The art of researching is something we take part of everyday, yet when we put a name to what we’re doing it always prompts an internal groan. From deciding what new converging device to purchase, to where our next adventurous holiday will be, even to what University we plan on attending, research is such a fundamental part of our lives that most of the time, we don’t even realise it’s what we’re doing. In the context of media the definition tightens, and the word ‘scholarly’ is placed in front, intertwined with enough rules and regulations to justify the inevitable headache that follows. While some might say that certain rules are put in place to be broken, media research is a large exception to this, and there are a number of very good reasons why.
Scholarly research differs from normal everyday research, in the sense that the conclusion is not based on a personal or more subjective view, but rather quite an objective and theory based one (berger 2014) What this means is that the information we present, or the conclusions we draw from our research should be morally and ethically sound, as the fundamental practice of scholarly research is, after all, to get to the truth of things.
Although the purpose of this kind of research is more refined and involves validating credibility, underlying bias and disputes among scholarly writers regarding interpretation blur the lines. This can sometimes cause the validity of the research to be questionable, as data is seen as a result of individual conclusion.
We gather scholarly data generally in two ways;
Quantitative research: Uses numbers, hard and objective information. e.g, a survey.
Qualitative research: Less precise, is based around meanings, metaphors, symbols and is known as more subjective. e.g a personal interview where the outcome depends on the subjects mood.
The aspect of research I want to participate in is primary foreign research, to travel and to see things first-hand so I can be certain about my findings and ultimately my conclusions. I feel that it’s easier to write about what you know, and what you know comes primarily from first-hand experience. This is a broader label for a more narrow subject, which focus’s mainly on women’s rights and oppression in third world and non-white societies. This would use a mixture of both quantitative and qualitative research, as the subject is human interest and quite personal, but must be based on hard facts and numbers to achieve the primary goal.