Thursday, April 18, 2013
In order for me to graduate, I have to conduct a research project which I will be working on all of next year. It will consist of taking a sociological issue of my choosing, creating a research question, and conducting my own research. My absolute final project will involve me presenting my findings in front of an audience (think "TED Talks" Jr.)
I have known for a while that I wanted to do something with the topic of obesity. There's not a lot of sociological research out there, mostly stuff about the food corporations themselves, or 'how to' diet books. I could go the food route, or I could lean towards the way that overweight people are viewed in society-"fat", "Lazy", "gross". and do some kind of study. I wrote a research paper on the subject of prejudice in the workplace when I was finishing my writing requirement at Community College. I particularly found it interesting that in spite of the fact that people can be fired for no other reason than "being fat", there is no legal route that can be taken being that all who are overweight are not disabled. That, combined with my experience of how I was actually treated by others, really fueled my interest in the paper.
I want to create a relevant study that takes a sociological twist on something that has become common knowledge in the last 40 years.
*The different arguments as to how America became overweight
-Some believe it's ONLY about choice, and if one just made healthier food choices, they'd be healthier.
-Some believe that we are victims of constant advertisements and that influences us to consistently make poor decisions. This includes the 'nag factor' that advertisers hope for when advertising to children.
-Some people believe it's our "grocery store culture" that made us fat, and that variety is an illusion (I've noticed that personally. Just look at any grocery store...In all the canned and packaged aisles, you can really narrow everything down to about 30 categories).
-There are those who believe that we aren't looking at it from the right angle-Americans are using food as a drug to self-medicate for the stresses and anxieties in our modern world.
*When did obesity become an indication/symptom of poverty, and why is it that way?
*Why is it that even though obesity is on the rise, society is encouraged to mock overweight people?
*In a culture that emphasizes being self-reliant, is it possible that people have a 'hatred' towards obese people because it's an indication of needing future help? There are so many people that already scorn social programs.
I'm not sure, but I think being so excited about my topic is a good indication. It definitely helps to have something I'll be willing to work this term, and all of next year with. I ordered some text-books related to my topic already, and I ordered a reader that I am going to pick up on Saturday. I'm so excited about this topic. I think it will also help me understand my own struggle, and give me more insight to possible future careers. I am seriously so excited about this!
I only have one class today-which is only 50 minutes long, and then I'm going to hit the gym. I haven't been eating so well lately (all that stress and anxiety combined with the boxed meal lure of the grocery store v.v) but I had a very powerful dream last night, and I know it sounds silly, but it really opened my eyes to what's going on, and why, in spite of the fact that I've come so far, I continue to self sabotage.
It's truly amazing what questions can be answered by simply asking them before falling asleep.