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  • Writer's pictureKarey Pohn

Method And Its Ethical Implications

It is only fitting that a dissertation with Hermes at heart is a theoretical dissertation using a hermeneutic method. Indeed, that is part of my method. I explore the texts and discover new understandings about the nature of play. My dissertation is a thematic dissertation, with play at the center, playfully combining scholarly insight and research with examples from popular culture. I play the cosmic game onward, in a most galumphant manner!

In mid-October 2003, while visioning my dissertation in a state of reverie, I playfully mused that I would love to turn in a one-line dissertation: At the time I was busy reading about different methodologies and had decided to begin with the notion of bricolage, thinking that it would be relatively straightforward, and thus a good place to begin—boy was I wrong! It seems that I was thrown a curve by Hermes and spent the next month and a half following the bouncing ball of bricolage. In December, I consulted the High-Priestess of Liminality, Dr. Helene Shulman Lorenz, herself a very Hermes-like person. After telling her several different things that I was considering, all of which she shot down, I told her of my musing and said: “What I’d really like to do is a website, then, while someone is reading along, they can click on a link and leave the dissertation, possibly never to return.” She beamed and told me that it was the only interesting thing that I had said and suggested that I do an artistic dissertation. And so here we are, after being tricked by Hermes into expanding my original vision I ended up crafting a new bricolage methodology and creating an artistic web-based dissertation of hypertext essays and images.

This is a theoretical dissertation, and there was no contact with individual human subjects, although I did use my own personal experiences in an imaginal, heuristic manner to complement and animate the subject, for how could a dissertation on play not include the imaginal? Romanyshyn and Goodchild (2003) have been instrumental in my thinking here and I was also informed by Bosnak’s (2003, cassette) “Embodied Dreamwork” and Abrams’s (1996) notion of the participatory and animate earth, as I engaged the stone and the imaginal realm as co-researchers.

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