BCM 210 – A Spoonful of Research

Mary Poppins 1964, Walt Disney Studios.
Mary Poppins 1964, Walt Disney Studios.


It’s another year of uni, which introduces a series of blog posts for BCM 210 that are pleading to be written, and whilst writing this I’m listening to a wonderful Disney Soundtrack – Mary Poppins. (1964)

Now I know what you’re thinking, “how does this relate to research?” Well quite simply, it doesn’t. Though if you indulge me by reading on, I will explain how a particular track relates to the first set text, Arthur Berger’s, ‘What is Research?’(First chapter in, ‘Media and Communication Research Methods’) and how he reveals that we all use research daily, showing a little academic research is not as sour as we thought it to be.

The track I talk of is, ‘A Spoonful of Sugar.’ (Sherman, R.M and Sherman R.B 1964) We all remember Mary Poppins telling the children, “In every job that must be done there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and snap! The jobs a game,” but for some reason we’ve found it difficult to find the fun in research.

Straight from the beginning, Berger talks about how students see research; how we conceive it as a tiresome and torturous first step before getting to explain, write and in turn, theorise what we want to. He explains this by relating it to his own experience with students.

“They see the required course on research as some kind of an ordeal they must survive before being allowed to take the courses they want and live a normal life.” (Berger 2014, p.14)

We all at some point though, out of interest and curiosity, research; whether its learning how to play a particular song on the guitar, watching a make-up tutorial, reading an article about our favourite band, or even reading a memoir about an author we admire – just to name a few concepts. If we can do that, why not aspire to research an interest in an academic point of view? See? The research then becomes “a game.”

Illuminating the idea of daily research, Berger (2014, p.14) says: “Most of us do what could be called “research” all the time…when people decide to buy a computer, they generally try to get some information about the brand and models of the computers they are thinking of buying…So we are always doing research, even though we don’t think of what we are doing as such.”

When researching academically, we can gather data and statistics (quantitative method) or research and analyse texts (qualitative) to find information that backs up our hypothesis. Berger (2014, p. 29-30) explains the quantitative and qualitative methods and how they may be used in research of crime shows, saying:

The qualitative researcher might study the metaphors in dialogue and the narrative structure…the quantitative researcher might study incidences of violence per minute in the series.”

For the second assignment in this subject, the aspects of media research I am interested in is the mass media, and how journalists cross platforms to reach their audiences through social media; or even how literature crosses media platforms via adaptation into film and television.

Overall, from the help of the set text, and giving an example of what I’d like to research, hopefully fellow researchers can realise, as Mary Poppins (1964) defines it, “the task (research) is not a grind.”

Marry Poppins 1964, Walt Disney Studios.
Marry Poppins 1964, Walt Disney Studios.


Berger, Arthur A. 2014, ‘What is research?’ in Media and Communication research methods: an introduction to qualitative and quantitative approaches, 3rd ed. SAGE, Los Angeles, pp.13-32

Sherman, R.M and Sherman, R.B 1964, ‘A Spoonful of Sugar,’ Mary Poppins, Walt Disney Studios, California, USA

Stevenson, R (dir) 1964, Mary Poppins, motion picture, Walt Disney Studios, California, USA