a qwriting.qc.cuny.edu blog

After careful deliberation, Bianca and I decided that we will look at body image and gender among various dance groups. In researching body image, we hope to find out what society believes the ideal dancer looks like and moves like.  We also hope to discover how society views male dancers. We can then obtain a generalizable response about what is acceptable and what is not in the dance community.

We will go about this task via photo elicitation, participant observation (we will go to different dance shows and observe the audience’s reaction and listen in to side conversations), as well as short questionnaires to get a general idea of how people feel about gender and body image in the dance community. We have possible video ideas as well as photos for the elicitation portion of our project.  These videos are predominately south asian/caribbean segments.  We hope to obtain videos of other cultural dances too.

March 15th, 2010 at 4:21 pm and tagged  | Comments & Trackbacks (8) | Permalink

For the first round of the minifield work exercise, I assumed the role of Dr. Researcher. The topic my partner Caitlyn and I chose was necessary improvements on Queens College campus.  The general question I began with was “What changes do you feel need to be made to the campus?” I made my question less generalizable and specified exactly what I meant.  For example, I asked “Do you feel that building structure is an issue?”, “Do you have a problem with classroom size?”, “Do you think there is sufficient elevator access or access to stairs?” “Would you consider the campus as a whole, safe or hazardous?”, “Is there anything in particular that you hope could look better or be improved?” While walking to particular areas she wanted to show me, Caitlyn explained that she does not have a problem with building structure, classroom size, she feels there is sufficient stair and elevator access, but had a truly heinous problem with the pavement within the campus.  The location she took me to was a walkway outside of the New Science Building.  She also showed me an area located between Colwin Hall and Remsen, just outside of Razran.  In these areas the pavement was damaged and extremely hazardous. The ground was uneven, cracked, potholed, rutted, and extremely unattractive.  The area outside of Razran is surrounded by orange cones that seemingly serve no purpose.  The area encompassed in the cones is not half as bad as other areas.

When we returned to the classroom and reviewed the photos, Caitlyn told me that the photos represent danger to her. She even had a personal story to share with me.  With her permission, the brief version of the story is that she had slipped on ice that was masked by water in one of the potholes. She was injured and was unable to work or go to school for quite a while. She told me that she feels the pavement is not only dangerous for people walking, but for cyclists and the physically challenged in wheelchairs as well.  She also said that the uneven payment diminished the aesthetic quality of the campus. I could see that the picture brought back a painful memory for Caitlyn; however, I am glad that she was able to share her story with me because of that photo.

It was a great experience doing fieldwork.  I feel that through photos, participants are more comfortable sharing information with the researcher.  Photos evoke more emotion from participants than questions do.  Photos can bring more meaning to a subject than words can. For example, I liked that through a photo I learned more about my participant than may be she was willing to share or even remembered to share with me.  It was easier to describe her problem to me through the photo. I think the most difficult part of the exercise was deciding on exactly what to focus on or ask.  Usually, when you think of the campus, you think of buildings, the setup, the environment, but I would have never thought to ask about the pavement and discovered that it was in need of improvement. The easiest part of the exercise was taking clear notes on what the participant was describing. I felt that being at the location rather than hearing about it allowed me to observe and write more efficiently. Next time, I would try to think more carefully about what I want to ask my participant in order to obtain more information.

My experience as a participant I felt was thought provoking because one photo made me ramble on about the quality of the dining service at school. One photo provoked “word vomit” in a sense.  For example, looking at the photo of a menu and pricing at the cafeteria made me think of how overpriced and sometimes unappetizing the food is. It made other related thoughts pour out as well.  The easy part of being a participant was that I knew where I wanted to show Caitlyn right away. The overall experience was simply amazing!

Purposeless Cones Outside of Razran. Why are they there?!

Potholes on Campus. Why aren't there cones here? Pay attention or you just may hurt yourself!

Rutted Ground Outside of Science Building- Walkers Beware!

March 5th, 2010 at 9:29 pm and tagged  | Comments & Trackbacks (8) | Permalink

For my final project, I want to do research related to body image or type, perhaps anorexia. I read a student’s blog from a previous semester and really enjoyed the content. I think its really relative to today’s world and today’s views. This “body issue” does not only apply to women but to men as well. I want to explore how people view themselves.

February 24th, 2010 at 5:24 pm and tagged  | Comments & Trackbacks (6) | Permalink

I apologize for the quality of the photo as it was taken from the camera on my cell phone. This photo was taken on Liberty Avenue in Richmond Hill, New York. In my opinion, this photo represents an ethnic neighborhood depicted by the group of West Indians passing by and the nearby restaurants.  If one looks closely, a popular West Indian restaurant called Kaieteur Express can be seen.  In the photo, several colors coexist. There are different shades of pink and blue (jackets).  There is also black and tan (jackets) present.  The awnings of the various businesses are yellow, blue, green, white, black and red.  It is apparent that the children walking side by side know each other, perhaps from school or are siblings.  They are in close proximity with one another so I would assume that they are at least familiar with one another. It is safe to say from their jackets that the season is winter.  They are all bundled up with scarves and hoodies and walk with their hands in their pockets representing a cold day. The lighting in the photo represents the afternoon time.  We see the sun lightly shines, not as brightly as earlier in the day.  It is close to disappearing or setting for the day; this is represented by the shadows on the floor. The neighborhood seems to be always busy, full of cars, traffic, and people. It looks like a bustling community.

February 20th, 2010 at 12:25 am and tagged  | Comments & Trackbacks (6) | Permalink



My name is Christine Persaud.  I am 21 years old.  I am a Sociology major and expect to graduate this May. I chose this photo because I believe it is most representative of my true essence! Dancing is my passion and I believe it is what I was born to do. My favorite type of dance is cultural, Indian dance.  I also like to dance to reggae music as well.  The team shown in the photo is some members of QC Qayamat, a South Asian and Caribbean dance team. Our outfits do not consist of traditional Indian garb; we prefer a more modern, simplistic look with an Indian flare.

February 9th, 2010 at 12:29 am and tagged  | Comments & Trackbacks (5) | Permalink