Okay, so I really need to recreate my blog. I have completely reconfigured my thesis into something that still intrigues me, yet is potentially more feasible. I am planning to get IRB approval and then interview a small group of women within either the UN or associated NGOs about their development of an activist identity. In doing so, I plan to examine the differences and commonalities that have led each woman to become intrinsically involved in her area of activism. This is perfect for me because it wont force me to privilege one social issue over another, but instead allow me to examine how individuals in general become engaged in various issues and movements. I would like to make my research relevant to UVU, and so I am considering surveying a group of UVU students before I leave for Geneva in order to assess their varying propensities to become activists. By so doing, I will be able to reference them in my research and the ways in which UVU might be able to further encourage them to become socially aware and active. I will be able to do this through comparing their views and experiences to those of the women I interview in Geneva. Additionally, I plan to present my research on UVU campus once I return from Geneva.
I found an incredibly helpful article on JSTOR today titled "Individual Orientation Toward Engagement in Social Action" which lays out a measure called the Activism Orientation Scale (AOS) which is meant to assess "activist propensity across a wide continuum of social action behaviors, ideological positions, and movement issues" (Corning, Myers, 1). My research could potentially form around this measure. The article also references me to many other potentially informative authors. I plan to continue reading through this article and review any other relevant literature I can find.
If I can get IRB approval then I can apply for a SCOP grant which could add another $1,500 to my funding. I am also planning to meet with the counselor for the Philosophy department this week to set up my internship credit for the summer, and thereafter I plan to apply for an internship scholarship through the school. I was informed a few weeks ago that the money being donated to my internship/senior thesis from various UVU departments might have to come in the form of a reimbursement rather than an up front contribution. This would be a hassle for many reasons, including I would have to take out a loan, save all of my receipts, and figure out how to pay off the loan with the reimbursement once I return from Geneva. I received and invoice from WOW and am turning that in along with the rest of my travel authorization paperwork with the hope that having the invoice will allow them to reimburse me before I leave for Geneva rather than after.
I have a lot of work ahead of me, but I am really excited about this new direction, I feel confident it is within my realm of ability and I believe we need to be studying the development of activists in order to encourage activism locally, nationally, and internationally.