As I started researching my topic more, I have realized that it is more of a popular culture issue than a well-researched, academic issue. My revisited original sources are news articles or personal opinion blogs. While they quote credible, notable people and the stories are undoubtedly true, there are not a lot of researched, proven studies on the effects of dress codes. I can see correlations, as many of the articles I found also have, but nothing concrete. I was hoping that since my original paper, something like this had been published, but I haven’t been able to find it.
But because my new media and new audience allows for it, I began looking at google image results from searching “dress codes in schools.” Diagrams and powerpoint screenshots came up and I have found the results very compelling. One of the most interesting things about this generic search is the subcategories that came up with the results. One of the two subcategories was “girls.” There was no “boys” category and female figures were used on the diagrams about 70% of the time. In both subcategories, but in the “girls” category especially, were the most shocking pictures that show the stigmas and effects of dress codes. This visual information alone makes me feel like I will be able to find new yet equally substantive sources as my original paper.
Most of the new sources I found are similar to my original sources, which makes me feel comfortable and familiar with the material. I was excited to find an article from The Guardian that was published September 7th of this year. And another source from only 5 days ago from The Today Show. They are going to be great sources for my project, but I can’t help but feel sad every time I find a new source to add to my list. The more I find on this topic means the more prevalent it is in this country. Although it would make my project harder, having less sources to choose from would make me feel better for the status of education for girls across the United States. It is also saddening that every source I find links to a dozen similar stories of the same misconduct in the name of dress codes.
If anything, I am overwhelmed with sources and I am having trouble narrowing down which ones to use. I don’t have the time to read everything that I find. Maybe one of the reasons for this is because I also often get sucked in and caught up following infinite links to other articles. Multiple times, I have found myself forgetting about the articles in a research context and reading them out of personal interest. While this is an issue that is probably good for my project because I am genuinely interested in the topic, it has wasted a good amount of time so far. During this beginning stage, there are worse problems to have. For now, I’m okay with busying myself finding too many sources.