Friday, October 26, 2007

Paper update, thank-you, and one year anniversary

I have been meaning to post, but life sometimes gets in the way. Since I am not teaching this semester, I am earning extra money by working as a "contract ethnographer" for a market research firm. I don't work often, but when a project comes my way, it consumes all of my time for a couple of weeks. The work is very "exotic" - my field site is a local electronics store. My subjects are the culture of people who buy televisions. Okay, it's not very uplifting work for an academic anthropologist. In fact, I kind of feel "dirty" at the end of the day. But then again, it pays a hell of a lot more per hour than teaching adjunct - sad but true.

I would like to thank everyone who has offered to help me with my WO-man up Challenge. I am still trying to outline how I want the research to go. Here is the abstract that I turned in for the conference:

The Infertile Identity in the United States
Although new developments in reproductive technology have created hope for many who suffer from infertility, those who experience success after treatments or adoption do not do so without many losses and significant financial investment. This paper explores the experiences of women in the United States who are at various places in the “infertility journey” and their struggle to legitimize their physical and emotional pain to the medical community, their peers, and themselves. I also look at the ways these women find support through support groups, online communities and blogs and how these groups influence the current debate on increased insurance coverage for infertility treatment.

I know it's vague. But I come from the camp that believes that your informants should dictate which direction your research should go. I hope as I hear more stories, I can write a paper that accurately represents the infertility community. Here is my plan thus far:
  • Collect stories and/or conduct open ended interviews by phone. Some people would prefer to communicate with me via email only, which is fine. I need to come up with a format for both types of data collection.
  • General survey (online): Using the information I gather from the interviews, I will construct an online survey (probably via Survey Monkey).

The conference is in March, so I hope to get all of the data collection finished by the end of January. This means I will hopefully have the survey up an running by the beginning of the new year. Thanks for your support on this project - I'm very excited. As soon as I'm done with this current contract job, I hope to start talking to some of you!

Finally, next week marks the one-year-anniversary of my trip to Korea. A year ago, I traveled (alone!) to meet my son and bring him home. I will be posting my thoughts on this in a couple of days - I just can't believe it's already been a year. Destructo Boy - I can't imagine my life without you!


OHN said...

Good morning...I popped over after getting your link from Jenna's blog and wanted to tell you that if you need any information from someone who went through IF in the stone age, feel free to contact me. We also adopted in that same era.

I will be checking back to see how your progress is coming along. I think what you are doing is wonderful :)

Barb said...

What a great anniversary!

Can't wait for the updates on your paper!