Help me choose my thesis topic, which exists somewhere in the confluence of techno-sociology, media studies, developmental psychology, and the study of attention.
This is for a masters in Organizational Leadership from a pretty good regional school in Washington state. It is not *officially* a thesis, since there isn't formal peer review involved. Rather, this is the so-called "scholarly option", as opposed to the less-intensive portfolio option. I will be working extensively with a graduate adviser, with the goal of bringing together an article suitable for publication, at least in format and level of rigor. Earlier this year a professor recommended I submit a paper for publication to a reputable journal in the field of leadership studies. I did, and it was selected for publication in this fall's edition. I was pretty surprised, but the taste of literary success has me taking this final paper pretty seriously.
I wrote my final paper for the Research Methods course on the effect of internet-enabled cell phones on the capacity for attention. I've posted the paper as an entry on my blog, which you can reach from my profile
(it's long, but the meat is in the first 10 pages, as well as the bibliography).
I would like to write my final paper within this same sphere. I am not tied specifically to 'attention' as a construct of study for this effort, but I'm also not opposed to continuing the research in this direction. Mainly I am interested in continuing exploration in this space - the place where technology and people meet, and the effects that technology has on relationships, sense-of-self, and the like.
There is a lot being done in this area, and my adviser has pointed me to Latour's Actor Network Theory
as a possibly fruitful avenue to ground my research in solid scholarship. While promising, nothing I have come across in following this vein has provided an a-ha moment in terms of a specific subject.
I'm hoping that you will have thoughts on topics in this field that are a.) interesting, b.) needed and, c.) have some relationship to the study of leadership or organizations. Even if this paper is never published, I would still like for it to be written within an area where fresh scholarship is needed.