Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Perfectly focused blur.

Nothing notable happened today, but I'm in the mood to write, and in other words...I'm having some difficulty in finding a focus for my research project. Let me explain.

To begin, I should point out that as soon as I think I've narrowed my focus to some smaller topic, I inevitably find something else that catches my interest, and I find my self continually leap frogging from issue to issue. For instance, to day I began trying to narrow my research topic by focusing on my original proposal: the Indian family structure. In looking at the family structure, I came to the well observed conclusion that it has been and is drastically changing as western culture is becoming more a part of Indian culture. This then led me to wonder about how marriages have been effected by the forces of western materialism that have permeated India. I talked to a bunch of random people on the street, and in general it seems that the younger the person, the more open they are to the notion that western ideas of materialism are changing expectations surrounding marriage, and generally "young people" don't see this entirely as negative. Also, keep in mind these are the opinions of a few people. Older people seem to feel more strongly that the changes in regards to marriage expectations are somewhat negative. Then my mind wandered again, and I found myself talking to this guy named Abdul, a muslim man I met in the Old City, about premarital relationships and more broadly, dating. He gave me all sorts of insight into the somewhat looked down upon phenomenon, but again, being on the younger side, seemed to be ok with the fact that things are changing and actually told me that "change is natural. If you didn't change your clothing each day it would seem weird. So, why do people find change in society to be weird." Though he was by no means a "school educated sociologist" he was absoultley a sociologist in my mind, and his lack of education by no means reflected the amount of knowledge and insight he had. Ultimately, I stared thinking about materialism and it's effect on the family structure, moved to discussing the changing expectations surrounding marriage, and then to dating culture. Further, in our discussion of dating culture Abdul told me, with absoulte certainty that, premarital sex is part of dating, but that it is kept very secretive. This then led me to wonder about sex education in India, which I found out is barely taught, and subsequently curiosity about the sex trade in India.
In short, I feel totally unfocused, but however much this is frustrating, it also feels great. My mind is expanding in ways I never thought possible, and I'm extremely happy that although my curiosity is unfocused, it is not waning in motivation. I'm sure I'll find a topic that is suitable for both my time frame and interests, but seeing that an abstract is due tomorrow, I think I'm going to have to b-s something to hand in. The assignment is only 150 words long, so it won't be hard, but I just wish I could find something interesting, feasible, and ultimately just get started delving in.
So in close, I hope this rant has been entertaining. If it has been, than I'm glad my angst can be a source of entertainment for you. If it hasn't been, than I'm deeply sorry you chose to read the above :-)

Be well all,


Jared said...

There is so much stuff to learn about Sethy, it all sounds so interesting.

Sue said...

Hi Seth,

Gave me the laugh of my morning, however, sorry I am at your expense.
I guess that is the point of research and I do know the feeling.

Love ya,