I guess that answers that…

What’s this?

It’s a list of my “academic interests”, you know, things I could possibly fathom researching, reading about and teaching in the future without my narcolepsy kicking in (well, it will anyways, but without the severity that it strikes me with the minute I enter a boardroom). It includes the following.

The obvious:

  • The internet, ICTs, social media (e.g. social interactions using social media and, in turn the effect of social media on social interactions), etc.
Theoretical frameworks:
  • Critical theory/conflict theory (Adorno, Gramsci, Marcuse, Althusser, Bourdieu, etc)
  • Poststructuralism (Foucault, Baudrillard)
And various other topics:
  • Sociology of health (fitness culture, health product marketing, gender differences in defining health)
  • Media/Culture (pop culture – deconstructing music and TV trends, advertising)
  • Gender, sexuality, queer theory, “deviant” genders and sexualities
The thing is, none of these topics are completely separate. People with ‘deviant’ gender identities are likely to use the Internet to form communities, media and culture have a huge influence on the definition and marketing of health, and power relations play into all of these areas. This is almost overly apparent; it’s like going back to Soci 101 where we looked at the application of the ‘sociological imagination’ to the world. Not to mention, it suits my interdisciplinary nature just fine to mix and match, since nothing is a completely separate area of study, even in the hard sciences like biology.
I guess what I’m trying to come to terms with is that I should set myself on the career path to become a sociologist. Not a media theorist, not an internet specialist, not a highly-paid social media (or knowledge media) consultant – though those all have nice rings to them. A career can last a long time and although it might make me less employable, I’d rather specialize a bit and still have the foundational knowledge to pursue different interests throughout my life than narrow myself to one skill set, one methodology and one concerted area of research.
Not sure why figuring all this out took so long but it will surely have implications for the rest of the applications I send out.

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