If you’d like some guidance as to where to start, please refer to:
For those who do not require structure:
If you’re at all like me, you’ve probably finished reading the whole dissertation and just remembered to read the introduction. I’ve consumed texts in a non-linear way for as long as I can remember, but I never thought about it critically until I sat here working on my introduction. I usually read books and magazines by flipping to a random page until something visual catches my eye, whether photographically or textually, and then beginning to read from there. I would ask and hope that readers of this work consider treating it the same way.
I would like the information in this dissertation to be approached not as a source of fact but as a source of knowledge. I hope that the words, images and videos within will be consumed and interoperable by many, and jammed on in so many ways that your head begins to hurt.
In this dissertation I will look at the material culture of racing (i.e. the speed, the racing, the cars) as a vehicle, no pun intended to observe and extrapolate the social and cultural practices of the participants in order to bring further analysis into the cultural fluidity taking place in Central Texas.
My methodology draws from the my findings that the field of anthropology and online delivery are changing the way in which we think not only about online academic publishing, but the incorporation of new media formats such as digital video, photography and content management systems into our work flow.
This dissertation is presented on a content management system using Word Press, an opensource software utilzing LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP). This technological step into the 21st century allows for media rich content to be delivered in a new way that was previously not possible within the academic environment.
Even recent multi-media work, such as CD-ROM and DVD-ROM’s do not carry the mass delivery ability of having my dissertation delivered using wordpress on the Internet.
Along with other pioneers of these “New Media” technologies, I hope to provide academia with new ways of thinking about the scholarship and the distribution and accreditation of work.
My writing style has been influenced beyond academia and into common and back into academia. While I make no formal declaration of sources, the reader should assume that my feeble thoughts are interpretive, not creative. I have merely taken what I have read, seen, and heard around me and organized it in my own fashion.
This approach has served me well throughout my academic career, and most of my professors and academic colleagues have grown to appreciate and understand my approach. My intention in writing this dissertation is to cause you, reader, to ask more questions, see my faults, and decide for yourself whether or not you agree with me. My job as an academic is not to declare my knowledge as definitive, it is to listen, to make observations, and to allow my reflections on what I observe to be interpreted by others.
That said, you should now leave this introduction and see if there’s anything you find worth reading in this heap of text!