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Hi everyone,

My name is Jason Reid and I'm an historian at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I'm currently working on a book about teen room culture in America during the 19th and 20th centuries. Basically, I'm looking at why it became commonplace to give teens their own rooms and allow them to preside over it as they saw fit. Part of my research involves assembling firsthand accounts of teen bedrooms, which is where you come in. I'd love to hear about the rooms you had when you were growing up. I've attached a pdf to this message explaining what exactly I'm looking for. If you're interested in helping me out, let me know.

Jason
 

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I'd love to help out. Unfortunately, my laptop computer suffered a traumatic demise, and I am using the old desktop. In other words, I cannot open up a PDF file.
I did have my own room but my friend did not, as she was one of 11 kids!!!
 

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Hi Walking Tourist,

Thanks for helping me out. Since you can't read the pdf I posted, I'll just cut and paste it into this message:

"I’m Jason Reid, a history instructor at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I’m currently working on a book about teen room culture in the United States during the 19th and 20th centuries, and I’d like to like to hear from Americans born before 1977 who lived in the United States during their teen years and are willing to discuss the bedrooms they presided over (shared or private) as teenagers. If you feel like sharing your memories (or even photographs of your room), please contact me at jason dot reid at ryerson dot ca[/B] so that I can send you an informed consent waiver. If, after reading the consent form, you want to take part in my study, you must offer me your consent via email. Once your consent is secured, I will ask you to submit your thoughts to the email address listed above.

I’ll leave it up to individual respondents to determine what information you’d like to pass on to me. However, I’m particularly interested in hearing about the role your room may have played in shaping your identity as a teen; how your space was decorated; any home electronics items that may have been used in your room; hiding places for contraband items (e.g. drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, erotica, etc); the extent to which your parents and/or siblings respected your privacy there; any conflict that may have arisen between you and your parents due to messiness, décor choices, etc; and any other colorful anecdotes that you can remember. Basically, I want to find out what you did in your room and what role it may have played in getting you through adolescence. The information I gather may be used in my upcoming book, as well as conference papers and scholarly articles.
If you do decide to participate in my study, please include the following information: where you were living as a teen (city and state will suffice), your sex, the era in which you came of age (e.g., early 1960s, mid-1970s, etc), and your name (if your race, ethnicity, class status, or sexual orientation played a factor in your room, by all means mention this as well). If you’d prefer not to have your full name used in my study, let me know and I’ll shorten it to, say, John S. or Jane D. Rest assured that your privacy and anonymity will be respected. Also, please feel free to pass this message on to friends and family members, as I’d love to hear from as many people as possible.

NOTE: due to the geographic limitations of my study, only participants who live up to the criteria outlined above are eligible to take part in my study—Canadians and other nationalities will not be considered.
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And here's the informed consent waiver you'll have to agree to before we get started:

Ryerson University
Consent Agreement
Get Out of My Room! A History of Teen Room Culture in America

You are being asked to participate in a research study. Before you give your consent to be a volunteer, it is important that you read the following information and ask as many questions as necessary to be sure that you understand what you will be asked to do.

Investigators: Jason Reid, Chang School of Continuing Education, Ryerson University (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

Purpose of the Study: This project—a work of social and cultural history—examines the custom of providing American teenagers with rooms of their own during the 19th and 20th century. I am looking for Americans born before 1977 who were living in the United States during their teen years. Foreign citizens and Americans who weren’t living in the United States during their teen years will not be eligible to take part in this study.

Description of the Study: No questionnaires will be involved—I’ll leave it up to individual respondents to determine what information you’d like to pass on to me. However, I wouldn't mind hearing about the role your room played in shaping your identity as a teen; how you decorated your room; any home electronics items that may have been used in your room; hiding places for contraband items (e.g. alcohol, cigarettes, erotica, etc); the extent to which your parents and/or siblings respected your privacy there; any conflict that may have arisen between you and your parents due to messiness, décor choices, etc; and any other colorful anecdotes that touch upon your experiences with the teen bedroom. Basically, I want to find out what you did in your room and its importance to you during the adolescent stage.

Risks or Discomforts: Due to the personal nature of this material, you might be reluctant to share information that is illegal, embarrassing, or likely to produce discomfort. Photos, stories, anecdotes, and direct quotations will be used in my scholarly work, so please be conscious about how this information might identify you to anyone who might read my finished work. To ensure that you are provided with as much discretion as possible, I will give you the opportunity to shorten your name (e.g. using only your first name) or adopt an alias. Similarly, you can choose to provide me with a general description of where you grew up. For example, if you lived in Bloomington, Indiana, as a teen, you can ask that I use “Indiana” or the “Midwest.”

Also, please note that in some jurisdictions reports of serious illegal activity—for example, sexual molestation and acts of abuse and violence—are subject to mandatory reporting laws. Drug use, though illegal in most parts of the United States, does not fall into this category.

In short, the somewhat open-ended nature of my research will allow you determine exactly the type of information you would like to share. If at any point prior to publication you become uncomfortable with my research, you may discontinue participation, either temporarily or permanently.

Benefits of the Study: There are no tangible benefits to taking part in this research.

Confidentiality: No one but the primary researcher (Jason Reid) will have access to the information you submit to me. However, it is understood that portions of your contributions may end up in a book published by the University of Chicago Press and related scholarly works, such as conference papers, journal articles, and edited collections. Your submissions will be stored in a Word document on a password-protected hard-drive. The data you send to me will be kept for five years. If you so desire, you may review the information you sent me before the final product is sent out for publication.

Incentives to Participate You will not be paid to participate in this study.
Costs and/or Compensation for Participation: There are no costs associated with participation.

Voluntary Nature of Participation: Participation in this study is voluntary. Your choice of whether or not to participate will not influence your future relations with Ryerson University. If you decide to participate, you are free to withdraw your consent and to stop your participation at any time without penalty or loss of benefits to which you are allowed. At any particular point in the study, you may refuse to answer any particular question or stop participation altogether.

Questions about the Study: If you have any questions at any time about my research, please contact:
Jason Reid
jason dot reid at ryerson dot ca
416.979.5035

If you have questions regarding your rights as a human subject and participant in this study, you may contact the Ryerson University Research Ethics Board for information.
Research Ethics Board
c/o Office of the Vice President, Research and Innovation
Ryerson University
350 Victoria Street
Toronto, ON, Canada
M5B 2K3
416-979-5042
toni dot fletcher at ryerson dot ca

Written Consent
If you agree to the terms of this consent form, please express this to me in writing at:
jason dot reid at ryerson dot ca

If you would like to review the information you contribute to my project before it is submitted for publication, please make a note of this in the same email. Similarly, you should also note whether you’d prefer that I use your real name or an alias in any of the published material that comes about as a result of your submission/s.
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If all this sounds good to you, contact me at jason dot reid at ryerson dot ca and let me know that you agree to the terms. You can then send me your thoughts on your teen bedroom at any time.

Jason
 

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Long story short: if you'd like to help me out, send your thoughts to jason dot reid at ryerson.ca (lol). Sorry for all the hoop jumping, but academics have to make sure that our interview subjects know exactly what they're getting into.

Jason
 

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I'd love to help out. Unfortunately, my laptop computer suffered a traumatic demise, and I am using the old desktop. In other words, I cannot open up a PDF file.
Well, it appears that your old desktop computer has internet access. So then go to ADOBE.com and download and install their free .pdf reader. (Adobe Reader)
PDF reader, PDF viewer | Adobe Reader XI
 
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