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Handmade Generation Updates

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Moving Right Along

I'm just going to make a laundry list of what's been happening.

I have completed 11 interviews and hope to get at least 9 more. The interviews are going very well. The experience is much more physically intense than I expected. Partially because of the intense nature of the material, but also because I spend the entire time during the interview writing and rewriting the dissertation in my head, trying to figure out where the new information fits into the old. It is an intense series of process sessions in which I am aware of the person I am talking to, working with them to unfold their story, fascinated by the complexity of them, their story, human beings in general, and also rewriting everything I've already thought, processing nuances I don't even quite know I've consciously acknowledged. I'm excited to have all of my interviews done so that I can really spread out my mind over the various patterns.

I think I am changing the name of the dissertation from Handmade Generation to The First Wave of American Deconstructed Culture: Children Born into the Counterculture of the 1960s and 70s. This comes after much feedback about how their parents were counterculture but they are not. It is clear to me that the culture exists as a culture, almost and ethnicity if you will. It has all the trappings and nuances of discreet culture, and yet it is in many ways the beginning of what appears to be the deconstruction of what was American Culture at the time of the 1950s. It is no longer "counter" as it has not only settled down and made a home for itself, it has begun to spread and leak out into all the unconscious nooks and crannies. More and more people seem to fall into the deconstruction by the week. Aspects of what was counterculture are leaking into all the parts and layers of society. This group that I am looking at seems to be the first wave, like first wave feminism, or New Wave French Cinema. Not so much a cohort, or a group, certainly not a generation, more a wave crashing into the beach of society, landing in a spray of disordered droplets and then sinking into the sand so that they are not necessarily identifiable, but they have certainly changed the state of the shore, altering it the landscape and getting everything soaked.

I still have huge truck loads of reading to do. I assume the reading will act on me a bit like the interviews do, changing my words and thoughts with each new bit of information.

I'm also still tracking down my external reader. Hopefully that will unfold soon.

I found a longitudinal study that was done at UCLA from 1974 to 1994 on counterculture families. It is all the authority of quantitative data I could hope for. I need to explore deeper to see if more on this exists than just the five published papers of data I have found.

Lots of action this month.