Before I had any clue what my Inquiry Project would entail, I came up with a “Guiding Question” for the beginning of my research. I then created an infographic explaining how I arrived at my guiding question. The infographic was pretty straightforward, with most of the inspiration derived from class discussions and Sherry Turkle’s book, Reclaiming Conversation. The Guiding Question served as a sort of starting point to enter into a topic of conversation I had not researched too much before. My original guiding question for this inquiry project was “how does television affect children and why does it matter?” Obviously, if you’ve come this far in the Reader’s Guide, you’ll know that my topic got much more narrowed down from that original guiding question.
Upon revisiting my original guiding question, I realized I’ve really only delved into a very small portion of this topic. Furthermore, doing all this research on children, television, and gender roles left me with even more questions than I started with. This leads me to believe that the conversation is far from over, and my reader’s guide is but one small piece in the vast puzzle of research I’ve yet to uncover. Unfortunately, the Reader’s Guide is coming to a close, so I don’t have time to add a whole new research topic to this Inquiry Project. However, if I were to have more time, I’ve developed a projected Inquiry Project Infographic explaining what my guiding question might be had I more time to research this topic.
I arrived at my new projected inquiry project question along the same lines I arrived at my original guiding question at the start of the class. I basically retraced my research steps and pulled out what I found most interesting or unexpected and followed the thread till I got to my next big question. The Infographic included below details my journey through the research to my new question. I pulled aspects from my topic as well as current events and things we discussed in class to arrive at my projected inquiry question.
At the beginning of the research project, I was looking at how television in general affected every part of a child’s life. Is it always bad for them? How bad is it? Can TV be good for a child? Upon going deeper into my analysis, however, I arrived at my solidified Inquiry Project topic: How Gender Roles are portrayed in Cartoon Network’s Animated Series. Whilst I was doing my research, I kept noticing a disconnect between the way gender was being portrayed in these new television shows, and the gender norms being heavily enforced in our culture today. I felt like the shows brought out this new, inclusive reality, but it wasn’t the reality I was seeing in the world we live in. The decisions being made and the harsh treatment given to those who don’t fit into the strict gender box (HB2, Anti-LGBTQ rhetoric) paints a different picture of society than the one I gather from Cartoon Network’s shows. This lead me to my new projected inquiry question: Is Our Society Becoming Less Tolerant of Difference?