I’ve been back from Australia and New Zealand for just over two months now and I am beginning the process of analysing my field notes. I took very detailed notes during all the interviews, although I will get the recordings transcribed. Now begins the process of identifying the themes which are emerging from the data, as well as anonymising the participants. One tricky bit is remembering the pretend names I made up!
I am enjoying writing up the study. I presented some descriptive data at the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion conference in July. The discussion was fascinating with suggestions that I look at the literature on critical whiteness studies as this may explain some of the things I identified. There have been some interesting discussions around the ‘ranga’ incident and whether it constitutes racism, prejudice or just something I found offensive. Interestingly there have been a number of articles recently about ‘gingerism’. I hate the term, but I do think we need to address why people with my colouring are disparaged and abused by so many. The assertion it is humour or banter makes it hard to fight against, and all the more dangerous. Reducing abuse, bullying etc down to a problem with the recipients’ sense of humour helps to create an environment where mocking the different or the marginalised becomes fair game for humour. It is very hard to argue against the accusation that you just lack a sense of humour.
I hope to present my work at the AIRAANZ conference next year, so currently working out how to get back to Aus and NZ. I would be interested to hear the opinions of those in Aus and NZ, particularly given the critical lens it throws on academic culture.