Very soon it will be time for me to form my thesis committee. In some ways the process has already started by me selecting Vaughn as my thesis chair, faculty mentor and academic advisor. As I get closer to my final topic I must work to form my committee. I am having trouble deciding how I will select faculty for the remaining 2 positions on the committee. Oddly the members of my committee will help shape my topic and my topic will help me select members. I have several people in mind for the two positions that are open. The biggest problem I’m having is that I have 4 people in mind for my open interdisciplinary seat, but I have no one in mind for the sociology seat. I’m really not sure what that means, if it means I’m really in the wrong department or if it means that I just have not spent enough time getting to know faculty in my department. The committee will steer my thesis and help me decide how to execute it. I have three options for completing my thesis: qualitative, quantitative or theoretical. I want to ensure that none of my faculty will attempt to close any doors on me. I want the option of having a theoretical thesis and all of the challenge that comes with that, and I want faculty that will not try very hard to pressure me into some sort of quantitative data gathering mission. I am not a believer in the importance of qualitative data.
Due to my recent admission to the Master of Arts in information technology I am very much leaning toward sociology of culture as my primary area and digital communities as the broad topic area I would like to use for my thesis. There is so much that I feel like I can do with the topic at this point. I know that there is a lot of active research, but it is all from a mainstream perspective and through an outside view. I feel like I have a little advantage in that I am familiar with some of the technical background and have a knowledge of the history of many of the technologies used in forming and maintaining digital communities.
I don’t know where things will end up with my thesis or my program, but at the very least I want to make sure I get the right people in the right positions to make things work out the best that thy possibly can.