Research Methods 2: Reflection and Evaluation

This module has allowed for various objectives to be worked towards and learning objectives to be met, whilst working towards objectives 1, 2, 3 and 4 in relation to my research topic. I have found this module really enjoyable, and have utilised different research methods and methodologies in order to achieve a practical outcome for Practice 1 and dissertation for Professional Context 2 also.  In addition this module has allowed me to make critical judgements and discussions in order to meet the learning objectives, which can be found below.

Learning Outcomes:


Objectives and goals:

1. To understand the ways in which Social Media and Magazines can affect self-perceptions and issues:

A) With body image (Females, 18-24)

B) With body image on a cross-cultural scale (Females, 18-24; Tokyo, Japan).

2. To understand policies and guidelines within the Fashion and Beauty Industries currently encouraging positive body image.

3. To work with and interview those both actively working in the Fashion and Beauty Industries, and those on a consumer/follower/user basis, to compare behaviours and perspectives in relation to body image and self-perceptions.

4. To prototype a range of design work targeted at 18-24 year old women, highlighting impacts of cross-cultural beauty/fashion trends on self-perceptions and body image.

This module has allowed for various objectives to be worked towards and learning objectives to be met, whilst working towards my objectives in relation to my research topic.

This module has allowed for me to research into:

  • Topics within the Professional Context module
  • Topics/processes related with Practice and Professional Development
  • Theoretical Perspectives
  • Technological Advances
  • Industry Contacts – New and Existing
  • Contextual Information
  • Quantitive and Qualitative Data
  • Cross-Cultural/Cultural Perspectives

To achieve the above, the following research methods have been used, utilising pragmatic, and interpretivist research philosophies in order to gain both qualitative and quantitative data:

  • Online Sources; particularly for sourcing new contacts/links, policies related to practice/statistics, facts, etc
  • Instagram and Social Media, i.e. YouTube, Facebook for Videos, Photos and Feedback led Research
  • Freelance Clients/Designer friends/contacts for Feedback led Research
  • Contacting existing Contacts both Nationally and Internationally
  • Phonecalls and Emails
  • Practice based Researched: Print (Graphic Design, Collage, Digital Collage, Layout, Book Binding and Printing)
  • Questionnaire’s, whilst utilising International Contacts in Japan, LCA Inter-College Connections and the Ethics Policy
  • Critical-design (used throughout exploratory practical work, discussed in separate post)
  • Magazines
  • Trips to London and Japan
  • Interviews and Meetings with Professionals regarding policies, design work and organisational views on research topic
  • Documentaries
  • Field-research (technologies, visual, publications, copywriting, photography, etc) on both a National and International basis (London and Tokyo)

This module I have met up and interviewed with those contacted in order to gain the best research to work towards answering my research question and meeting my objectives/goals, in both the UK and Japan, such as speaking with Vogue Japan, ASOS and Tam Dexter for example, (objectives 1.A, 1.B, 2 and 3) and both British and Japanese participants of my anonymous participant questionnaire (25 participants in total) (objective 1.A, 1.B, 3).

I have found researching into key theoretical perspectives to be key to working towards my goals and objectives, and have found that my practice informs my research, and in turn, my research also informs my practice (see Practice 1 Reflection/Evaluation post). In addition to the theories researched in Semester 1, I have also found that further research has been needed into other tightly-related theories in order to strengthen/critique points in my dissertation and emphasise triangulation.

Furthermore, discussion of different perspectives as of that of Brittany Rhodes, and male perspectives as found in my anonymous research questionnaire, and literary/article-led research has also strengthen research and theoretical perspectives,  (objectives 1 and 3), whilst strengthening my practical work; (objective 4). This as noted, has allowed for a different perspectives to be considered in regard to my research question, and have allowed me for the reflect on both my practice and current research to date, whilst also informing a new sub-section of my dissertation which otherwise would not of been included.

In order to carry out the above, the LCA ethics policy has been of most importance whilst deigning and planning my research studies, as well as writing a consent form and information sheet to be distributed to participants in due course. These were sent to those who are being interviewed in advance for forward planning, and have undergone ethical checks by both my tutor and the course leader. This way of working/research is something which I have got used to doing and have found this good practice, and has also enabled my participants to fully understand the project, their role, pros, cons and details on data use, confidentiality and assessment for example. In regard to the online anonymous participant questionnaire, similar ethical checks were also undertaken by the college in order to check suitability before being shared with the Fashion courses in the college, and before being sent out/distributed via social media platforms (objective 1.A, 1.B and 3).

In addition to this, two field-research trips to both London and Tokyo were undertaken in January in order to gain different perspectives, insights and both comparable and quantifiable data, in aim of working towards objectives 1 – 4 specifically. Evidence of this can be found throughout my blog in regards to planning, itineraries and findings. I found that by planning ahead for such trips and planning both research and practical work in advance, time management this semester was better utilised, whilst taking into account the feedback given last semester in regard to my approach to documenting my findings in a more concise manner.