Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Family history and "cultural identity"

I answered a questionnaire today, set by a cultural studies researcher doing a doctorate on how family history research affects cultural identity. I don't think my replies will have helped her much. For example, one question was "How did you see other people's cultural identities before you started doing family history research?" My reply was "It was something I never thought about". I found most of the questions baffling. Are there really people who have thoughts beginning "My cultural identity is..." or "His cultural identity is..."? That is, apart from cultural studies academics.

I attempted to answer the questionnaire for two reasons. Firstly I'm always in favour of people completing their doctorates, even in the field of cultural studies. There are far too many abandoned doctoral theses out there haunting their hapless progenitors' lives like the ghost of Jacob Marley. Secondly, I think that the popularity of family history research is an interesting cultural phenomenon and someone should be studying it.

No comments: