During the winter break, I finalized the coding of already mentioned advertising motivations: M1-7. Before doing so, I and Professor Aditi Paul made the last attempt of coding the same 102 sample websites in order to improve our inter-coder reliability in order to let me take care of the coding by myself. However, I still needed the professor’s assistance in some of the cases; I had been asking her many questions about how to apply the coding manual instructions in practice. This experience let me realize the importance of having support. It is because sometimes you may feel shy to ask questions since you are worried that no one wants to help you. However, it is very significant to be critical and doubtful while coding since this prevents you from being biased, misunderstandings, and misinterpretations. Thus, I realized the importance of having a third party who is willing to give advice and/or support. Fortunately, Professor Aditi is always ready to help what really facilitates my work progress.
Currently, we take care of the second part of the research which is about analyzing the visual aspects of the websites. This part is going to be very time consuming since I will have to visit all the sample websites and subsequently, manage appropriate categories of the codification such as: video/photo, gender, race, and age of the subjects depicted in the primary visual element. However, we are still developing the ideas of what other categories—besides the mentioned ones—of the websites’ visual aspects we may take under consideration.
I and Prof. Aditi are reviewing a very interesting research paper which discovers the prevalence patterns in the images of print advertisements. It distinguishes: feminine touch (which is basically all about showing women as an object of desire, to some extent, it is associated with the objectification of females), ritualization of subordination (which is showing women as smaller than a man, physical lowering), and some other categories. We may apply the research’s explorations and concepts to our study. What is more, we will train each other on improving the inter-coder reliability (just like we did it before coding seven motivations) to make sure that I understand the coding manual instructions properly and we both agree on how to interpret the samples.
Moreover, we have already been accepted to present our findings at the International Communication Association conference that will be held in Washington DC. That is why we will also prepare ourselves for the event, by making presentations and discussing any possible questions we may get from the audience. This is an entirely new experience requiring me to improve my public speaking, presentation, and analytical skills. It will be challenging but I really look forward to it!