Post Number: 1
|Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 4:00 pm: || |
My name is Joshua Atkinson and I am an assistant professor in the School of Communication Studies at Bowling Green State University. I am working with Dr. Clayton Rosati (also of BGSU) on a research project concerning the DetroitYES! web community. In particular, we are interested in the way in which the users of the DetroitYES! discussion forum construct an “alternative cityscape” through their online and offline interactions. Oftentimes, the “cityscapes” that people collectively recognize are constructed through imagery and representation found in popular mass media. Some cityscapes have been constructed as glamorous and exciting, as in the cases of New York and San Francisco. In the economic climate that has existed for the past thirty (or more) years, however, many cities and communities have been adversely depicted in terms of job loss, decreasing population, and high crime: St. Louis, Cleveland, and Detroit. Such depictions have become the negative imagery that is often used by economic and cultural elites to construct “cityscapes” that become collectively recognized as deteriorating and unsafe.
Interestingly, we have found that the Fabulous Ruins of Detroit and the attached discussion forum seem to provide Detroit residents with the opportunity to share information, and imagery, in a way that allows for the emergence of an alternative cityscape. We feel that your web community can provide valuable insight about how average citizens can use the Internet and other forms of interactive media to bypass economic and cultural elites, and effectively shape their cities and communities on their own.
Specifically, we seek to conduct one to three hour focus groups with members of DetroitYES! If anyone is interested in taking part in a focus group in the Detroit area, your participation will be greatly appreciated. Your participation will be voluntary as you may withdraw at any time without prejudice and you may refuse to answer any questions. In addition, your name will not be included in the final report, thus retaining your confidentiality. Feel free to contact us with contact information and times that you would be available to take part at the following email addresses.
Thank you very much,
Joshua Atkinson, PhD: firstname.lastname@example.org
Clayton Rosati, PhD: email@example.com
Post Number: 343
|Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 4:14 pm: || |
quote:Ah, if only it were as pure and constructive as that sounds. Great vision statement, though.
. . . provide Detroit residents with the opportunity to share information, and imagery, in a way that allows for the emergence of an alternative cityscape.
I grinned at the "average citizens" phrase, too. Yeah, that's us . . . just average Joes 'n Janes.
OK, seriously now, Josh and Clay [we're informal here, as you've surely noticed], this does sound like a smart urban anthropology project and a flattering confirmation of the impact Lowell Boilleau's pioneering site is having.
So good luck with your research project, which I regret will be too time-consuming for me to join. I'm confident you'll attract articulate, insightful, impassioned participants, though.
The only challenge may be capping each focus group session at three hours, actually.
Post Number: 102
|Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 4:30 pm: || |
I'm currently getting my graduate degree in Urban Anthropology from Wayne State and have ALWAYS wanted to do a research project on the community here at DYes. Damn you, Josh and Clay, you've stolen my thesis!!! *kidding, of course *
what a great topic. I would LOVE to be a part of your focus groups.
Post Number: 2255
|Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 4:42 pm: || |
Ruxy, does Dr Obo still work at WSU? I really enjoyed my UA course from her.
I am probably too biased and jaded to be part of a focus group. I post mostly to either provide facts or to stir up public discourse, sometimes folks can't tell the difference.
Post Number: 22
|Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 6:35 pm: || |
Post Number: 1330
|Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 7:05 pm: || |
sweet,..i made it back just in time
Post Number: 1000
|Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 8:24 pm: || |
I wouldn't mind being a part of your focus group considering it fits into my schedule. My only question is do your subjects have to be residents of Detroit? I live in Flint and if that messes up your methodology I understand.
Post Number: 30
|Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 9:38 pm: || |
I hope you will be posting your findings for all of us to read at some point.
I want to come to the session that includes SeanofDetroit and CheddarBob. Or maybe just watch from behind the 2-way glass....
Post Number: 2234
|Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 11:29 pm: || |
I would like to chime in here that Drs. Josh and Clayton have my full blessing in this effort. They were sensitive enough to approach me on this proposal and made clear to me the sincerity of their research.
They trekked up to the D over the weekend and we met. They are no stiff collar academics and, I am going to guess, are in their thirties, very informal and pleasant and look like some one you might encounter at Cass Cafe or Slows -- nice folks, yet serious scholars too.
While good-natured humor is always welcome, I am asking all to please keep this thread on topic and respected.
So, Josh and Clayton, welcome to the forum and welcome to the D.
Post Number: 540
|Posted on Thursday, March 05, 2009 - 10:02 am: || |
What fun! I'm in.
