I'm aiming to raise £500 in order to allow myself to fully devote my time to my research project into the fashion and behavioural choices of gay men, centred around ear piercings. This research has already been accepted subject to peer-review by the Journal of Homosexuality.
Who aM I?
I am currently a second year student at the University of Manchester, studying History and Sociology.
I believe that this research is really important to do, and also to do it right. This project initially started out as a long essay, which is part of what I needed to do in my second year of studies, but it became so much more than that.
Despite the widespread level of cultural awareness on the 'gay ear', I have not been able to find any meaningful research on it, which was shocking to say the least. I have been able to develop three different theories to explain the cultural phenomenon, by using peripheral research. These are:
- That there is no such thing, and it is part of heterosexualising masculine behaviours.
- There is, and always has been a gay ear, and that this is a function of gay culture, as a political statement, or as a part of cruising culture.
- Having an ear pierced was part of gay behaviour, though it was less specified. Only through the prevalence of gay men in the media and fashion industry, did it become something which heterosexual men would do, which then led to the creation of a gay ear.
In the social sciences it is rare to find a well untapped, but I truly feel as though I have found a new and unique field of study, which opens the door to further research by others.
Where will the money go?
- The minimum funds will go to helping me leave paid work, and be able to devote more of my time to my research. Currently, I am having to juggle part-time work which is wholly different from my studies, and this is leaving me with little time overall to conduct my research.
- Part of the full goal would allow me to purchase access to e-journals and text books which I do not have access to. The University has been able to allow me to access many resources, but some that I need to use are too niche, and it is therefore not in the interest of the University to spend money which could be spent elsewhere. Also there are certain journals which only grant free abstracts, or a certain number of free pages. With the full target raised I would be able to buy unlimited access to these resources, ensuring that my work is thoroughly researched.