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Foundations of Knowledge 2. Qualitative Methodology

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Steve Brown

on 25 August 2016

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Transcript of Foundations of Knowledge 2. Qualitative Methodology

When the participant’s understanding of the issue is crucial
When the issue is too rich and complex to be grasped by questionnaire/survey
When observation alone will not suffice
When experiments are inappropriate
Why do Interviews?
interactions with pupils (e.g. disciplinary problems, ‘answering back’, motivation)
failing managerial structure (e.g. poor communication, lack of support, decreased decision latitude)
demands of inspection and appraisal
personal based characteristics (e.g. personality ‘type’, behavioural style)
What makes teachers stressed?
Teacher S1 922-1103
1Teacher: Unfortunately we’re being (.) required to (0.2) p-provide
2 evidence of everything that we do
3Interviewer: Yeah (.) yeah
4Teacher: A discussion (0.6) what evidence do you have of a discuss[ion
5 and (.) achieving a whole (0.2) atmosphere in a school
6Interviewer: Yeah (.) so do you feel then that the constraints on teachers’
7 ti:me and the resources that are available to you actually .hh er
8 constrain your ability to do your job well to >deal effectively
9 with the kids that need (.) help<
10Teacher: U:M (0.4) t-yes (0.4) I think all teachers are stressed (0.2)
11Interviewer: Mm
12Teacher: Er because they’re stressed they may react (0.2) u:m (.)
13 inappropriately (0.2)
14Interviewer: Mhm
15Teacher: in certain situations
16Interviewer: Mhm
17Teacher: because they (.) are (.) near (.) the edge themselves
18Interviewer: Yeah yeah
19Teacher: Um (0.4) if you’re tired (.) n’stressed (.) er you’re not always in
20 the best situation to make good judgements
21Interviewer: Oh yeah yeah
22Teacher: Um (0.4) the CHILdren I think at least are slightly more aware
23 of this than they used to be in the past
24Interviewer: Mm mm mm
25Teacher: Um (1.0) BUT YES I would say (0.2) that it can affect it
26Interviewer: Yeah
27Teacher: Y-ANY professional will try t’avoid doing so but with the best
28 (.) will (.) in the world (0.2) and the problem of course with
29 stress is that you’re not always aware that you’re suffering
30 from stress
31Interviewer: That's right
32Teacher: An’ it needs somebody outwit[h
33Interviewer: [Yeah
34Teacher: (0.6) your actual classroom to tell you
35Interviewer: to say, [yeah
36Teacher: [Now that actually doesn’t happen a lot
37Interviewer: Yeah [yeah
38Teacher: Cos you teach in isolation usually [‘less you’re team teaching
39Interviewer: Yeah
40Teacher: So this is one of the insidious things about stress in teaching
41Interviewer: Aha
42Teacher: Erm (0.4) there’s very little support
43Interviewer: Yeah, yeah
44Teacher: (0.6) Erm there’s also th-the a-association that if you’re
45 stressed (.) your job (.)could be on the line
46Interviewer: Yeah [M.hhmmhh
47Teacher: whether that’s the truth or no[t (0.2) um (.) you feel that you
48 don’t want to admit that you could have (.) a (.) mental (.)
49 problem