Post Number: 2
|Posted on Friday, March 06, 2009 - 9:59 am: || |
Thanks for all of the interest so far! Send along any contact information to either myself or Clayton. It's crucial that you include times that you would be available to take part in one of the focus groups...probably at Cass Cafe. Lowell tells us that it would serve our purposes quite well. We're going to wait a few weeks for more interest to bubble up concerning the project.
Post Number: 2455
|Posted on Friday, March 06, 2009 - 10:18 am: || |
If Lowell has given his blessing, I'm in, but Drat, what the heck is an "alternative cityscape"?
Post Number: 95
|Posted on Friday, March 06, 2009 - 10:35 am: || |
what the heck is an "alternative cityscape"?
I think it's the one that BRC and Monica live in?
Seriously, though, I think he's talking about the reality of Detroit in MSM in comparison to the Detroit represented here. Sometimes the comparisons match, other times the "hidden Detroit" or what he terms the "alternative cityscape" is shown through online and offline participation, such as Georgia street garden,Fort Wayne, Forum meetups, and the online forum participation.
Post Number: 3
|Posted on Friday, March 06, 2009 - 1:32 pm: || |
Cityscapes are constructed in part by images in the MSM. Eight Mile, Narc play a role in the construction of a recognized cityscape of Detroit, as do news reports about high unemployment, etc. Conversely, Sex in the City and Seinfeld are important for the construction of a recognized New York cityscape, along with news reports about Wall Street, etc.. Through DetroitYES, people seem to construct a cityscape that differs from that which is presented through the MSM. Hope this helps.
Post Number: 2457
|Posted on Friday, March 06, 2009 - 2:38 pm: || |
Guess I must be out of the groove, but I always thought a Cityscape was the physical make-up of a particular street.
To be exact, a cityscape has always been buildings, trees and sidewalks vis a vis people and cars. If someone would ask me about an Alternative Cityscape in Detroit, I would think about the Heidleberg Project or maybe saturdays at the Eastern Market. Those places are exceptions to the rule or alternatives to most neighborhoods.
Since you don't say, I will assume you define a Cityscape as the considered perception that Detroit is a rathole. Cityscape = perception?
I must have missed the meeting when the meaning changed. Sorry about that.
Post Number: 785
|Posted on Friday, March 06, 2009 - 8:17 pm: || |
I think he just means what the perception of what our city is like. There is a vast degree between reality and perceived reality.
On this site there has been a lot of caring and sharing, cat/dog fights and our ever present lurkers and just plain idiots which we tolerate because they are just plain fun in their own way.
In view of the function of this forum and the many and varied opinions of its many members I think as a whole, people, not of this town can really get a complete picture of our community with it's warts and halos.
I do agree though, that I had to read the posting looking for participation for this study several, several, times to feel comfortable with their goals.
The most intriguing part to their study is that arenas such as the internet give a voice to the average person which does allow us to bypass traditional political processes. I have stated before, that Detroit has so many amazing people, talents and organizations that long ago realized our city has no connect to it's residents and residential communities. We empowered ourselves to make improvements to quality of life issues in our neighborhoods without them. The internet and other advances allowed for a tremendous sharing of ideas and resources between many many caring individuals and the organizations which they support. Information is power.
I am still not sure if I want to participate. My Detroit is far removed from city hall and their antics. Votes are easily bought in this city, a bus ride to the polls and a hot lunch put many of these jokers in office. I personally don't condemn some citizens for selling their votes for so little since is is likely all they will get from these bozos till the next round of elections.
I am glad that these forums to take place, will be in the city, the central city, but city non the less. So many of these types of meetings take place in the burbs. Safety issues I guess.
Try for one location to be on the eastside, I suggest Marshall's Bar on E. Jefferson. I could guarantee a hugh turn out. Eastsiders are an amazing group of connected communities that get lost/ignored in the city government maze. The city just wants to sell off our several miles of riverfront parks to best buds. We have beat them back several times and proud of it.
Good luck and still pondering.
Post Number: 5381
|Posted on Friday, March 06, 2009 - 9:21 pm: || |
Maybe there could be an online questionnaire for all or at least those who can't make meetings? If nothing else they could be used to formulate points for discussion as well as get people thinking.
(raising a brow at the "alternative" cityscape idea - isn't it the mainstream media that creates that while we live in the real world? Ya gonna do any coastal v flyover media bias studies?)
Post Number: 115
|Posted on Sunday, March 08, 2009 - 11:10 pm: || |
Can I bring my dog?