Love Walks: $$$ for Bev's Research

My name is Beverly M. Pratt & I'm a sociology PhD candidate at the University of Maryland. My dissertation research focuses on pilgrimage, social psychology, community, & social justice. In 2010 I completed the Camino de Santiago, walking 500 miles while developing strong relationships with other pilgrims, despite barriers such as language & nationality. While also developing my own sense of self, I experienced genuine friendship & camaraderie with people I otherwise would have never encountered, sharing such things as food & supplies to life-fears & -loves. It was an inward & outward journey.

In a few weeks I will return to the Camino de Santiago with the goal of answering the main question of my dissertation: "How does pilgrimage create social solidarity?" I am also asking: "How is pilgrimage used to work on the self-concept?"

I will gather data by interviewing people participating in the Camino. A goal of my research is to understand how people develop significant relationships, within & around differences that typically keep us from better knowing & understanding each other. "¨

The pilgrimage will take 4 to 6 weeks to complete. After completing the pilgrimage, I will continue to interview pilgrims while volunteering in hostels along the Camino. In total, I will be in Spain for 2 to 3 months.

The $8,950 will cover the following expenses:
- $2,000 for Transportation & Travel, including in-country travel such as trains & taxis;
- $1,000 for Technological Supplies, including hiking gear & interview equipment (I have some gear from the previous pilgrimage, but will now be walking in different weather conditions & need winter gear);
- $2,500 for Food/Lodging, as a Camino pilgrim & as a hostel volunteer;
- $950 for at Home Bills while I'm away;
- $1,500 for Interview Transcription Costs, (hiring someone when I return to translate the interviews from the tape recorder to a document); &
- $1,000 for any Miscellaneous Expense, including toiletries, smaller supplies, & a reserve for emergencies, including medical emergencies.

These expenses are estimated for 3 months in Spain, plus the transcription costs. Any funds not spent in-country &/or on transcriptions will be donated to UMD's Student Crisis Fund. My projected departure date is January 1, 2014, pending funds availability.

Donors will receive monthly emails with updates on the progress of the project, including how funds are being spent. Donors will also have the option of receiving a copy of the final, approved draft of this dissertation. Donors who donate $25 or more will be emailed a link to Lydia B. Smith's 23-minute trailer of her Camino documentary, Walking the Camino: Six Ways To Santiago.

This research project has been approved by my dissertation committee, co-chaired by Drs. Patricia Hill Collins & Kris Marsh. This research project is pending final approval by the Institutional Review Board, a federal requirement of all university research that involves human beings.

Thank you, & I look forward to your donation. One of the main lessons I learned along the Camino in 2010 is the importance of community support, including family, friends, & strangers. I'm learning that this same lesson applies to completing a PhD.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

¡Buen Camino! (Good journey!)

Peace, "¨
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Beverly M. Pratt 
Washington D.C., DC
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