WELCOME BACK 🙂
Thirteen weeks later, my research on collecting reaction of myself and people watching mukbang and confirming the reaction with the expert itself is complete – but before I get excited about my last submitted assessment of the year. I’m going to reflect on what I have learned about the ethnography research in BCM240.
As this is my last semester and last chance to learn and prove myself, I really wanted to do a research on a topic that I am of interest. This time wasn’t the time to pick a random topic at the last minute. So I was determined and I started with it.
I chose to do a digital narrative storytelling, which involved my experience with watching Mukbang and other 4 people’s reaction and experience of watching Mukbang, moreover I invited a Hong Kong YouTuber who does Mukbang/food reviews to look at the reactions of the 4 participants and to share his experience with creating this kind of content for the audiences. The only interesting way to present my research was to make a video, but it was a challenge for me. It took me hours and hours to just understand how to use a video editing software called adobe Premiere Pro CC 2018. So I ended up asking a friend for help, he was beside me the whole time and taught me bits by bits on how to add in scene by scene, subtitles, audio, and soundtrack. Oh my god, what a hectic project it was…
This has been a memorable and a valuable lesson to me. As someone who loves to try something new but is scared of messing things up. I have discovered it can be really useful and rewarding to walk down a new path.
RESEARCH VALUES 🙂
I had to make a consent form so that the research design is socially responsible. As I have done interviews and filmed my participants I had to take their consent if they are okay to be in my video and to be on the internet for as long as it can be. While I was conducting interviews and editing the video I ensured that identities remained protected. Throughout the research I did not mention any individual’s name, all the data was discussed collectively. This is due to some of the factors, such as the participant maybe be young or come from a culturally sensitive environment. Not everything on internet can be used anywhere we want, we have to carefully consider if we really need to use it.
I strived to remain flexible in collecting and analysing my data. This involves remaining open-minded to surprise twists in the story of data collection (Grafanaki 2007). There were certain opinions which surprised me for example I thought everyone enjoys Mukbangs, and those who doesn’t know about mukbang if once they know about it they will enjoy it too, but it turns out to be not true. Some people finds it ridiculous, that how are the YouTubers able to finish the whole plater, and who will even watch a 30-40 minutes’ video. I ended up only adding people who really loves mukbang and what they think about it while and after they watch a mukbang video. In the beginning I was searching for a Hong Kong forum where I could find a community who loves mukbang or food in general, I wasn’t able to find it. I asked my local Chinese friends if they know if anyone who does mukbang videos on YouTube or has an Instagram page about it, unfortunately couldn’t find one. Once I was so stressed that I was about to change my research topic even though I didn’t want to, my friend tells me that there’s a guy who has an Instagram page and a YouTube Channel where he does Halal food reviews and talking Mukbangs. I cannot express how excited I got, I immediately emailed him and told him about my research project and asked him if he could help. He was so kind to accept it, and I think because of his part of the video it can really sum up everything. It was really good insight to what both audiences and the expert itself feels while watching and making a mukbang video.
I feel like what I wanted to do and show to others was successful. It was a small scale project where it involved 5-6 people and no support of secondary data. I managed to pull some interesting information out of the participants and the expert which revealed a lot about how much it takes to make a mukbang video, a good content, providing good reviews, eating to give pleasure, talking but not exaggerating, and to be funny. As the competition is really high in this field of trend, making the audience and listening to what the audience need is what will keep the expert going. I remember showing the reaction of the participants to the expert, he told me he was listening to them so carefully because it was really helpful to him in a way that he can incorporate what they need overall in his videos.
I feel like, if I started collecting data and editing it earlier would have allowed me to cut down a lot of the things from the video and to only have the most important parts in it.
In future projects I hope to adopt similar methodology but in a larger scale and develop more knowledge in it.
Khan Sultana Nazish
Grafanaki, S 2007, How research can change the researcher: The need for sensitivity, flexibility and ethical boundaries in conducting qualitative research in counselling/psychotherapy, Taylor & Francis, vol. 24 (3) (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03069889608253017)