Because my topic is so culturally relevant, most of my research is found within “popular” forms of research, such as websites, blogs, TV shows, etc. However, previously published op-ed pieces and articles via The New York Times, Forbes for Women, or The Huffington Post have proven to be useful as well. I have identified that my research comes down to two categories that each have their own form of credibility.
The first category is articles or op-ed pieces that give non-fiction facts, perspectives, and opinions on sexism in the professional workplace today. I find these articles fascinating because they resonate so much with my personal experience as an intern within a start-up tech company. It excites me to find other writers who have as much passion for this topic as I do. I find these pieces usually have strict credibility regarding statistics or facts that can be physically sourced. I am most interested in the scandals that have occurred regarding sexism in the workplace – for example, a prominent female CEO being fired under uncertain circumstances. I am also really interested in articles that pertain to the interest of the employer. Because my audience includes women, men, and employers of companies, I need to have information that engages the latter of the three target audiences – employers. This is probably my toughest audience to reach, especially if they are male employers, and so having data to back up my claims is imperative in my argument.
The second category is personal anecdotes and stories that simply have innate personal credibility. These will include online blogposts or memoirs as well as interviews and surveys I conduct that account men and women’s personal accounts of how sexism has affected their lives. This category of research is especially important to hooking in and engaging the audience. Personal stories speak to any audience no matter their motivation to read the article because it resonates with the human need to connect with others. I am really excited to hear how my peers, professors, or other online sources have been affected by sexism and how this article could potentially make a difference in their lives.
As far as difficulties in my research, I do except some push-back from men that I talk to or people who dismiss sexism in general. I also think it will be tricky to find non-biased evidence of sexism because it is such a personal topic. Regardless, I am very excited to dig into this topic and will accept any challenges along the way.