It’s a comfort that in class, people who have gone on past field studies admit that they had trouble pinning their exact research question. I never knew how hard it would be to finalize my research question. When I try to explain what I’m researching to someone else, it is so hard for me to explain what exactly I want to know. Apparently “How does the media affect the future goals of youth in rural Mexico?” is too broad and I need to decided exactly what I wish to know. But I want to know it all! I’m really interested in working with television when I graduate and I want to know how certain television shows affect the youth and how they view themselves and the possibilities in this world. If I can find out, and tv shows are not encouraging youth to progress, then I will try to have a voice in these matters and maybe shows will be created that encourage the youth to be better. The hard part about focusing solely on tv media is that I don’t know how many people out there own television sets, how many channels they have, what shows are played, etc. I want to bring in other sources of media, like radio, cellphones, internet access, into play and see if they encourage similar behaviors in youth or if they are conflicting in the behaviors they encourage.
What do I want to know about their future goals? I want to know what career they dream of pursuing and whether going to college is in their plans. I want to know if they can pursue that career in the villages or if they will have to leave for a bigger city. It would probably help me if I narrowed my focus to education/career goals of the youth. All I know is that I would be much different and probably would have had different career goals if I had grown up in a small town and not in the suburbs. There is really no way of proving that, but my surroundings were an important part of shaping me into who I am now. I wonder if it would be beneficial to go into the city one day and interview the youth of a school there. I could compare the results to my questions and see if there are any patterns or stark differences showing up.
Getting closer to the start date of actually being in Mexico and doing my hands on research makes me pretty nervous, but I hope that my question will begin to fall into place and that the research I’ve already been doing will help me find the gaps within the research so that I know how to make my time in Mexico most useful.