Updates on Dissertation Work

As I mentioned in my previous post about my dissertation (click here), even though I am currently a second year, we have a module called ‘Research for the Media‘ which works on preparing us for our dissertation.

In BA Media we can choose to write a typical 6,000 word dissertation or create an applied project. This is independent, self-directed work assessed in Semester 2 in Year 3. We are supervised by an Academic Tutor but it is up to us the choice of topic, approach and methodology. All ethics must be approved.

For our first assignment in this module, we had to write an essay on research methods and methodology. This meant we had to come up with a dissertation idea and an applied project idea to discuss. Doing this has meant I have finally come up with the idea I am going to research in my dissertation, though it still needs some refining.

My dissertation will be a study on the representations of gender, equality and empowerment within Netflix produced television media. In this I will conduct textual analyses of key scenes, critical discourse analysis of speech and a questionnaire asking people their opinions and perceptions of representations of gender within the texts. The questionnaire will be used as additional data to back up my other research.

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So far I am thinking of analysing Sense8 and Riverdale, though, as I said, I need to refine the topic to either a certain date or a certain genre.

I struggled to decide what to do for a dissertation, and I was wary to pick gender because that is a very common topic. However, I decided that doing a dissertation on gender was actually very apt. For one, gender equality and feminism is something that I am personally interested in and a strong supporter of, and as such, its a natural thing for me to look at. Secondly, referencing gender in my dissertation nicely bookends my degree because my very first university-level essay was about media disruptions but with a feminist spin, which will mean that there has been a kind of general theme in my entire degree. This is just satisfying to me as it seems like it neatly packages everything that I’ll have been working on for three years.

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So with more structure to my dissertation ideas, I’m getting there, yay!

The pictures are from: http://enterprise.shef.ac.uk/2015/03/dissertation and https://www.romper.com/p/8-tv-shows-that-teach-inclusive-feminism-focus-on-womens-stories-45922
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