Making and Justifying Decisions About a Topic and an Approach

Originally, in creating my dissertation topic, we were asked to create spider diagrams of possible dissertation idea’s which were then, narrowed down within a seminar for PAD, after consultation with our lecturer. I had many idea’s upon my spider diagram, one of which was my love of crime drama’s. After, consulting my lecturer, I decided to use New Tricks, as my media text. I am particularly fond of the program, as it is different to most detective drama’s, which I have encountered. Thus, after consulting the PAD lecture, from earlier that morning, I decided upon asking whether it was a new genre of detective drama.

I decided to use qualitative data, to support my thesis for a few reasons. The first is in conducting some light research into genre, I discovered that genre has many definitions, dependent upon the researcher therefore, encountering my first challenge within this dissertation topic, as I would first have to decide upon my own definition of genre but a qualitative method, allows me to interpret the data I receive, to the definition of genre I choose. The next reason, I chose to use a qualitative method was because I realised in order to complete my project I would have to watch some of the episodes myself, therefore performing a content analysis, which is a method associated with qualitative data collection. Finally, I chose to use qualitative data, in the form of surveys because in reflecting upon past modules, I remembered questionnaires can be used to create opinion-based answers thus, yielding qualitative data, so I can interpret the answers given, in a way to prove or disprove my thesis question. However, I found it challenging at first to discover a method to use for my thesis, as I was unsure of how to conduct my thesis to begin with.

In considering, the research I have begun to conduct upon this dissertation topic, I would most likely change the idea as I believe this question is too broad, due to the large amount written on detective drama’s and the little amount written on New Tricks. Instead, I have considered other ideas based around New Tricks however, I would not question whether it was a new genre. In my research, I have discovered a fandom surrounding New Tricks, which could be suggestive of it being a ‘cult’ media text and also, I have considered the possibility of conducting, research into gender studies, as the head of the unit is female throughout which could be reflective upon society. In either case, I would still use content analysis, with a survey to support the research I have created via posting it onto social media to gain responses as both, would need some audience research and outside opinion to create a more valid thesis topic. Thus, since beginning this blog I am now undecided on the question of my topic however, I know what type of research I want to conduct, the way I want to conduct it and based on the media text New Tricks. 

Ethical issues, I will encounter throughout my topic will include gaining permissions from people, to use their names within my research. However, I have encountered a similar issue previously within the research project for Media Audiences based on the Interactive Audience. I wanted to screenshot and use peoples tweets, and so to equip not being able to gain their permission I redacted their names thus, rendering the person anonymous which allowed me to consider my project. Furthermore, I must consider the age of the people answering the survey I set out, thus to stop this ethical issue I will set parameters, which allow only 18+ to answer the questions also, reiterating as I post the survey that those over 18 can answer, while I do not want people younger to take part within my thesis. Finally, I need to complete an ethics form to be signed off by the university, before beginning any research thus, any ethical issues will be raised within the form.