Starting Research

My blog for this week contains various aspects of my research. The first piece some of my notes on a book that I read, Messengers of the Right by Nicole Hemmer. My note taking method mostly consists of underlining important information and writing how the information relates to the larger topic I am studying. In the margins below, I wrote that the author’s discussion of the apolitical nature of religious programming in the 1950’s might relate to EWTN.

Scan of notes

The second piece of this blog is a primary source. Since my project centers on media and the life of Mother Angelica, I believe that it is fitting to share a clip form her show. The first six minutes of this episode on Just Wages, provides an interesting view into Mother Angelica’s worldview. She opens the episode by telling a story about a businessman who demanded kickback from Mother Angelica’s order in order to sell their peanuts. She then goes into a speech that sounds like a criticism of modern capitalism! Almost immediately after, Mother Angelica goes on to criticize the concept of social justice. This clip shows that Mother Angelica was more complicated then one might believe.

The third part of this blog is an outline of an academic article on the Office of Price Reductions that I read. I broke it down by the pieces I felt are essential for a good piece of writing.

  • Introduction
  • Historicalization (placing the OPA into its historical context)
  • The origins of the phenomena being studied (how did the OPA get started?)
  • Introduce important figures in the movement (the first head of the OPA)
  • The various policies of the OPA (the main content of the article)
  • The OPA’s influence on women and people of color (impact of the phenomena being studied)
  • The OPA’s struggle with the meat packing industry and its demise
  • Conclusion

The article on the OPA is different than other papers that I wrote in that it uses a wider grouping of sources. The paper I will write on EWTN will include many articles and primary sources that I will have to piece together to create a coherent story. This specific paper on the OPA is useful because it shows the importance of placing your object of study within its historical context. By doing this, the reader is able to better appreciate the complexities of its history. The second lesson from this article is that one has to form a story with a beginning, middle, and an end. While this seems common sense when writing history, one can easily tell a confused mix of facts on the topic one is studying. For my project, I will attempt to tell a coherent story on EWTN and Catholic broadcasters.

The research for this project is beginning to make sense and I am excited to see where it goes.

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