The Character of one’s self can be ascertained can be determined by how one acts and speaks when it is believed no one around can hold them accountable. In my research project, I am going to be taking advantage of this flaw in human decency to determine where the average moral line is for your typical Australian man (Aged 18-25 or Gen Zers). The major themes of this endeavor are voyeur-ship based study, the analysis of non-linear/ non-traditional aspects of digital human interaction.
Full disclosure, it won’t be a true voyeur based study as I have let the people I will be recording know that im doing it and they agreed to the process, I just did that a while ago and am confident that they have forgotten. So with a degree of certainty, I have assured the legitimacy of my collected research/data.
Now lets talk ethics, because like all voyeuristic based studies, there will certainly be some critics. I will happily admit that it does cross some ethical lines, but in my opinion it does so with good reason. When I begun considering this topic for my Project Paper I completed some basic background research and stumbled across this article by the ABC that encompassed the story of men who had been the implementer of Emotional Domestic Abuse in their families. Don’t misunderstand my project in no way attempts to justify through reasoning the instances presented in the article, instead my goal is to determine what common Australian men are toxic about and then probe them for why they view that as acceptable, and with that information find the point of failing in either our education or social systems that is allowing these failings in character.
I am aware that this is quite Consequentialist and am also aware of the potential for this to go in a negative direction. I choose to ignore this as a factor. I look again to my
inspiration, my subjects in this case. The people I call my friends are genuinely good and decent people, with goals and ideals that they should be proud of, but they are constantly taking part in a toxic level of communication that I despise. Im no angel either, I partake in this behavior more often then not, although I think even they would say that the name White Knight has not been pulled out of no where. This should not and will not be a expose on the people I spend a majority of my time around. Their names will not be included and their identities will never be written, simple referred two as Subject 1 or 2, and recorded examples will be re dubbed by me to keep their voices from leaking. Again, and I cannot stress this nearly enough I am not trying to make my best mates feel like monsters, all people our age behave in a similar way, I just trying to quantify it and locate problem areas.
I will be assessing this through this process; Recording, Analyzing, Categorizing, Graphing, Confrontation and Reflecting. The recording segment will simply be mass recording over the course of a week, one I know they will mostly be on. Analyzing will be the separating of relevant and irrelevant parts of the recordings. Categorizing will be the breaking down of what types of toxicity are used, while graphing will be using that data to create visuals to assist in the confrontation process. Confrontation will be the discussing of the results with the major subject: Those who are the most toxic, which will run like an interview looking for where these behaviors became normalized in their lives. Reflecting will be the accumulation of results, subject opinions, outliers and my final thoughts through the lens of similar research.
So what is Toxicity? Whats the difference between saying something racist and being racist? Is there one? For the sake of my project and again not to justify any racism found throughout my recording, I am going to be considering my subjects as blank slates, avoiding labeling and focusing on the content they generate.
Stakeholders include the subjects (Gen Z Young Men), The people in their life (Parents,Partners and friends), education systems, psychologists and social workers. I believe my research could potentially assist every single on of those demographics.
As part of the ethnographic learning curve of my assignment I have made it difficult to approach the final interviews, both due to the voyeur style of research gathering and the content I have gathered. It should make for an uncomfortable conversation, one that will require a deft hand in order to fully navigate for the purposes of this paper.
As far as this pitch is concerned I am hoping it stays out of their collective radars, but am prepared for them to be asking some awkward questions, hopefully if one or two do see this they are understanding and not mad.
I truly believe that this project could have a highly beneficial result, perhaps even resulting in a set of suggestions/recommendations for Parents of Teenagers or even School Boards. Discovering what drives toxic behavior among Australia’s men should be the first step into lifting the character of our nation as a whole.