Research and Ethics

Research and Ethics

Vera Blue at the Metro Theatre, September 2017. pic by me.

Background Research

As stated in my previous blog post, I’ve struggled to find academic sources on “discovering new music”, however I’m sure something may come up with further searching.

I found multiple articles, such as this one from Vulture. It lists “the best ways” to discover new music according to popular artists such as A$AP Ferg. This does help create a basis for my research, however, with my focus on Australian indie music, there is a lack of articles that actually focus on the genre.

I have realised by the lack of academic sources that currently exist on this topic, a lot of the research that I base my digital artefact and research report on will be quantitative and qualitative research that I actually find myself.

I believe my starting point for research will be simply posing the question “how/where did you first discover *insert band/artist here*?” in the various Facebook groups I’m in for my favourite artists. I will then consider following this up with further related questions.

Reflecting on my own experiences and the ways in which I have discovered various Australian indie bands and artists has also been a starting point for my research. Below is a list of all the ways I’ve found music that I could remember from the top of my head:

Ethical Issues

The expected ethical practices will be put in place throughout my research, digital artefact and research report.

As my research will revolve around music, I will need to ensure I do not commit any copyright breaches. I will also need to be cautious of any biases I hold about anything to do with my niche, and make sure this is not projected in my research or report.

I will also make sure to conduct any interviews or qualitative research with the highest care for the other person/people involved and ensure any privacy or ethical concerns they have are addressed appropriately.

My research will definitely be more qualitative research-based. As Donna Mertens stated, “the ethical principles that guide qualitative researchers are complex because their work involves interactions with community members in ways that are more involved than they are with quantitative researchers” (Mertens, 2014). As this is the case, I will need to be extra careful to ensure all my research is ethical.

Something I also need to take into consideration in my ethical research is a point that Rachel Winter and Anna Lavis bring up on online ethnography: “the necessity of paying attention to listening is drawn to the fore by considering the dynamics of social media” (Winter, Lavis, 2020). The majority of my research, if not all of it, will be conducted online and through social media. Therefore, I need to ensure that I consider the dynamics of communication through online platforms, and that I am listening and communicating to the same standard I would if the interactions were face-to-face.

References

Mertens, D. 2014. Ethical Use of Qualitative Data and Findings, The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Data Analysis (Edited by Use Flick), Sage: Los Angeles, 510 – 523

Winter, R & Lavis, A 2020,’ Looking, But Not Listening? Theorizing the Practice and Ethics of Online Ethnography,’ Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, Vol. 15

What is my media niche?

What is my media niche?

For BCM241 (Media Ethnographies), we have been asked to identify a media niche we are involved or interested in to ethnographically research for our major assignment. I have many niches I’m interested in and struggled to narrow it down to a single idea. I have two niches to discuss in this blogpost, which may actually help me make my decision.

Niche #1 : “Underground” and “Indie” Australian (and other) Musicians and Bands

This is a niche I’ve been involved in since around 2012/13 when I began high school and started expanding my music taste, and listening to Triple J. Since then I’ve always loved finding new bands, going to as many concerts and festivals (and North Gong Sundays) as I can afford, buying lots of merch and making Spotify playlists and recommendations to my friends. Now, due to COVID-19, I’ve also been viewing plenty of live streams and music videos from my favourite artists.

My last festival before lockdown: Spacey Jane at Laneway Festival Sydney, Feb 2020.

Due to Triple J’s large following and the constantly evolving use of social media across the past decade, many indie Australian bands such as Ocean Alley and Windang locals, Hockey Dad have actually become quite well-known nationally and internationally. However, there are still many Australian artists and bands I believe are majorly underrated within our own country, and this is something I hope will change within the next few years.

I would love to explore the ways in which other music lovers, like myself, find and interact with new music, and what their preferred “methods” are. I would also like to explore the utilisation of TikTok to promote smaller bands and musicians. This is something I have noticed more on my TikTok “For You Page” with many bands combining popular trends with their music to reach a larger audience.

Something I also find interesting as a listener of indie music is the “subculture/lifestyle” that comes with it. I think many young Australians would have a preconceived idea of what a stereotypical Triple J listener would look like and how they would act, and this is also something that could be explored.

Niche #2 One Direction

One Direction at the AMA’s 2014. Photo by Kevin Mazur. Source: https://www.vulture.com/2019/12/one-direction-friendship-fued-explainer.html

I’m not going to lie, One Direction was the first thought I had when I posed the question, “what is my media niche?”, to myself. I have been a fan of One Direction since I first heard ‘What Makes You Beautiful‘ in 2011. Something I’ve found really interesting about One Direction, and particularly their fans, is that 99% of them never really grow out of their One Direction phase. The popularity of One Direction within this degree was also confirmed to me when I made this tweet the other day, which convinced me that 1D could be a possible niche I could explore.

https://twitter.com/abbeydoyle12/status/1291593594877304833

Just to expose myself further, I’m watching ‘One Direction: Where We Are – Live from San Siro Stadium’ as I write this blogpost. (Yes, that is a link to watch the film in its entirety on YouTube.)

Personally, I’ve recently noticed a new wave of One Direction fans, which may correlate with a number of factors like boredom during lockdown, the 10 year anniversary of the band (which was a couple of weeks ago) and the increasing popularity of different 1D trends and songs on TikTok. For a more personal example of this “new wave”, my younger sister and her friends (who were only 7 when One Direction went on an “18-month hiatus”) all identify as big One Direction fans, know all their songs and now follow the boys’ solo careers.

I’d love to explore the fan culture of One Direction. What are the different ways One Direction fans express themselves across multiple media platforms? How do fans continue to make new content about the band five years after their split? How has this helped One Direction and their solo careers remain relevant in the media? What are the different fan conspiracies and theories that surround 1D? What makes people remain such big fans of the band, despite there being no signs of a reunion anytime soon? (that hurt me to write lol)