As a second-year PhD student, I have been trying to balance myself between three roles: a student, a teaching assistant, and a researcher. Frankly speaking, it has not been easy for me. Attending courses and teaching everyday have taken the majority of my time. Therefore, I truly value the time I have in the LEADR lab every Friday. In the past few weeks, I have made progress in areas such as finding the framework through Bootstrap that works the best for my project, creating a JS timeline that depicts German national football team’s trajectory in the past eight World Cups, collecting stories of various players, etc. Overall, I would describe my working process as “slightly slow, but steady.”
However, in the past couple months, a several of my experiences have consistently affected the way I picture this project. In February, I gave a talk at the 11th Graduate Academic Conference at MSU under the title “Hooliganism, from violence to propaganda for right-wing extremism.” In this talk, I argued that there is a spectrum of hooliganism ranging between football-related violence, to right-wing propaganda. The right-wing ideologies that are hidden behind the violence generally contain an “Anti-immigrant” element. The study of hooliganism and right-wing extremism certainly offers a different perspective to examine football as a sociological phenomenon, from the perspective of club and the supporters of clubs. In the meanwhile, I have also sent out a few applications for summer funding opportunities and digital humanities related workshops. During the application process, I was asked multiple times to explain my research interests and introduce my research project. Additionally, I have been meeting my academic advisor on a weekly base where we talk about how I vision my dissertation project and try to develop a more concrete argument under the framework of “football and identity.” After weeks of discussion, I have come up with a tentative plan. My research topic focuses on examining multiculturalism in the contemporary German football world. Since I am considering conducting a hybrid dissertation project (presenting my research both through a digital platform and in written dissertation), I would like to modify my CHI project slightly so it could serve as a foundation for my dissertation project.
After a cautious consideration, I have decided to make a few changes to my website. On the one hand, I am not going to document every single “New German” player’s narrative, but rather focus on a few representative players, such as Boateng, Özil, etc. Presenting the narratives of famous players who played for the national football team helps examining how well multiculturalism is pushed on a national level. On the other hand, I plan to add a section where I map out the clubs whose fans are associated with “anti-multiculturalism” ideologies. Compared to the national team, regional teams (clubs) are often more actively involved in fans’ daily life. Therefore, it will be interesting to see how multiculturalism is depicted in the fan’s daily life. In the end, I plan to add another page (named “Summary”) which summarizes and shows the social media posts from various players and the official accounts of the German Football Association synchronously. The data that is collected by this page could potentially be used as a corpora in my final dissertation project where I conduct textual analysis on the social media posts.
During the process of working on this updated project, I have run into a few technical difficulties. First, I couldn’t display the map I created through Mapbox on one of the webpages. I remember I had the same problem last semester in one of the group assignments. Back then, we found a way to present the website without actually solving the issue. However, this time I couldn’t do it anymore due to the complexity of this project. I plan to bring it up this coming Friday and hopefully get it solved as soon as possible. Second, I have seen webpages where they summarize all the social media posts and present them in one page. However, I am not familiar with the code and I have not done enough research on the feasibility of this technique. In the meantime, I am also looking forward to showing my website to the group next Friday!