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Hi,

I'm planning on doing my EE on English B on Albinism. My whole focus is to look at the way the Tanzanian media's portrayal of albino's reinforce stereotypical views in today's society. My question is, does this fall into the Criteria in English B and if it does is my research question too broad or too narrow. 

Thanks

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Hey there,

For this, it is quite helpful to use the Extended Essay Guide (you should have access to this one through your IB Coordinator or EE advisor). For the choice of topics, there are three main categories in which you can write: Language, Culture and Society, Literature. Yours seems to be suited for the Culture and Society category, though in here there are a two sub-categories to consider: Essays of a sociocultural nature with an impact on the language, essays of a general cultural nature based on specific cultural artifacts. The latter one is more pertinent for your topic. About this sub-category, the guide states: 

Quote

The essay should be an analysis of a more general cultural nature but specific to a country or community where the language is spoken. Topics that are too broad and could apply to many cultures (like globalization, the death penalty or eating disorders) are inappropriate. 

Essays of a general cultural nature must be based on specific cultural artifacts. Cultural artifacts in this context are understood to include a wide variety of phenomena, ranging from of works of fine art to newspapers, magazines and cartoons, to films, television programmes and popular music).

This implies that (1) the cultural artifacts you are analysing must be in the same language as the language you are writing in (i.e. English for you, since you are doing English B), (2) The cultural artifact needs to be specific to the culture you are analysing and (3) the artifact analysed must be of a cultural quality, though definitions of these are relatively wide. 

The first point, I assume, would be fulfilled - assuming you are looking at media written or broadcast in English and not in one of the other official languages in Tanzania. As for number two, I presume this would be fine as well, as this is a specific analysis of the representation and perception of albinos in Tanzania. Number three, though... You are referring to media, but what kind of media are you talking about? TV shows? Newspapers? Music? Cartoons? You might take some time thinking about what specific medium (or media) you want to look at. 

As long as you keep that in mind, you should be good to go. 

As for your question, I truly cannot answer whether or not your research question is too broad or narrow, simply because you have not given us any research question at all. You have given us a topic and the focus, which seems fine, but the research question is missing. 

 

Good luck!

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Thank you so much. I feel more confident about my topic now. I forgot to put in my research question even though, this is what I've came up with so far. How does the Tanzanian media's portrayal of Albino's reinforce stereotypical views in today's society?

Could I get feedback about it.

As I am in contact with one albino activist in Tanzania who is greatly known. Would it be wise to interview him? 

Thanks 

Edited by Jrendini
Thank you for your help. Is it possible to get your email?

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I think the research question is fine for now. As I noted in my previous comment, though, it would be nice with some specification of what kind of media you will be looking at. The more specific you are, whilst still making sure you are able to write about 4000 words on the topic, the better it is. Keep in mind that the research question is throughout the research and writing process itself a work in progress. Never see yourself as completely done with the research question - there's always ways of improving it, and there might be periods in which you want to take the essay a slightly different way depending on your research. 

Another dimension you should consider is your analysis. Let's say you're going to argue that the portrayal does reinforce the stereotypical views. Are there anyone arguing against this fact? If there are very few or no people arguing against this point, you will not have an analysis. Instead, you will have a repeated confirmation of the established and perceived 'truth', and that will, if so, be a problem. Do some research and see what you find. 

As for your second question: That depends wholly on how you structure your essay. Primary sources are of course good, but they should also be relevant to the arguments you are making in the essay. It sounds, on face value, like a good opportunity, but I cannot comment on how wise it would be, as I don't know how your essay is going to be structured nor if that interview will actually contribute substantially to your essay. 

 

Also, please refrain from double-posting :) If you forgot to add something in a comment, please edit your post instead. The edit is in the lower right corner of your post. If you wonder, I merged your post so as to make it one post. 

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