Last semester there was a faculty member who strongly suggested that I avoid using anything involving sadomasochism or fetishism as a thesis topic. As a result I began secondary topic searches on the topics of the digital divide and gaps in digital literacy. While the topic interested me some, it was not as interesting or as personal as my work on paraphilia communities.
I presented my interest areas to my actual thesis advisor as well as my research methods professor and they both seem very receptive and willing to help me transform my interest areas into a workable thesis idea. Somehow just having their support in this area has resolved my concerns about feeling like there is no point in me being a part of the sociology program. I feel as enthusiastic now about sociology as I did when I first applied.
My current thoughts toward a thesis topic involve seeking to what extent people with paraphiliac sexualities will hide their sexuality from others around them and also compare that with the opinions of “normative” individuals regarding paraphiliac sexual identities to see if there is a correlation or if there are other explanations for the levels of secrecy and presentation of a differently constructed “public self”. I have already given some thought to some research designs that will allow me to accomplish this particular project.
As it stands, I will likely be going with my “deviant” topic for my thesis.