What purpose does your research serve?

The many different purposes of research in popular culture studies

  1. Undergraduate level Literary Device Paper: Applied Concepts and Devices
    • Unacceptable for PCA.
    • Applies an older, traditional concept or narrative device to a narrative.
    • Using symbols, metaphors, motifs, etc.
    • The Literary Devices paper written in my Composition 2 course.
  2. Undergraduate Level Theory Driven Paper: Applied Theories
    • Unacceptable for PCA.
    • Applies an older, traditional theory to a narrative, such as Plato's Allegory of the Cave, Sartre's concept of Dread/Angst, or Veblen's Conspicuous Consumption.
    • Level 1 through Level 7 theory papers written in my Composition 2 course.
  3. Shaping Popular Discourse through Professional Writing: Adding to a current discussion among the Literati.
    • Like memes, there are usually ideas du jour among the Literati. Sometimes these last for weeks; sometimes for years. Sometimes they rise out of more academic work; sometimes they are just a discussion that someone starts, and the discussion roils forth.
    • Currently, Artificial Intelligence is one among many Literati ideas du jour
    • Another Literati du jour ideas is automation, such as the article "Forget Fears of Automation, Your Job is Probably Bullshit Anyway
    • Eli's work on the Death of Adulthood in American Culture added to a Literati discussion from a few years ago that concerned the lack of mature (40+ year old) characters in TV shows.
    • Literati: See Arts & Literature Daily. For PCs, the list of popular Literati sources are on the left. For phones, click on the words "alternate view" to see that same list.
  4. Shaping Popular or Academic Discourse : Travelling an idea across disciplines.
    • Uses an idea/concept/theory from one discipline (such as Psychology) to apply to another discipline.
    • Hailey's research of personality disorders on female characters in Sci-fi & Fantasy.
    • Or, this idea that uses pyschology in the chapter "The Psychological Process and Cost of Killing in an Undead Wasteland" The Walking Dead Pyschology: Pysch of the Living Dead
    • Or, this article that uses a concept of Risk Society from economics to apply to post-apocalyptic stories.
  5. Master's Level Work to Shape the Discipline: Apply/Amend/Update a current theory to a rare or new narrative
    • Uses an existing newer theory to analyze newer texts or rare texts
    • Or, updates/ amends a theory toward a more applicable use concerning narratives and/or an era/worldview.
    • Sonnel's grief cycle inferred from hero films rather than pulled from psychology and applied to films. While this is a new cycle, she amended/updated current psychological grief cycles in relation to hero films.
    • This concept of Anthrop-scene in "The Anthropo-scene: A guide for the perplexed"
  6. PhD Level Work to Shape the Discipline: Creating and utilizing a New Theory
    • Created a new theory to analyze narratives, sometimes including how that helps us analyze our world in a new way.
    • A new theory can help shape a discipline (such as Humanities, or English Literature, or Film)
    • Guitton's research (using the burn chart on He-man characters) created a new method by which we can see the limits of creativity.
    • Matt's extension of Barthes' idea of the Enigma and the idea of Primary and Secondary characters to create the concept of the Enigmatic Tertiary character.
    • Kristina's revision and new theory of the term "cultural infiltration" allows us to understand a new subversion of/about power, knowledge, and how films can enter/ irrupt into a broader market.
      Difference between numbers 4 and 6
    • In 4, Hailey's work uses a firmly established pyschological condition and applies it to something it wasn't meant for: fictional characters. Though in 6, Guitton takes a firmly established concept (the burn chart) from medical fields and applies it to fictional characters, that is not his aim. His aim is to use quantifiable data to determine how "creative" people actually can be when creating fictional characters. He shows that we are not as creatively free as we think we are. In other words, though he uses an established concept (the burn chart), he arrives at a new method by which we can assess how free people are when they try to create.
      Difference between numbers 5 and 6
    • In 5, Sonnel is positioning a grief cycle that she has identified in narratives among other established grief cycles; in other words, even though her grief cycle is new, she has amended a grief cycle; she created a variant of what already exists. This would be NEW theory if she was the one to have founded the idea of grief cycles. Though her work is innovative, it is more like a Master's degree work of applying theories in interesting new ways. In 6, Matt and Kristina both have unique concepts in the Humanities. Though each of their ideas stems from others' works (as all theory must), each of them has a new concept that does not necessarily come from a summation of the other theory parts. For instance, Matt took Barthes' enigma idea and coupled it with literary terms of primary and secondary characters to arrive at the Enigmatic Tertiary character. Kristina is taking a phrase "cultural infilitration" and actually using it in a way almost opposite of its general use. She is building that theory using others's works (as all theories must do) but arriving at a wholly unique concept.