My research project is one of the most amazing experiences thus far in my academic career. I learned so many things not only about my topic, but also about my work ethic and the nature of conducting research. I never believed I could undertake a project of this size but after finally typing up my final results and sending it over to my advisor for edits, I feel a sense of accomplishment I never had the pleasure of experiencing before in my academic career.
The results of my research were quite interesting. Although my research methods presented limitations that I had to consider while analyzing my results, I found that my results presented an interesting twist I was not expecting. While trying to find a connection between our linguistic choices and gender identity within a workplace setting, I found that regardless of gender or status, politeness was the most important factor while making linguistic choices.
I learned ultimately that I am capable of conducting research and generating a report about my research that is thorough and complete. Knowing the student I was at the beginning of college, I do not believe I would have deemed myself capable to complete a task as immense as this one. Yet, here I stand at the end of my insightful journey. I also am proud of myself for another reason. My projected career path does not include research or academic composing like required for this research. Yet I now know if I ever wish to return to a university and conduct research that contributes to academia, I have the tools necessary to do so. I am overwhelmingly thankful for the opportunity given to conduct this research and to contribute to Pace’s community of students venturing to discover their own answers to their own questions.
It is now a critical time in my research process. After working on developing a thorough literature review and seeing what similar research has shown, it is time for me to analyze the results from my survey. I have never done research quite as extensive as this so I am both excited to see the results and what they will dictate, as well as nervous. I know I have full support from my advisor but it is still an intimidating concept to analyze research like this when you have never been in this sort of situation. I am ready to dive in though, and I know that this will be a learning and growing experience for me.
As the deadlines for my research are growing closer, I know the critical nature of this time in my research process is so important. This is the time where I will truly discover if all of the time I have spent wondering what my results will yield will finally come to light. I downloaded the results from my survey today and will begin analyzing them over the course of the next few weeks. I look forward to this extensive process and cannot wait to put my final results into my report. I am ready to share with my community what I have discovered.
Since my last blog post in October, I have made some amazing progress. Since then, my survey was not only finalized, but also approved by the IRB and actually created! Professor DiGennaro and I were able to fully utilize Qualtrics and create a survey that we truly believe will yield the best results. The amazing features Qualtrics offers fascinated me and I think that it is truly a hidden gem this university offers to its students. After a meeting of figuring out Qualtrics and putting everything into the system, my survey officially went live and is being distributed to different people around the University. To get more diverse results, I am going to give the link to people like my parents, who can have their coworkers take the survey which will give different demographics to the questions instead of completely relying on university students.
I have not gone onto Qualtrics to look at my results yet because the survey is still active and being taken. I want to officially close the survey before I start observing what kind of data I have. I do not want to have a preconceived notion of the results I am going to get based on what I have so far. I want to be able to fully digest the data myself when all is said and done. I cannot speak for Professor DiGennaro, but I do not think she has gone in and looked at our results so far either. That being said, my survey has prompted interesting discussion among people I know who have taken it. They are curious to my research question and what I am trying to evaluate. I have been able to discuss this with my peers and what I want to accomplish through my research, and to me that is great data. I think so far I can say I have opened the conversation and that is so much progress in my mind.
My name is Jessie Huffman and I am a senior at Pace, studying English Language and Literature. The purpose of my research project is to study the relationship between language and status, specifically in a work place setting. After taking Language and Gender with Professor Kristen DiGennaro my sophomore year at Pace, I was fascinated by the common misconceptions of language that are typically associated with gender. Through the class and the assigned readings, I developed my own theory: language is actually a function of status recognition. We modify our language based on our perception of our role in conjunction with someone else. The most common place of status recognition occurs in the work place, which is why Professor DiGennaro and I have decided to use this setting to evaluate if individuals do modify their language based on their recognition of status, or if it is inherently a function of our chosen gender.
The method we are using to gather information and results is a survey. Currently, Professor DiGennaro and I are in the process of drafting a survey. Before this research project began, I did not realize how much time and deliberation goes into creating a survey. Trying to draft an interactive document that is unbiased is quite a process and I have a new appreciation for people who create surveys on a more regular basis. We believe though that this will be the best way to illicit responses from people that are calculated, because they will have to consider the roles of the individuals mentioned, the gender, and then think of an appropriate response for the given situation.
I hope to gain a better understanding through this project of the relationship between language and gender overall. As a woman trying to enter what has typically been a male dominated field, law, I am hoping this project can give women like myself who are trying to break the glass ceiling in their careers a better understanding of their language usage. We do not realize how important language is and how our usage of language has an impact, and I hope that maybe my project will highlight this importance and make people think about how they talk to each other not just in the workplace, but across all facets of life.