I meant to post this a little while back when it happened, but life and procrastination got in the way.
In keeping with my crazy in the city sub-theme, the other day, the older woman who I may have mentioned spent some time gardening in her skivvies (bottoms only) late at night, wanted to go somewhere. They have three cars parked in her yard/driveway – 2 side by side, and one across them. She lives with her son, and so, she asked him to move his car so that she could get her car out. So they both get into their cars, and before her son can even start the engine (her car was closer to the door, so she was in hers first), she started her car and backed out. … before he started his engine… sitting on my balcony stunned – I could not believe that she just got in her car and backed right into her sons car, taking out his side mirror… let’s just say the scene that followed was horrific – a son should never yell at his mother the way this man did – but maybe … just maybe, he should be the responsible one and not let crazy drive…
I have been plugging away on writing my dissertation now for the better part of too long, and I keep hitting the same walls over and over again. Today I am struggling with finding my voice. As someone who loves social theory (and theory in general) but have always done some sort of ethnography, alternating between first and third person has been a staple in tying together my experience or field research with a more generalized analysis within the same portion of text. Recently, it has come to my attention that this may be jarring for some readers, and it has been suggested that I separate them into two distinct sections. At first, I thought this was a great solution to the problem I was having trying to find my voice – or rather – the voice / tone of my dissertation. But as I try to untangle experience from idea, each one seems to get lost being on their own. The examples don’t make any sense without being contextualized within the broader frame of existing literature through the use of references and at the same time moving past the existing lit and assigning the example specific meaning within my research and then extrapolating that meaning into a general context beyond my specific experience.
So while the first bit of advice I have been given (to be fair, by several people – no sociologists though heh) is to “pick one” – it is either “I” or “the player” but the more I write, the more I realize that I need both. Each one fulfills a certain purpose, and I cannot seem to find a way to take one or the other out without completely changing the meaning of the text I am writing. And so, the struggle continues as I keep on writing. Hopefully I can reconcile this problem by being a better writer, making the voices distinct through clear, purposeful writing within the text.