Thursday, July 28, 2005

Thesis Update

A few readers and colleagues have expressed interest in my thesis project, so you all get a quick update.

Last summer I started this site to collect ideas about the conflict between our values and our lifestyle choices, how decisions in one area of our lives affect other areas, and specifically how young people learn about and envision their future options. I borrowed the term lifestylism as the title of the project, as a way of unifying those concepts.

So now I've got a year's worth of research, reading and writing represented in the blog and I officially start working on the thesis in September. I still need an advisor, and I'm hoping to finish early next year. I've narrowed my topic a lot since my initial pondering and a bit more since my recent focusing efforts.

I plan to explore the aspirations of teenagers (educational, career, relionships, family, lifestyle) in education and outside of school, figure out how successful they've been in achieving those goals in the past decade or two, then create a proposal outlining how to use the web to help teens build engaging, holistic (lifestyle-oriented, rather than just career/college planning) reprentations of possible futures as a way to get them on the path to achieving their goals (or at least taking steps to pursue interesting things that will land them somewhere they didn't expect).

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