and family, and by doing these things unknowingly we collect both primary and secondary information that we later evaluate to come to a decision or conclusion.
As human’s research is how we survive, evolve and progress, we are naturally curious beings and are constantly questioning and dreaming. We are continually hypothesizing, researching, experimenting and distributing knowledge ultimately setting up the basis for others to question and start the cycle again. It is important for us to go above and beyond what we hear and what we are told, to seek out information and even more so to find truths.
When asked what aspect of media I would like to research I was immediately stumped, when I thought about it I realized there’s so much to research. Pop-culture, gender representation, stereotyping, the phenomena that is social media, YouTube, the evolution of the geeks and nerds, the obsession over reality TV that seems to have swept over the nations, but as I took a step back I realized I question things I saw everyday without realizing.
Over the past few weeks I have been seeing countless articles, posts and videos appearing on my Facebook feed particularly regarding feminism. I was surprised to see although the message may be positive there were some responses in the comments that did nothing but slandered the true meaning of feminism and this made me question what exactly was feminism? What did I think it was? Was I wrong? What did people think it meant? How was it represented in media to have given people such an impression? How does media promote feminism?
ps. on my feminism research spree found this thought it was quite nicely worded 🙂
Berger, Arthur A. 2014, ‘What is research?’, in Media and communication research methods : an introduction to qualitative and quantitative approaches, 3rd ed., SAGE, Los Angeles, pp. 13-32