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That darn research proposal


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A little about me:

23 year old male

Bachelor of Arts, May 2010

Environmental Studies, English

To keep this short (I tend to write a lot), I am in the process of applying to a school abroad (New Zealand to be exact) for a few different reasons. For one, the degree is a Master of Arts in Media Studies. It's very open ended, and I can study almost whatever I want. Two, it's in New Zealand, a place I've always wanted to return to after studying abroad there my junior year of college. Three, the program itself is not overly expensive. So basically : study what I'm interested in, in a field that I want to pursue + being in New Zealand + low loans at the end = awesome.

Now, my issue is that the master's program is very research driven. Not many formal classes to take at all. This is going to be new to me, especially the part of submitting a research proposal for my intended direction of study.

What's my "intended direction of study" you may ask? Well...let me tell you. I hope to study the correlation between contemporary music culture and social media. Below is a small excerpt from my proposal introduction that might give you a better idea of where I'm going.

" The 21st century has proven to be a landmark period for how music is produced, listened to, and ultimately shared. Gone are the days of simple live shows in clubs, parks, street corners and auditoriums. Music has become digital, and globalized. Yet despite the music industry’s mammoth proportions and state-of-the-art technological advances music remains something that is inherently social. At its most basic form, music is art, a medium of expression that brings together groups of people. Music is its own culture. Culture, in turn, denotes an integrated pattern of human thought, learning, belief and behavior. So how did music get to where it is today? What popularizes certain types of music, songs, or artists beyond others? Does it lie in the creation of the music itself or how are brains are hard-wired to certain genres or tastes? Finally, how big of a role does contemporary media play in the development of music culture?"

As you can tell, these questions are fairly broad. What I'm really worried about is the lack of primary resources that I can use to lay a foundation for what I'm looking for. So that got me thinking, and I thought that interviews, surveys and exposure to the music world (all the while observing and taking notes) might be able to help me. Would anyone be able to provide some insight into this kind of (potential) research project? I know that I have enough questions to pursue that would make it worthwhile (diving into demographics, music production, advertising, social and news media, music perception, to name a few).

Thank you for your help!

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get as specific as you can; your broader themes can serve as context. But if you don't have something specific, you look like you are rudderless.

Find a specific artist or small set of artists to focus on; he/she/they (and their work) are your primary sources (along with their influences, or perhaps a comparable artist from the prior generation of music),

It can be done. I know a woman who did something similar on Aboriginal Canadian Hip-hop.

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