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PhD by Correspondence February 19, 2009

Posted by Sarah in personal, progress.

One of the major challenges for me as I write this dissertation is that I’m for all intents and purposes doing my dissertation “by correspondence”.  (And yes, I have actually taken correspondence courses… before the Internet.)  this means that I don’t have regular meetings with my committee, or a working group to share writing with, or any kind of regular interaction around my research.  When we first moved here, I tried to start up what I called the “Itinerant Sociologists Club” but that idea fizzled basically immediately.  I occasionally chat with folks in whatever department I happen to be teaching in during any given semester, but I haven’t formed any long-lasting intellectual friendships.  Some of this is my fault, and some of it is just… adjunct hell + PhD by correspondence.

Since the first of the year, though, I have a new system.  I am writing regular “status updates” that are getting circulated to my advisor as well as some interested friends.  This serves two purposes – it gets me feedback on the things I’m thinking about AND it’s writing that will eventually make it into the dissertation itself.

My first update laid out some of the early correlations from the survey.  There are some interesting patterns emerging, but I haven’t worked out exactly what it means yet.  I did make a whole lot of extra-shiny graphs in Numbers, though!

For the next one, I’m comparing the demographics of my survey “sample” to other studies of bloggers.  The two best comparison cases so far are the Pew report on bloggers from 2006 and the October 2008 State of the Blogosphere report.  Tomorrow I’ll be looking at a couple of earlier SotB reports as well.



1. Kristin - June 3, 2010

I know this is late and I’m just starting to blog about my research, but I would love to keep in touch and help push each other forward. We may be in different departments and schools, but our research is similar.

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