Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Blog Connection to Academia

As I embark on my next phase in my DBA journey I had a couple of months of stagnation where I just couldn't go through with my research. The originally intended topic was Migrant Worker issues in Bahrain and while it is a subject still close to my heart I was relating to a more potent internal struggle that screamed to be explored and studied and shared with the academic world. It is a topic to which many would relate especially in this patriarchal society in which we live. Those couple of months were a constant internal debate of the aspects of my life that I hold dear and important and the duality of my role as professional and homemaker where the time and effort distribution are not equal yet the expectations are high at both ends. It is a situation where societal norms are pulling me to one side while the need to maintain my place in the professional arena pull me to the other. The decision was then made for me that this will be the topic of my study.

I started reading feminist and post colonial literature on this very subject and while I've always struggled with non-fiction I found that I can actually lose myself into this form of prose. It is the first time I actually enjoy anything that is not bound by the parameters of a plot and a climax and a surprise ending. Currently reading Remaking Women: Feminism and Modernity in the Middle East; a compilation of articles edited by Lila Abu-Lughod with a primary focus on Egypt and secondary focus on Turkey and Iran.

Just looking at the title caused me to raise an eyebrow as it was the first time I see feminism and Islam in the same context where they two always seemed contradictory to me. The book uses post-colonial theories to analyze discourses on the role of women then and now and explores the notion of modernity as it is understood and adopted in the policy making of these societies. Modernity itself is highly debated among scholars with its roots stemming from a time that we would not characterize as modern now and with the added complexity of the existence of postmodernism in the mix. The dual role of women is a central theme of these articles which is where I hope to find the theoretical backbone of my research.

At the last peer review workshop I attended in Bradford I was audience to one of the best research presentations I have ever seen. She was a colleague from the Netherlands who is doing an auto ethnographic study of herself in the three roles that she holds in her universe. Her ability to draw and maintain the lines between her three roles throughout her journey was outstanding and I am so much more interested in the literary aspect of the DBA than its scientific merit that I am seriously considering this approach.

One of the integral components of writing such research is maintaining a detailed journal of not only what has occurred in my life but also my mindset at the time and the "conversations" I'm having about it. Hence I thought why not use my blog for this? It is after all a form of ranting isn't it?

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