Why is nagging such an interesting behavior to study? I don't know if I can ever get anything from it. Concept or theory ... nah! A zillion miles from it.
So far, all I obtained from the conversations with the participants were merely descriptions of what, why, when, who and how. Nothing emerged, yet. This is more like I'm doing phenomenology than GT.
The mistake I made is clear now. This study of nagging was supposed to be using phenomenology. Three years a go, before my encounter of the third kind with GT, I decided to use phenomenology for my study. I couldn't come up with a proposal because the literature review wasn't exhaustive. Anyway, it wasn't my fault, the studies or articles related to nagging were so few and mostly mentioned as an effect of dissatisfaction. The studies were always denotated as conflict in the family.There were no mentions of theory or concept of nagging. The only consolation and possibly motivation for me to continue the study was actually the lack of literature in nagging. So I thought, may be I should push the boundary further by using GT.
But my experience with the nagging literature and phenomenology will definitely have great influence on my conceptualizing the phenomenon.
My supervisor wanted me to proceed with nagging because she sees its significance. She believes that it'll be a great study. I don't quite agree with her because GT wasn't her expertise. She is an ethnographer. Some fellows from the GT Institute also wanted me to do nagging. They said it's interesting. But still I have worries that must be resolved.
Is this the right substantive area of study? Or is nagging actually the initiation stage of other things to come?
Three female graduate students (the participants) came to my room this afternoon requesting me to sign their GRF forms. I took the opportunity to ask them questions regarding nagging. It began with this question. "Tell me about your experience when you were being nagged at". These are extracts from my notes:
Nagging is an expression of dissatisfaction through incessant verbal remarks.
Nagging contains insinuations, comparisons, mocks and advice.
Mothers aren't the only group of people who nag. Father, son, daughter, sister also nag.
It may occur many times in a day.
It can happen in a few minutes or lasts for about an hour.
The participants also nag and they emulate the way the naggers (their mothers) nag.
One of them react verbally to the nagger if she feels she is innocent.
They keep silent if they feel the nagger is right about the claims.
Mother's nagging serve as a deterrent.
Compliance (doing what was nagged by the mother) is a way to keep her to cease from nagging.
During class of EDU 6011 Psychology of Personality this afternoon, Arezou (an Iranian student) who presented a paper on Attachment and Personality, mentioned that she is not strongly attached to her mother. She said she is more attached to her father. I asked why and she answered that may be because her mother was always not satisfied with her. Her mother usually complained a lot about her but never her brother. She didn't elaborate and I didn't have the heart to know how and what.
Well, I thought at first may be her mother liked to nag at her thus, causing the weak attachment but she said that was only a part of the problem. She revealed that her mother was depressed during the early years of her marriage when she lost her mother and father. Her personality, too, changed after that.
So nagging is only a part of the problem. No big deal. It's not the nagging that she was really concerned with.
Before the class ended, Koh (not her real name), told me that nagging is very natural as she nags everyday at home. It's something she does to make sure that everything in the house is in order. It's more of caring than dissatisfaction. It's way to remind the children and her husband that things must be in order. It's an instinct, she said.
Yesterday while teaching the course KOH3432 Skills in Interpersonal Communication, I asked my students if their mothers ever nag. As expected, all of them agreed that their mothers nag.
So nagging is just a natural occurance in everyday life but does it have any impact on the listener?s Why do people nag? What actually are the concerns of the naggers and the naggee? Are mothers the only people who nag in the family?
During a meeting with my thesis supervisor a week ago, she told me to start writing for my PhD proposal immediately. I was required to write the Problem Statement, Research Questions and the Methodology. I was a bit shocked. She knew that I will be using CGT and I thought she knew how CGT works as she has attended the CGT Workshop on March 2009. Clearly I was wrong.
I made a mistake of reminding her that CGT doesn't work the way she thinks. She was disheartened. My remark must have been an insult to her. She replied hastily "I know CGT!".
Then she said something that I always hate to hear. "Just get the degree first. Later you can do whatever you want to do". Sigh.
This notion of getting the degree first is not new to me. I have heard lecturers and students asserting the same quote "Get the degree first!". Period.
"Just get the degree first" is a quote that connote the quick and easy way of getting a degree and then be known as "doctor". To me, it's just another way of saying that the PhD research thesis should be of low quality.' It's only a ticket that eventually allow you to a higher level of research.
The problem is I am 53 years old and I will retire in only a few years time. I don't want to obtain a degree from a poor quality thesis. I want to do something that will contribute or at least push further the boundary of knowledge in the communication discipline.
"Why get yourself into trouble to obtain the PhD the hard way?" they said.
The hard way to obtain a PhD degree is by using qualitative (CGT included) method! That's according to a lecturer during our conversation at the cafeteria. But she did her PhD research using the quantitative method and it took her seven years to complete. Was that easy?
But somehow, many of the lecturers I met who have obtained their PhD were either proud or a little embarrassed to talk about their PhD thesis. The new young "doctors" were always too eager to tell me about it. But the older "doctors" were somewhat hesitant. Wonder why? Is it the age / maturity factor.
Whatever will be, I will do something that I really like to do. I will do what no one else do and I will do something what everyone else chooses not to do. Period.