Researching for Repurposing

Establishing what needs to be done within my project, aka narrowing an audience has impacted my research. How does my research intersect with my intended audience(s)? Its interesting that people see a non-black audience of college students and an audience of black high school students as being too different. Obviously they are not the same, but what they don’t know about being black at a PWI is the same. While I wish I could target both groups, my initial research proves that this may be too much to handle, and possibly something to explore separately via remediation.

I’ve also realized that I need a good mixture of traditional and popular research. however I am not sure that all these forms will manifest explicitly as cited sources in my writing. For instance, many people are averse to the idea that cultural whiteness exists. But, within a University of Michigan classroom, I have read research that explored multiracial girls’ experiences growing up in culturally white environments. The whole concept of cultural whiteness was eye opening, especially in terms of my own experiences at a PWI. So that is probably what I am most excited to learn about, finding validation and documentation of these instances that leave my peers feeling so uncomfortable at an institution.

It will be a challenge to find sources that introduce cultural whiteness in a way that is just as valid (or perhaps credibly executed) as this research article was. Because the topic of race has such a strong basis in personal experience, I think it is necessary to engage with more traditional academic research. Finding research that isn’t too much of a stretch in terms of content, and seems relevant is necessary. I also think it’s important to keep in mind the historical differences that different decades have in regards to racial representation on campus.

Another challenge I have encountered while doing research is attempting to discover why an argument is compelling, separate from confirmation bias and the initial excitement of finding sources that work well within the repurposing project.

The biggest challenge, hands down, has been finding pieces I can point to and say “I want to mimic this“ because it was so effective, and will be effective for my topic. I truly believe that the way an argument is delivered is second to, almost tied with, content.  As long as you aren’t saying something crazy…

Kennedy Clark

Kennedy is a Sociology major with an ineptness for exposition and an excessive love for Michigan basketball and pretzels.

2 thoughts to “Researching for Repurposing”

  1. Hi Kennedy,

    It looks like you’ve got a lot on your hands, but it’s nice to hear that you were able to narrow your audience and combine popular and traditional forms of research. I am especially interested in your research on cultural whiteness, because it is a term I heard in my Women’s Studies class freshman year and only have a surface level understanding. I’d be interested to hear more about what you discovered/how it will apply to your project in class.

    Like you, my biggest challenge has been finding a piece to mimic. As you saw in class, I have a very clear idea of how I want my piece to look and I haven’t found a medium I’m especially pleased with. I think it’s interesting that you believe the “way an argument is delivered is second to, almost tied with, content.” I never thought about it like that, but I completely agree. It is similar to the concept of what you say matters just as much as how you say it.

    Good luck with the rest of your research!

  2. Kennedy: I absolutely understand where you are coming from when you mentioned the difficulties in “mimicking” the effectiveness of prior argumentative pieces. This too has been a challenge for myself in researching for this project, and I think this is the case for many reasons. In my opinion, there have been times where I’ve read arguments that have too broad a solution to a given problem, limiting their effectiveness in delivering a clear enough message to the reader.

    At times, I’ve heard students in the white majority at Michigan note that our school is both “culturally sound” and “diverse enough” as it is. I would perhaps integrate some of these most common misconceptions regarding minority representation at Michigan into your argument. I believe that if you are able to counter argue the most prominent misconceptions that exist at a PWI like Michigan, you can have powerful impacts that lead to a straightforward, effective argument for your project.

    Best of luck, and amazing work so far!

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