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I’ve contemplated a research topic for a few years, and even mentioned it to new friends at Saybrook as well as family and friends outside of academia because the subject of gender and racism propaganda is a subject that is at once fascinating and deeply disturbing to me, though I don’t think I can combine a question and human subjects that allow for research analysis of both gender and racism propaganda unless I specify the participants of the study to women and girls of color.  Given that I would like to create it as a participation action research study, this is within the realm of possibility.  However, I have not yet formulated a question that is definitive in this area.  For our purposes, the research question that I am interested in is, “What are the short and long-term effects of organized and unintentional interpersonal propaganda upon women and girls of color in the black community? This is a good start but it still needs some refinement.

The subjects of the academic articles I selected relate directly to my research interest, though the authors do not make use of “propaganda” as a working term within their studies, but it is used there as an influence upon the subjects as “proper” vs “improper” behavior to police women and girls to avoid the use of extreme forms of gender propaganda. ter Bogt, et al (2010) and McFerran, et al (2010) are quantitative and Bailey, et al (2013) are qualitative.

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Being born the curious type, from the beginning, I have questioned everything much to the chagrin of many around me.  At this point, nothing has changed but an increased ability to apply critical thinking, though “Why” has been a key and hard question from the beginning.

Analyzing assumptions are both critical to understanding biases and to evolving personally and spiritually.  While my personal studies in propaganda have allowed me to see clearly that everyone is affected by propaganda, how it works from a marketing propaganda viewpoint, and the psychology involved, it has not given me license to assume that I or any other educated person is not affected by its effects.  In fact, I understand from Ellul’s Propaganda:  The Formation of Men’s Attitudes (1965) that the educated are effected to a greater extent because they believe they can discern it more critically.  So my assumptions are that I am affected by propaganda in every aspect of my life, be it academic, cultural, media, music, marketing, advertising, and even interpersonal.  My assumptions of mainstream psychology, however, are not as colored in some ways and heavily in others, tempered by the fact that I seldom watch television news propaganda programming and don’t read mainstream media, but realize that psychology is key to all aspects of propaganda that is successful (see my comment above about being affected by propaganda).

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For your listening pleasure, here is my radio interview from last night.  This is something I had not thought about doing until the opportunity was presented to me by the producers of Radio Islam who found my content here.  For those of you who are curious, I am open to other opportunities to discuss cultural conditioning/propaganda, sexism, racism and everything that the intersection of all of those subjects entail and more. I am about halfway into the show. If you have time to listen, I would love to know what you think. 

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