While Luker's narrative style irks me at times, I have to admit that she has done a great job at highlighting my own academically trained research methods. While in the past, research has always been a very formal inorganic undertaking for me, Luker demonstrates that your research interests and your actual everyday interests can become one in the same. My background is in English Language and Literature so I spent the majority of my undergrad consumed in critical essays about things like John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost. Althought I was studying it, Milton's work never really resonated with how I looked at my every interests or life (hmm ...maybe a little). The worlds just never came together, and research remained this shudder-inducing thought associated with academic tedium. Ironically, it was always simple to write research essays about things that I didn't necessarily find myself engaged with.
When Luker talks about how difficult it is to write a research paper about a topic that you are so socially embedded into, the thought kind of scares me. Of course, my own personal biases will affect the way I frame the research question, and the ways I will eventually go about collecting qualitative data. This type of research seems a lot more involved than what I was doing in undergrad and ultimately perhaps a lot more rewarding? I do agree that personal biases aren't entirely bad and may in fact make the end result come to life better. My research interest as of now is looking into consumerism practices, specifically how early they can come about and how this is made possible. I took Grimes' Children's Cultural Texts and Artifacts course last semester and this was something that really stood out for me. I've already started thinking about it further by thinking of how I was introduced to the idea of consumerism as a child, and how it has evolved thus far. Luker methods so far have been really helpful in looking at a particular research topic in the context of what it says about current society and the world we live in. The concept seems easy enough, but she really hits the nail on the head.
Luker, K. (2010). Salsa dancing into the social sciences: Research in an age of info-glut. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press