A weekend as external examiner

A weekend as external examiner
I could go nowhere this weekend being external examiner for Masters Thesis's in St Joseph's College, Bangalore. Ten thesis's needed to be read and the scholars had to defend what they had written. So the weekend sped by reading their thesis and making sense of their analysis.

One thesis was on celebrity endorsements, that they make children gravitate to buying that particular product. She used an interesting theory called pester power written by Bales, R.F. & Shils, E.A. (1953) The power of a child to pester its parents to buy whatever it wants and finally the parent does give in. Interesting thesis and her final analysis of the survey she conducted with 150 parents said kids dont need icons to persuade, they just use pester power.

Another thesis was all about make up and how ads on TV are pressurizing kids as young as thirteen or less, to use makeup in order to attain the beauty levels of the models in the ads. She broke the makeup down to daily make-up and party make-up and it was such an eye-opener when she brought out the study by researchers at Texas Christian University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Texas at San Antonio and Arizona State University that has found that women buy more cosmetics and beauty products during economic recessions — and that they do it because they're trying to attract men with money. The media Uses and Gratification theory was used and the thesis was good except for the times she got up on her Hyde park stool and ranted!

Yet another thesis did a great study on how Social media is changing the face of a PR practitioners focus. Today a PR practitioner uses FB and Twitter as powerful tools and she even broke it down to the number of hours each one spent on these social media platforms using them as tools to spread information.

I personally enjoyed the thesis on Social media and how different age groups use it for differing periods of time. After her survey of 150 people who use FB the scholar found that the young spend more time on FB than the old. She used the Uses and Gratification media theory to uncover with a quantitative survey the number of hours and the reasons why people use FB.

And the last thesis which caught my attention was one where the scholar looked at just 10 respondents who enjoy using exclusive branded, luxury items. Designer watches and cars but it was a disappointment, as the scholar did not work enough to complete his thesis. The indepth interviews that he was supposed to do were not used to uncover the focus of the thesis and was quite a wasted effort.

A weekend well spent, at least for an academic like me, who enjoys peeling the layers off, of a students mind.

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