My goal at this conference, the Summer Sociology Conference was to present only some of the research I’ve been doing, as I was acutely aware that I was presenting to an audience that was focused on myriad sociology issues, not simply those connected to mobility, and certainly not those connected to rhetoric or professional writing. In fact, one of the conversations I had most often with other conference-goers involved me explaining what I was doing at the conference, since I wasn’t in sociology, and since I the UK doesn’t really understand rhetoric as a fields of research in the same way that it exists in the US.
My goals, I suppose, were to do several things in my 20 minute presentation. 1) I wanted to situate the work I was doing so that it could be understood by those in sociology, 2) I wanted to give sociologists the basics of the kinds of research I was doing in a different field, and 3) I wanted to explain and make an argument for the kind of research I was doing as complementary to the kind of work that these sociologists were doing. These three goals add up to the larger goal for me, which was a personal recognition as to how my research fit into a field of study that I am not entirely familiar with in a country that has a different conception of academic work than I am familiar with – it was, I guess, a way for me to locate my work within both an international and a cross-disciplinary perspective.
I’ll post more later about the exact nature of the presentation, but I thought it would be useful for me to explain why I chose a site that was a basically an academic conference for my research.