“Kill Your Theoretical Darlings”

Over the last few weeks I’ve been grappling with issues that have risen over the summer. These need resolving before I can move on to the empirical research of my project. They are namely  the use of the words ‘creativity’ and ‘collaboration’ in the title of my research. I’m also finding that my reading in the area of ‘generational theory’ is posing many contradictory issues.

The title of this post paraphrases one of Nico Carpentier common expressions describing the need for radical revision. After careful thought and with consultation with my supervisors I have ‘killed’ the use of ‘creativity’ and replaced it with ‘digital content creation’. I’ve also lost the element of ‘collaboration’ and replaced the use of the word ‘generation’ with the phrase ‘3 age groups of…’. I’ve made an overhaul of my methodology by simplifying the stages to reflect the theoretical changes.

This changes the emphasis of my project but I think it gets closer to my original idea and definition. I think the three main ideas and themes in this are the use of (3) different life-stage, creating and sharing digital content and digital literacy. I’m hoping this refinement gives a bit more clarity.

I met with both my supervisors separately this week and my changes were met with a positive response. I met David Gauntlett at Policy Studies Institute where he was giving a talk on his new book Making is Connecting. He’s very kindly given me a pre-publication copy to read. I’m about half way through and enjoying it immensely. He argues that “through making things, online or offline, we make connections with others and increase our engagement with the world”. It’ll be published in spring 2011.

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