Exploration in the Research Process

One of the best and worst parts of research…. Is that it is (or appears) endless.  I find myself reading things I know I will never use for my thesis…. but helps me to understand the situation and experience of unwed mothers in Morocco.  I have taken this approach from the beginning of my research process- a firm believer that all things intersect, connect, and influence.  However, this fact, coupled with the nature of research (one thing always leads to another) can be at times a bit overwhelming.  And yet exciting. 

            I know eventually (and by eventually, I mean soon) I will need to lessen this part of the research – the continual and reaching exploration.  I will still be exploring, but I will have to school myself to rein these explorations in to fill in pertinent gaps of knowledge and begin to focus on the writing part of my research.  Currently I am enmeshed in the experience of unwed mothers in Botswana.  Will this apply to my research?  I think so.  But, I would have never found it had a not explored state development and change (not even of Morocco specifically) because I thought it might help me understand the Moroccan context.  

            As November approaches…. far, far, too fast, I am looking for patterns and concepts emerging.  I am analyzing my interviews.  I am reading.  And, I am beginning to toy with writing.  I think I have a good outline and some solid writing.  But, I have found that things I wrote three months ago, no longer fit my understanding.  So I am going back and continuing to make sure that my research and understanding matches with what I want to convey. 

            The waters still seem murky…. But I am forging ahead.  I have also found that I LOVE to talk about this research.  Generally, I am not the most verbose of people…. But get me started talking about unwed motherhood in Morocco and you might never get me to stop.  And that in and of itself is exciting – and a product of this very intense research process.