July Update: Refining Codes & Fan Activism

With my time on campus coming to an end, I’ve been using the past week to take stock of what I’ve accomplished so far and what I still need to do. I’ve finished data collection and am now in the process of narrowing down and refining my codes. As I recorded almost 800 codes, this will be multi-step process. I have already created a code chart and am in the process of working on a code map. A code chart is a table of the most frequent codes used in each book and a code map is a diagram showing how I categorized individual codes by theme and used these groupings to create more focused, conceptual codes that captures patterns across texts. These models will hopefully help with an easy transition into the data analysis stage.

I also picked up the book By Any Media Necessary: The New Youth Activism by Henry Jenkins, Sangita Shresthova, Liana Gamber-Thompson, Neta Kligler-Vilenchik, and Arely M. Zimmerman. The book is an exploration of how young people are using media, including social media and popular culture, to bring about political change. I am especially excited about the chapter on activism through fan networks such as the Harry Potter Alliance and the Nerdfighters, a fan community centered around Hank and John Green, the latter of whom is a popular young adult fiction author. I am hoping that this book will provide me with some insight into how the models of oppression and resistance as portrayed in the novels I am studying are helping to shape social justice discussions and activism in society at large.

My plan for the next month is to finish my code map, work on data analysis, and make some headway into writing my thesis. I will be taking a vacation of sorts to take the GRE, but hopefully I can maintain the same level of productivity at home as I did on campus.

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