Courses, conferences and competitive papers

Long time no see, dear blog. I am not ignoring you, just having my plate full of work, work and some more work.

So far I have enjoyed my time as a PhD student, even though the course load this semester has been kind of a pain (who’s idea was it to put three courses at once, huh?). Nevertheless, one is completed, one is about 90% done, and the last one has two more hurdles to go, so all in all, everything is under control. For next semester, I am hoping to take a course in CCT (Consumer culture theory), then maybe do some writing course, more methodology, and if I can manage to find a suitable one, take a gender theory course. I have also been greatly inspired by the courses so far and am contemplating how to use Institutional theory, Grounded theory, Discourse analysis and Netnography for my dissertation. Oh the choices! My problem is, and has always been, that I want to do it all, and I want to do it now. I often experience a decision-making-anxiety growing inside when I learn that I have to let something I believe in go, when I understand that I in fact do not have all the time and resources in the world. However, this “itch” of wanting to do everything, has always worked as a source of passion and ambition, and surely, if I did not want to do anything, ever, I would not be doing a PhD at all. I mean, there are other ways of spending my time. So I should not complain.
Just make a decision.

Anyway. This last month has been hectic to say the least, but it has also come with some wonderful surprises and news. The biggest one being that the paper I submitted for a conference in Macromarketing got accepted! I will thus present it at the conference in front of fellow peers and scholars. Needless to say, this news was shocking to me. Basically, this is me opening the e-mail and reading the first few words saying “We are very pleased to inform you that your submission….” :


And then this is me seconds later when the words really sank in and I got the message:


I can’t even begin to describe the joy, sense of accomplishment, and then utter, utter terror and panic, I experienced during that moment. I mean, me? I? Really? Holy *insert ALL the curse words*!! I always hope, but never expect, thus such news always get me by surprise. I still cannot believe that I am going to present something I created at a conference for the first time in my life. Hopefully, I will not be a puddle of nerves, lying on the floor in a fetal position. Hopefully, I will manage.

The competitive paper I submitted is about how viewers deal with being exposed to an abundance of sexual, pornographic and violent ads, and in it I construct and present a framework that explains some of the practices that may go into forming opinions regarding the ads. I call the framework the Clutter Syndrome, and if things go well, this will not be the last time you hear about it.

In the words of Morrissey: So wish me luck my friends, goodbye.

Time to get back to work.

My first official day

So yesterday I officially started my phd. Needless to say, I was tense, tense and nervous. And excited, and scared, and freaking out, and in awe, and kind of calm and somewhat hopeful. And I went back and forth through all these emotions and states a couple of times throughout the day, but all in all, it was a good day.

It started out with me arriving at the building, finding the right place and being introduced to the Associate Professor and director of Post Graduate Studies. He shook my hand, I told him my name and he said he remembered who I was, told me he was delighted that I had gotten accepted, that my supervisor had spoken highly of me, that he liked my thesis and that they have high hopes for me there. That tiny conversation was a roller-coaster of emotions ending with the lovely tenseness taking a grip of me. Yay…

Then I got to meet my fellow researchers, which all seemed nice and I am sure we are going to get along just fine. Even though mine is the only research including gender studies (the majority seemed to be about sustainability) I hope to be able to share some thoughts, discuss and debate over the topics that interest me.

There was an introduction about the University, the Phd program and so on, which both enlightened and confused me, then a nice lunch where we all got the opportunity to present ourselves, our research field and topics that we are interested in. Some other professors joined the lunch, and many of them came up to me and commented on my research; they were pleased that they finally had gotten someone who introduced gender studies to their marketing department. While there are some, a few, others at the Uni that apply some type of gender-related studies to their research in other departments, the marketing dept. was sorely lacking. And that is exactly where I come in, I guess.

After lunch we had a recess, I managed to sort some things out, but not all, and then we had an introduction for the two courses we will study these first few months. Needless to say, there is a lot to read and write in both courses. I mean, a lot, really, a whole lot. Phew! I actually wanted to write this blog post yesterday evening, but I was just so slammed with all sorts of papers, new systems to get access to, articles to read, reports to write and so on that I just did not have any time. Actually I barely have time now, just finished my first report so I figured I could spare the rest of the night to other activities, but come tomorrow, I have to start reading a book that I should have read and reported on for a seminar next Tuesday. At least, I will now, for the four years to come, always have something to do. Idle hands and all that…not for me!

(A classmate uploaded this image to our brand new facebook-group, I think it very accurately sums up what this journey is going to be. :] )


Let’s do this

OK then, so this is my new blog devoted to my PhD studies, most importantly my research of sexism in ads. For all of you who don’t already know, I am pretty passionate about this subject, and relentless when it comes to sexist ads. It all started some four years ago when I stumbled upon a video on Youtube with Jean Kilbourne talking about sexism in advertising, how it has developed over the years, how it has only gotten worse, how it is a real issue that concerns all of us. I knew then and there that this was something I had to get involved in, so I decided to start studying business and marketing, just so I could write a bachelor thesis about this. And well, long story short, two years later I did.

For all of you who are interested, or have nothing better to do, have a go at it why don’t you:

The objectification of women in advertising through a female perspective

Also, here’s a little video of Jean Kilbourne speaking at TEDx. It’s not the same as the one I saw all those years ago, but it will give you a glimpse of this incredible woman and her journey through this vast field of sexist, offensive and demoralizing imagery we call advertisements: