A follow up to the writing woes discussed here.
I have lots of empirical work in my dissertation, both fieldwork and archival work. I also have lots of ‘theory’ work, too. I think the single biggest problem I am continually finding as I am finishing this monstrous thing is that as I introduce my examples and discuss the development and transformtions to the scene of modified-car culture through empirical work I am also introducing and developing the concepts of the ‘scene’, ‘enthusiasm’ and so on. The problem is that I can’t introduce and develop all the conceptual tools at once, and then simply apply them; my dissertation would be unreadable.
The argument of the dissertation has to follow a somewhat linear trajectory, but the thinking that goes into developing conceptual tools is far from linear. It jumps around here and there, engaging with some examples, not engaging with others. The conceptual tools developed are a ‘solution’ (amongst others) to the problems that emerge in the empirical work. What I fear I will never get right is the balance between grouping relevant parts of the theory work and the empirical work in such a way that allows the dissertation to take on a reasonably normal linear trajectory.
The current nine chapter structure is the best balance yet. I am up to chapter four in the reorganisation. To get it done I have had to become more militant with my time from other parts of my life. Only positive affect here, please.
Oh, and I have my extension until November 30. At least that is some good news.