Being positive

I think I have been a bit negative, so this is a post of positive things.

While I may struggle with communicating my ideas, I do have an area of interest. Ann Swidler is one of my favourite academics. Every idea I have she has already been there, done that and either written or co-written something easy to read on the topic. Communicating and defining my area of interest is something I can get better at.

The centrality of ‘community’ to my project is not going to make it boring. I have some ideas for hinging my research on ‘community’ and that I actually think are interesting

  • sameness (& inclusion)

  • schemas (community as schema not just description)

  • structures (physical and social)

  • political economy

There may be a frustratingly large gap between the ‘real world’ and what the government wants reported and recorded, but this is possibly no different to any other time and place. The official line and the actually happening are very often different and so ethnographic research will not be replaced by self reporting.

Other people have raised their eyebrows at the idea of trying to do anything approximating ethnographic research of an entire suburb. Coming up with anchoring points for such a program is going to be an interesting learning experience that could come in very handy for future research.

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