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Inevittable

PhD research into GoT fandom: Introduction and general discussion

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Hello all,

I am currently studying towards a PhD in Media, Culture and Communication at Keele University. My project title is "An online ethnography of the fan community of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels and the Game of Thrones television adaptation" and my aim is to investigate the history and current practices of the fan community of A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones.

With the permission of the owners of this website I am initiating this thread to try and encourage discussion about the topic described below.

An information sheet is available here, which will hopefully address any questions you may have about the research. The information sheet contains information about the research process, and also information about how your posts to this thread will be used. You are under no obligation to take part, however your help in the project would be much appreciated.

By posting in this thread you are agreeing to the statements on the consent sheet which is part of the information sheet linked to above. By posting in the thread you are agreeing that you are over 18.

If you have any queries please let me know.

Many thanks,

Inevittable

PS: If you would prefer to contact me privately, you can do so by email or by sending a private message via the forum. If you do choose to contact me privately, all communication will be treated as confidential unless you give your consent for it to be used as part of the research.

TOPIC: General research introduction and discussion

Please use this thread to ask me any questions you have about the research process or to discuss the project in general.

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Good luck with the project. A bit weird that you destroy the raw data after 5 years, but I assume that is a general procedure for information that ties back to identifiable individuals.

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I like boobs.

ETA: Ok, I couldn't resist, then I felt bad, sorry. Good luck on the research and I hope to participate beyond the level of a 12 year old boy!

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Good luck with the project. A bit weird that you destroy the raw data after 5 years, but I assume that is a general procedure for information that ties back to identifiable individuals.

Yes it's a standard rule for the ethics panel of my university.

I like boobs.

ETA: Ok, I couldn't resist, then I felt bad, sorry. Good luck on the research and I hope to participate beyond the level of a 12 year old boy!

Ha ha! You cut right to the nefarious purpose of my research, which is actually to find out just how much do Game of Thrones fans like to see boobs on TV?

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Thanks for the thorough debriefing on your research via the linked text. I've only participated in one other ASOIAF-related research project, and that's because those researchers also provided similar levels of information about who they were, the goals of their research, what kinds of privacy protection a participant could expect, etc. Needless, to say, I'll be happy to participate in this research project as well. Except for, you know, the part about the TV show, 'cos I don't watch it. ;)

Do you expect to have a series of posts to prompt talking points so we can more easily riff of ideas?

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Yes it's a standard rule for the ethics panel of my university.

...

It makes sense, and is probably a good rule. But it is quite a bit different from what I am used to with data in the sciences, those only tend to die in datarot or obsolescence.

It is always a nice learning moment to see how other fields have their own necessities and rule-sets.

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You're not the first person who's wanted to do research on the fandom (although most others didn't present themselves very professionally). Did you choose the topic because you're a fan personally, or because you think that there's something different or interesting about us as compared to other fan groups?

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Do you expect to have a series of posts to prompt talking points so we can more easily riff of ideas?

Thanks for the feedback on my info pages and it's to know the information is being read too! Yes, the plan is to gradually introduce more threads on specific discussion topics.

It makes sense, and is probably a good rule. But it is quite a bit different from what I am used to with data in the sciences, those only tend to die in datarot or obsolescence.

It is always a nice learning moment to see how other fields have their own necessities and rule-sets.

This project fell under my institution's definition of research involving 'human tissue', hence the need for the approval of the ethics panel. The differences/similarities between the sciences/humanities are often a point for discussion with other academics I know. There are certainly differences between the two when it comes to research projects. There are similarities too, particularly when it comes to reliability of results and the responsibilities of the researcher.

ETA:

You're not the first person who's wanted to do research on the fandom (although most others didn't present themselves very professionally). Did you choose the topic because you're a fan personally, or because you think that there's something different or interesting about us as compared to other fan groups?

Hi Eponine. I am a fan myself, but I chose this particular fandom because at the time of my research proposal the TV series hadn't yet started. I used the time since submitting my proposal to get to know the fandom from scratch, up to a certain level, so that I wouldn't bring any pre-conceived ideas with me. It's a little too early in my research to claim one way or the other how the GoT fandom compares to others - but I am looking forward to finding out.

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Will this research be solely online, or do you plan to visit conventions as well?

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You're not the first person who's wanted to do research on the fandom (although most others didn't present themselves very professionally). Did you choose the topic because you're a fan personally, or because you think that there's something different or interesting about us as compared to other fan groups?

Yeah, I got a case of deja vu. I don't recall how unprofessional the last one was. I just remember they used a different kind of font too.

:dunno:

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why not furries?

seriously. that is some shit that needs studied.

rethink your study and move onto something that society and science should be learning about.

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my aim is to investigate the history and current practices of the fan community of A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones.

There are a lot of people here deserving of a PhD by these standards. I'll send my contact info to your college so they can put mine in the mail.

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You gotta write up your results first, Ep. :P

I'll second the query about visiting conventions. Depending on the time-frame for research (and the scope of your thesis), you might want to schedule a trip to the London WorldCon in summer 2014. Many people from this community will be there, and you'll probably get some more insight as to how and why this particular slice of ASOIAF fandom operates.

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are they actually paying you a phd fellowship / grant to do this ??

MAn I should have gone to humanities!

I'm seriously concerned what type of Job you will get with a PhD thesis about game of thrones...a Fatherly sort of concern.

seven hells!

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I'm seriously concerned what type of Job you will get with a PhD thesis about game of thrones...a Fatherly sort of concern.

seven hells!

academic gig doing quantitative research on nerds and teaching/screwing undergraduates, for life?

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It's a rather ugly side of anti-intellectualism to deride scholastic pursuits that do not fit well into one's own frame of reference. It is no more attractive than when anti-evolutionists sneer at the silly studies of tracking allele frequency distributions of fruitflies, declaiming the futility in obtaining data about evolution from organisms as simple as fruit flies.

If you're curious about the intellectual framework for the study, please ask with an honest desire to learn, and not simply try to make fun of someone else's PhD work. If you know something about this field (digital ethnography is typically associated with cultural anthropology, iirc), and you find this proposed study to be lacking in some ways, then do us a favor and articualte your criticism. Otherwise, consider not wasting pixels.

The bottom line is that you don't have to agree with the study's objectives, or find it to be valuable, but I do think people should still be polite about their disagreement.

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Jesus Christ TP, it was a joke about how we're experts on the history of the board.

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Thought that was a response to the other character?

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Is there a thesis abstract and/or proposal available somewhere? I would be interested in learning a little bit more about the goals and expectations of your research. Beyond simply spending some time among the denizens of the board, what type of broader theoretical questions are you planning on addressing and engaging with?

ETA: Great post by TP, by the way...

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