It appears as if I am going to have to restructure my dissertation. At present it is organised historically from intro, theory chapter, fieldwork, theory chapter, then early to late history of certain dimensions of the scene (1970s, 1980s, 1990s). I shall have to go back to an earlier structure of fieldwork examples followed by historical examples and then argument/explication per chapter. This shift was always on the cards and I sort of knew that writing up the history as I was doing it was going to be insufficient.
Part of my problem is that I can see the connections between everything in my diss. I am precariously posed on a massive network of connected arguments and ideas. I make myself feel slightly sick sometimes thinking about it all, not an enduring sickness, but short, sharp moments of nausea. From this I need to extract my ‘red thread’. The ‘red thread’ is the line of argument that ties it all together. I have a number of possible red threads. Some of the more sensible red threads would simply be intolerable. This is part of my problem, because I don’t really want to compromise. As an alleged scholar I know that approaching research without some idea of a red thread appears to be the work of abject stupidity. Yes, I disavow myself completely. However, this has meant I have approached my research material without being blinkered too much, which was sort of good, but now I need some blinkers. Fast.
Being able to produce a dozen explanations of one’s research is not good if you only need one argument.