Research Methods and that Cat-Calling Video

You may have caught that viral video that’s been going around the internet the last few weeks–the one where a woman walks the streets of New York, silently, and is subjected to cat-calling during a 10 hour period. I’m always on the lookout for ways to help students understand why a basic knowledge of research methods is so important, regardless of their major or if they plan to pursue an academic career. This article does a great job of using this video as a way of explaining just this point, and would be a great topic of conversation in a methods class. It points out, for example, that the vast majority of harassment in the video took place in traditionally minority neighborhoods in New York City–raising questions about whether this means that more harassment takes place there, or whether there was conscious or subconscious effort by the editors to make this appear to be the case. This and many other points provide a great way of dissecting this video from a methods perspective, and helping students see how methods helps us interpret information in all aspects of life. An interesting read, even if you don’t teach methods, but definitely the kind of article that can provoke discussion.

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