Fieldnotes 2: “In New York City, you have to make your own space”

Copresent and Connected. Photo by Tara L. Conley

The following are excerpts from my fieldnotes describing a recent site visit. The names have been changed to protect privacy. Excerpt 1 Roughly 45-minutes into the three hour visit, I noticed something interesting happening. This wasn’t anything I hadn’t seen or … Continue reading

On Disconnected Youth, Place, and Nepantla

stacks(Photo by Tara)

The process of place-making also describes a process of identity (re)formation. For young people traversing city spaces and who seek a sense of grounding or ‘permanence’ amongst the “instabilities of motions” (Henry, 1996, p. 262) characteristic of these urban landscapes experience what Glora Anzaldua calls nepantla. As *disconnected or vulnerable youth transition from adolescence to adulthood with limited resources and support they inhabit a threshold of spatio-temporal awareness and place, one described through liminality and in-betweenness.

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Prologue to the Research #RaisingDissertation

#RaisingDissertation.001#RaisingDissertation is a way to keep me sane and connected to the outside world while working, at times in isolation, on my dissertation research. From time to time, and depending on my mood, I will post draft excerpts from my dissertation research to this public blog. I welcome dialogue from subscribers, readers, and lurkers. I acknowledge that ideas belong to the universe. That said, however, if you wish to write about my research elsewhere, you must cite my work here. For those in the press reporting about the media and technology uses among ‘disconnected’ youth, and youths involved in foster care and juvenile justice systems, feel free to contact me directly. I’d love to share my research with you; this should not to be confused with doing your research for you. For others researching in this area, I also welcome your insights here. As always, I’m happy to connect.

The following is an excerpt from an ever-growing dissertation involving the mediated lives of vulnerable or ‘disconnected’ youth in New York City.

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On raising Dissertation

I’m raising a child right now. Her name is Dissertation. She keeps me up all night. I dream about her. I worry about her. I think about her while walking the streets of New York City. She’s got me. I’m on her schedule. I have headaches during the day, and when I rub my shoulders, it sounds like I’m popping bubble wrap paper. The more I pay attention to Dissertation the more I learn about my life story. It’s weird. She expects me to guide her, to make her something that the world will appreciate, and that scares the shit out of me. But she’s my responsibility. I can’t let her down because I love her. The times when I think I’ve got it all figured out, she tells me to rethink my assumptions. And I’m pretty sure that since giving birth to this life of words, I’ve gained at least 10 pounds. Thank god for Malbec and Idris Elba.


Yes, boo. You right.