Notes on Agile Listening

Gubrium, Jaber F. (1991). Recognizing and analyzing local cultures (pp. 131-141). In W.B. Shaffir & R.A. Stebbins (Eds.), Experiencing fieldwork : An inside view of qualitative research. London: Sage.

Draws on his fieldwork with Alzheimer’s support groups and nursing homes to show the variety of local atmosphere, leadership, problem framing. These varied within the same formal organization according to time of day, week and staffing complement. [It will be important to identify these characteristics in onsite visits, making note of work flow and seasonal impacts.] “Whether locally, societally, or globally conceived, the idea of culture analytically works against rigid methodology.

Culture is a particularizing notion, while methodology tends to be generalizing.” p.134. Bearing of place on meaning Concrete understandings of the same phenomenon differ across groups, e.g. in Alzheimer’s groups, emotional acceptance of decline leads to institutionalization, in others to acceptance of prolonged home care. Bearing of time on meaning Behaviour expectations and the interpretation of behaviour changes over time. In children’s home there was an 8-5 culture and a week-end culture which differed significantly. Behaviour had to be ‘modified’ during the week-day, but given more latitude evenings and weekends. [My own experience as a live in counsellor at one of these homes coincides with this reported difference. Children generally listened better to non-professional evening staff and were treated as if they were ‘normal’ children by them as well.Disruptive behaviour was addressed by either physical containment or by making the child clean up any mess after calmning down.] Kleinman, Sherryl. (1991).

Field workers’ feelings: What we feel, who we are, how we analyze (pp. 184-195). In W.B. Shaffir & R.A. Stebbins (Eds.), Experiencing fieldwork : An inside view of qualitative research. London: Sage. Emotions are indicators of values. They will effect the areas studied, the people interviewed, and the setting. Be clear about them because they will appear regardless. Keep track of what we feel. Why did we pick this study? How we chose the setting? Who are we at the moment? How does our identify affect reactions to the setting and the participants? Who do we talk with about these? participants, colleagues, other field workers? [answers to those recorded later] Jorgensen, Danny.L. (1989).

Participant observation : A methodology for human studies. London: Sage. Field relations, reciprocity, exchange, evaluation “How do they know this? Do they have an interest in this information? Is the account consistent with their experience? Is the information otherwise believable? Can the data be confirmed or disconfirmed by other people?” (p.69) Monitor the range of participant response. [hostile, indifference, toleration, guardedness, cooperation, friendship, warmth, intimacy] In overt participation, ‘normalize’ your presence, deal with questions directly, flush out any concerns about the research, clear up misconceptions [ask people what they think about the research]. Emphasize voluntary cooperation, personal anonymity, and confidentiality. [prep intro statement to MS and from MS dealing with possible problems] acceptance <> equality

Strategies for gaining rapport: making contact, self-revelation, joint activities [cf. pd study referencing soccer game], things which define the we-they boundaries. Strategies for overcoming obstacles: familiarity or identification with one group may keep others away. Confronting the dislike or rejection will provide insight into the boundaries. Understand and record the reactions and rejections these provoke within your self. What do these tell you about your self image? Discuss these with colleagues. Compare across cases to gain perspective on what is/is not answered.

Theory Grounded theory: inductive approach 1) compare data for each conceptual category 2) integrate the categories and their properties 3) delimit the emergent theory (the interpretive framework) 4) write it up Existential theory: common sense to practical truths, interpretive generalizations, not formal theory, use group debriefing and collective brainstorming sessions for critical review and analysis of field materials. Spradley, James P. (1980). Participant observation. Toronto: Holt, Rhinehart and Winston. micro-ethnography general problem: “to discover the cultural knowledge people are using to organize their behaviour and interpret their experience.” (pp. 30-31) Questions and answers are in the social situation itself. Scope of observation changes (usu. narrows) over time [bear in mind the reasons for those changes and your personal state]

Social situations: place, actors & activities. These form clusters & networks (same people in different situations)

Language: in the notes clearly state the language perspective – personal, social science, actual respondent statement (verbatim when possible)

Domains: pay attention to local folk domain concepts and definitions.

Analytic domains include: strict inclusion (x is type of y) spatial (x is part of y) causal (x is result of y) rationale (x is reason for doing y) location for action (x is a place for doing y) function (x is used for y) means-end (x is a way to do y) sequence (x is a step or stage in y) attribution (x is a characteristic of y)


About mielniczuk

Community, systems, design, collaboration, change, evidence, Intelligent Accountability(c)
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