Dissertation Update-Finished Research


Well I’ve finally hit a major milestone–I finished my research!

I had set many academic/professional goals this summer, and did most of them (although of course not all), but the biggest and most important was that I wanted to start and finish my dissertation interview research by school starting for Fall. Amazingly, that happened. I had completed my literature research last semester, although, as per usual, that is sort of ongoing, but I’m trying to just give it a rest and save any further items I read on my topic for other papers and let this one live with the material I’ve already gathered for it.

So, this summer was all about interviews. This plan started back in April, when I got my data collection rolling. I did an online survey to cast a wide net, collecting data on potential interviewees. After I reached over 200 people I paused the online survey, figuring I had enough. From that data I was able to contact and secure interviews with people throughout the summer in a few cities. When that fizzled out, and I seemingly had no more interviewees to call on, I was able to go to my previous interviewees, and to people I know, begging for more suitable suggestions. They put me in touch with those potential people, and all the sudden, I was done!

This is what I accomplished: Twenty 1-1.5 hour interviews with men and women, age 26-45, who self identify with punk and work in environments that are not related to the subculture. Audio and video taped. Lots and great stories, and tons of fabulous displays of their dress.

I started work last Wed, and the day before, Tuesday, I did my last interview. That was cutting it close to my personal deadline, so I cannot believe I made it! Now I just need to have the rest of the material transcribed and I’m all set to dive into the analysis. I did some preliminary analysis already, and it’s looking good. I still haven’t completely decided on whether I will use qualitative coding software or just work in Xcel or Numbers. I also haven’t totally decided if iMovie is sufficient for working with the digital videos. That will all get sorted out ASAP.

I’ve also outlined how many chapters I expect to have and what will be in them. In my department, they way you outline your chapters varies depending on who your advisor/committee is. Some prefer the typical Intro, Lit, Method, Results, Conclusions. Others, such as in my case, are more fluid on chapters, so mine is actually: Intro, Lit, Method, Preliminary results/Into to Interviewees, History/more results, then 3 chapters of Results broken into the components of the framework I’m using, then Conclusions. So I have 9 chapters as compared to the usual 5. For better or worse.

I’ll let you know how things go.

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Available now: Punk Style by Worn Through founder, Monica Sklar, PhD. Find it at : Amazon.com, Powell's Books, or a bookseller near you.