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Comment 3 on "A Rounder’s Lament: A Video Essay of Masculine Identity and Meth Use in the Rural South"

Published onOct 12, 2020
Comment 3 on "A Rounder’s Lament: A Video Essay of Masculine Identity and Meth Use in the Rural South"

[In response to the Editor’s questions, “I’d like to know what you think. Specifically, what do you think of the essay? How do you think such essays should be evaluated? And how does this particular essay and the broader genre fit into the wider landscape of criminological inquiry?”]

I've now had a chance to read/view the submission and to give it some thought. First, this piece does seem a very good fit with the journal—this sort of video/filmic work is certainly an appropriate, important, and I think growing dimension of qualitative research. Given this, the medium itself requires some evaluation, in the same way that we would evaluate the quality of writing in a more traditional submission. Here I think this submission is also strong—the black and white footage, the crispness of the images, and the editing all make this a potent short film.

In that regard I would also consider this more of a research note than a full-on, image-based article (by the way, the introductory written passage is also quite good). As I viewed/read it, I thought about labeling theory, Katz's 'hard man' typology, the concept of edgework, the performance of masculinity literature, and related topics—all of which, it seems to me, could usefully be explored in the accompanying written text, or with proper editing and voice-overs, perhaps even explored/highlighted as part of the short film itself. The lack of this sort of content is not a failure at all—but to my mind it does position this as a provocative and useful research note rather than a full-blown article. (By the way, perhaps another possibility for longer/larger filmic work would be for authors to situate their work amidst other filmic/video work?)

In sum, yes by all means I would publish this in the journal—very good qualitative work, and very engaging (and troubling) subject matter.

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