Can You Hear Me? Reflexive Feminist Methodologies and Diasporic Self-Representation in the Digital Age
Rais, Saadia Subah
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In this exploratory thesis project, I consider what emerging approaches we can take as social scientists to showcase and critically engage self-representations of diasporic individuals, who often lack visibility and legibility within the dominant cultural archive. Filmmaking as a social research practice can provide rich audiovisual data, physical and social access to materials for nonacademics, and opportunities to document and share subjects' comments and settings without the limitations of transcription. This is especially salient in the emerging media landscape of Web 2.0, where digital communications technology applications (such as Facebook, Skype, and Snapchat) are accessible by a global audience, and can act as tools for cultural identity production by diasporic individuals. This project documents the experiences of several first- and second-generation Bangladeshi American immigrants in relation to digital communications technology advances within the past decade, for the purposes of collecting and sharing stories of diasporic individuals, offering a venue for self-expression through empathetic interviewing and collaborative oral history methods, and contributing to the American cultural archive in the context of emerging media and academic landscapes. The full project is comprised of this text document, alongside a short documentary film containing portions of audiovisual data from interviews which can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oh9puazpdrw.
- Masters Theses