What influences you?

So for my project I am doing a sort of family tree like structure (tentative to how well I can teach myself how to do this) that represents how I have created my perception of gender and the roles I am able to/should fill. I am starting off with showing how the roots of the tree represent some more distant and historically routed influences– things that are not always easily seen or directly associated, but are nonetheless still there. One section or ‘root’ I am looking at is how Polish women’s roles have been established throughout history. I come from a very polish family and the history of Polish women and how they interact in society has a great influence on my perception of myself and how I was raised whether I immediately realize it or not.

The last two sections– the trunk and the leaves are kind of stumping me. The trunk I thought I would use to represent some of the media that I currently experience, the foundation of the outside influences that I cannot avoid. I am looking at researching how television roles or magazines targeted at my gender and age group depict what is a good or bad woman.

For the leaves, I want to explore how people I have chosen to include in my life, decisions of friends, places of work, places I go to school, have effected me. I can’t decide if I should focus on groups of people for this or do individual leaves as individual people. I don’t know if this would be hard to interview my own friends about touchy subjects and if they would respond appropropiately.

Sorry this is long, just had a vision! What do you guys think?

2 thoughts to “What influences you?”

  1. “the trunk and the leaves are kind of stumping me” — NICE PUN!!!!!! I really enjoyed that and didn’t want it to go unappreciated. I really like the family tree idea! It’s really unique and also functionally, a very cohesive way to gather and analyze the various influences that affect you. I think that observing media is a must because it’s literally EVERYWHERE. Maybe you can take a closer look at the magazines, books, and shows that you personally watch! You mentioned you can include those targeted at our age group, but I think you should make it a little more personal. Also, you’ve probably read a lot about women’s roles in your history classes! That’s a very unique experience and I think it would be cool if you included a little bit of that in the trunk. As for the leaves…..hmmmm. It might be safer to do groups of people you’ve been exposed to a lot. They don’t have to necessarily be friends. hope this helps! 🙂

  2. I also REALLY enjoyed the pun intended or not haha 🙂 And the tree trunk seems like an amazing way to organize. I also like how you’re doing this as sort of a gradient starting with the distant things that have affected your life, like polish culture and then moving more and more personal. It’s thematic and practical in a really powerful way and also an amazing way to understand your own history and how all of these aspects to varying levels has affected the way that you understand gender roles and your place in society. Jumping off of your initial ideas on the blog from what feels like ages ago – this feels absolutely perfect.

    To address the leaves and the trunk – media for the trunk is perfect. And maybe for the trunk this is more general things – and potentially media across time and then the branches and or leaves I love that as being very tied to you so media that you watched or grew up with and it’s affect on you then and now would be interesting. Also creative non-fiction vignettes of your childhood or ways in which you’ve really noticed your identity as a girl or women, could also be really powerful. This has the potential to get a little stickier if you’re representing people you know, but if you’re comfortable telling these stories it will be really powerful for the audience. In general and as a potential audience member I feel like I’m more interested in seeing more of you through the people and media and other things that influenced you which I don’t think that analyzing groups of people will allow you to do. But I totally understand it’s a vulnerable place to put yourself in so do what makes you feel most excited.

    But again, love this idea and I’d love to talk through more if you’re stuck or need someone to peer review!

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