Thursday, May 22, 2003

LIS 603 :: Proposal for Research Paper Submitted by George Goodall

Research proposals are inherently introspective; I’ve had to think about what I’ve learned from the seminars, from the texts, and from the Texts. The theme that really appeals to me is the interaction of the audience with the structure of a text. Unfortunately, Fiske’s Active Audiences and Discursive Texts muddle some of the issues. Another muddling issue is the difficulty in assessing audience reaction in any meaningful way. We now have my main concern in investigating audience interaction: what texts provide limited opportunity for contrary interpretation yet may initiate significant and measurable behavior changes…?

Financial analyst reports.

Who reads analyst reports? –white rich old men (WROM) who are so invested in dominant ideologies that are not likely to engage in discursive interpretations of the text--

What influence do analyst reports provide? –WROM base investment decisions on analyst reports. The results of these decisions are immediately obvious in metrics like stock market valuations--

Aren’t analyst reports just legaleese techno-speak? –well… yes. But they are also much more. These reports often talk of magical totemic objects like “Return on Investment” and epic events like an executive’s quest to attain improved “share holder value”--

My intention is to pull contemporary analyst reports for technology companies and to determine if the reports conform to elements of mass-market consumer texts. To understand the evolution of these reports, I will also look at pre-diluvial reports (1999) for the same companies. The analysis will highlight differences in reporting elements and if there are associated differences in the financial metrics of each company.

Won’t this be a boring report to read? –unfortunately, yes. As this is an analytical paper rather than a critical paper I will need to conform to some fairly tight writing criteria in to logically explore these issues.

I realize that it may be difficult to keep the paper out of the Doldrums of communication theory, Marx, Frankfurt School, Hayek, Shannon, etc. but I promise to keep my bibliography limited to Fiske, Lipsitz, perhaps Fish, and Blackmore (class notes) ©2003.

Comments or ideas? Please let me know.


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