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Where to from here? The research situation

September 26, 2010

Well I’m heading into the last three weeks of my coursework, with some major assignments still to complete. After that there will be a significant change – no more weekly commuting from Invercargill (though still expecting to come up now and then) – but I’ll be getting stuck into my thesis, which I’ll have completed by next November.

A masters in science communication is a little different from other masters; it is made up of thesis with a creative component – a creative non-fiction book as I’m majoring in writing (though for film-making students it’s a film) – and an academic component. This last term I’ve spent a lot of time figuring out my academic research project vs the creative component and how they link together.

thesis research CCby Bjornmeansbear

My book is going to be about the changing nature of outdoor adventure activities. Using an investigative journalism approach I will interview a range of adventurers in different pursuits, including climbing, surfing, hunting, kayaking, diving and in adventure tourism. I’ll also talk to experts for insights into psychology, sociology and risk-taking and the meanings people get from their experiences.

The academic part will review the literature, residing in outdoor education, sociology, psychology and ethnography, about risk and outdoor adventure pursuits. I’ll also do a small qualitative study with some outdoor adventurer couples (hopefully) to explore their experience in the outdoors, and wider meanings relating to gender, parenthood, culture and socialisation. I will look at what drew them into their chosen pursuit, how their skills developed, their views about risk and whether participation has changed with having children. I hope the results will help inform the book and provide important insights into changing attitudes in outdoors adventure pursuits.

Feedback welcome on these ideas, thanks! I will also soon post the presentation I did about my literature review.

Oh and check out my ‘Wordle’ of my literature review. Haven’t yet worked out how to get it straight on my screen -seems something going on as I can’t link photos today.

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