Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The Bedraggled Daisy

When I first saw Luker's “bedraggled daisy” (p. 83), I was unimpressed. Not because of the concept of a daisy, but because it seemed so different from my experiences with research. If you're researching flirting in the workplace (p. 82), why bother conceptualizing it as involving the different elements of sex, gender, organizations, etc.? Those are all broad concepts – much broader than “flirting” – so what could possibly be the value of searching for texts on sex and work when they're such broad concepts?

After thinking it over, I do still think there's a disadvantage to conceptualizing with terms so broad – it aggravates the info-glut and can make the whole process seem overwhelming. Luker's example is also not the best – flirting in the workplace isn't nearly as unusual topic as it could be, and Luker's comment that there will possibly be some texts on both sex and gender is a bit absurd (p. 82). But there's also an advantage that I hadn't really considered until seeing Luker's daisy. When focusing on a specific topic, it is easy to ignore related sources. Although it may not be necessary for the project, expanding one's relevant literature in this way can help to reveal key sources that might otherwise be ignored. I think the most valuable point in her discussion is not to consider broader concepts in the literature, but something she mentions less explicitly – to discuss related concepts. For instance, are there other social interactions with similarities to flirting? These would be an excellent place to start for surveying the literature.

1 comment:

  1. Indeed! Not to mention the fact that it's always exciting to find a seemingly unrelated source that scholarship in a certain field hasn't yet acknowledged, and then attempt to build that bridge.