Once upon a time, not so long ago, prior to deciding upon a topic for my BCM240 Media, Audience, and Place research, the only thing I was absolutely certain about was the fact that I wanted to conduct my research on something Disney-related.
When the lecture on Sensory Postcards came on, I knew immediately that I wanted to do something related to it – I wanted to conduct an autoethnographic observation on how Disney was able to create the “magical atmosphere” they do in their parks – particularly in Hong Kong Disneyland (since I live here in Hong Kong, and you know, they happen to have Disneyland here as well and I live quite close to Disneyland!).
And so, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. Let your dreams take flight as we embark on a magical journey; Junie-Llene Flores Ifrah proudly presents – her proposal for her BCM240 Media, Audience, and Place Research. (Disney firework display music plays.)
What is the background of my research proposal?
The background of my research proposal relates to the Sensory Postcards in terms of conducting research upon the “landscape and soundscape interacted to form an almost intentionally designed experience” (Droumeva, 2015). I will be implementing autoethnographic observations in the visual and sound aspects, just like Droumeva’s research. The purpose of this study however, is different. I aim to examine whether the alignment of soundscape and landscape in certain sections of Hong Kong Disneyland creates different reactions upon my three lucky participants (I will be taking them in for free!).
What is my methodology?
In order to examine my participants’ reactions, I would need to conduct group interviews with standardised questions. These questions will be asked when I take my participants to certain areas of Hong Kong Disneyland. Moreover, the playlist will be documented in order to aid my qualitative research.
A few examples of these questions would include:
- Based on your knowledge of certain Disney movies, what are your expectations on the soundscape and landscape?
- What emotions are stirred when you go to each part of Hong Kong Disneyland: Main Street USA, Fantasyland, Adventureland, Toy Story Land, Grizzly Gulch, Mystic Point (paying particular attention to the alignment of soundscape and landscape)?
- Why do you think these emotions are felt?
- How would your reaction change should the music be taken away from the landscape? (Earmuffs will be used to block out the music.)
- How would you picture Main Street USA, Fantasyland, Adventureland, etc. should the landscape be taken away? (Eye masks will be used to block out sight.)
- What role has the media (Disney movies) played in your (the audience’s) perception of the soundscape and landscape?At the very end, a group discussion will be held to see whether participants would like to provide further useful information. The last question I will ask them before bringing them back to reality, would be: Based on your knowledge of certain Disney movies, did the soundscape and landscape match your expectations?
These questions will be asked in order to see whether the soundscapes and landscapes had an effect on the participants, based on their knowledge on Disney films. The data collected will then be analysed, and relevant information will be implemented into my digital artefact.
How will my research be communicated to the wider community?
I will be recording videos of my participants’ reactions as I conduct my research. There will be 3 participants in total: one participant who loves the classics, one participant who loves Star Wars (before and after it was purchased by Disney), and one participant who feels neutral towards classic and modern Disney movies. Moreover, my stakeholders would include: my teachers (that’s an obvious one), the department responsible for creating the “Disney atmosphere” (to measure the soundscape and landscape success – you’re welcome), and of course, fellow Hong Kong Disneyland fans! My research will stimulate discussion amongst my intended audience due to its perky entertaining tone fitting to Disney’s theme, and demonstrate my video-making and storytelling abilities.
What choice of platform or format will you use to showcase your research and findings?
I believe the best platform to showcase my research, would be to create a Youtube video – as this allows me to portray my observations and my participants’ reactions in a light-hearted manner, whilst ensuring that my wider audiences are entertained. Furthermore, I would like to take advantage of my video-making skills as I have only recently discovered that I thoroughly enjoy making Youtube videos – this is all thanks to UOW’s Media and Communications course!
What are the ethical issues (if any) raised by the conduct of your research?
The possible ethical issue would be my participants feeling disrespected, by me conducting my research in an unethical manner. In order to achieve an ethically responsible research, I have implemented the “Respects for persons” ethical value by Belmont (1979) into my project.
Respects for persons refer to giving participants full autonomy of the decisions to be made. In my research, my participants will be fully aware of my research being entirely voluntary and this will be stated in the given consent form. Should they feel the need to leave the interviews at anytime, they are free to do so. I will also ensure that there will be no form of bias from me, or my standardised questions. To prevent any form of violation, the consent form will include the following, to ensure that my participants are fully aware of:
1. Their rights as participants.
2. The purpose and methodology of my research.
3. My chosen platform (Youtube) and the possibility of an increased online presence.
And so, ladies and gentlemen – thank you for taking the time to read myBCM240 Media, Audience, and Place Research Proposal. I hope you were inspired in some way and will look out for the finished product I will present to you. I look forward to obtaining the results of my research and present them to you in the best possible light. I can’t wait for you to be a Part of My World!
Droumeva, M. (2015). Sensory Postcards: Using mobile media for digital ethnographies. Available at: http://ethnographymatters.net/blog/2015/06/29/sensory-postcards-using-mobile-media-for-digital-ethnographies/