Hepburn, A. & Brown S.D. (2001)
‘Teacher stress and the management of accountability’
Human Relations ISSN 0018-7267 Vol 54, 6. 691-715.
Internet (e.g. chat rooms; videoconference)
Interview Methods
Participants accounts of their social world
Properties of social interaction
Concern with setting and interaction
Most useful analysis of data
Facts about the self and world
Quality of information
Validity and reliability of the data
How do you treat interview data?
Questioner: What do you do when you put the boot in?
Fan A: You kicks ‘em in the head don’t you?
Strong boots with metal toe-caps on and that.
Questioner: And what happens then?
[Quizzical look]
Questioner: Well what happens to the guy you’ve kicked?
Fan A: He’s dead.
Fan B: Nah - he’s all right - usually anyway.
Marsh, Rosser & Harre, (1978). The rules of disorder.
London: Routledge.
Structured (e.g. series of pre-established questions, worked through in order)
Semi-structured (e.g. series of questions and themes raised by interviewer according to flow of interview)
Open-ended (e.g. directed conversation on different topics)
Focus Groups (e.g. groups of participants answering questions asked by moderator)
Contingent repertoire
Beliefs, social networks, hunches and commitments rule
The relationship between scientist and data is messy
People rather than experiments govern scientific practice
Empiricist repertoire
Experimental data solves everything
Personal beliefs are not mentioned
Lab work follows rules
Experiments rather than people govern scientific practice
Variability in scientist’s talk (Gilbert & Mulkay, 1984)
This is the effect of removing membrane potential. Now
we ask what happens is we now prevent [ ] a hydrogen
ion accumulation inside, when we don’t think we can have
any membrane potential. Now you will have, you will have
people, particularly people at [X university], who will give
you absolute hell about those experiments. But the people
at [X university] are wrong. The people at [X university]
are wrong because they are too damned dogmatic. They
think this is an insuperable barrier to the chemiosmotic
theory or at least it beyond the range that’s acceptable to the
chemiosmotic theory. And that’s no way to do science. The
facts are pretty clear experimentally and these people are
sort of misquoting the fact.
(Gilbert & Mulkay, 1984)
‘Time and motion’ studies (e.g. Taylor, Gilbreth)
‘Hidden camera’ studies
Being observed affects the behaviour of participants (Hawthorne effect - Mayo et al)
Participant observation (e.g. La Piere, 1932; Festinger et al, 1960)
Observational Methods
‘Seeing through the eyes of’
Description and mundane detail
Contextualism (cultural, historical)
Process vs. static structure
Flexible research design
Avoiding theorising in advance
Characteristics of observational research (cf. Bryman, 1988)
Ethnography as an extended account of local practices and forms of communication
Chicago school of urban sociology
Sociological tradition
Participant observation in restaurants
Customers initiate ordering of work, creating following problems
Waiters preserve their own work routines by not passively following customers
‘Slip writing’ for cooks conceals gender inequalities
Barmen distance themselves from waitresses orders
Whyte (1949)
Stable marihuana users require a social network to ground their activities
Stages of marihuana use - learning to get high:
Direct teaching (smoking, effects)
Learning to enjoy effects
Resocialisation after difficulties (‘cooling out’)
Learning connoisseurship
Becker (1953)
Ethnomethodology - study of how ordinary people develop techniques for making sense of their own lives
What kinds of categories do people use to divide up the world?
How do they use these categories in everyday interaction?
Members Categories
(Garfinkel, 1967)
Rules govern behaviour (cognitive psychology)
Rules are implicit (sociology)
Rules are there to be flexibly invoked to manage problems in the course of routine interaction (ethnomethodology)
What are rules for?
This afternoon as I was bringing Dana, our four
year old son home from the nursery school, he
succeeded in reaching high enough to put a penny
in a parking meter when we parked in a meter
parking zone, whereas before he has always had
to be picked up to do it.

Since he put a penny in a meter that means that
you stopped while he was with you. I know that
you stopped at the record store either on the way
to get him or on the way back. Was it on the way
back, so that he was with you or did you stop
there on the way to somewhere else?

No, I stopped at the record store on the way to get
him and stopped at the shoe repair shop on the way
home when he was with me.

I know of one reason why you might have stopped
at the shoe repair shop. Why did you in fact?

As you will remember I broke a shoe lace on one
of my brown oxfords the other day so I stopped to
get some new laces.
Something else you could have gotten that I was
thinking of. You could have taken in your black
loafers which need heels badly. You’d better get
them taken care of pretty soon.
Dana succeded in putting a
penny in a parking meter
todaywithout being picked up.

Did you take him to the record

No, to the shoe repair shop.

What for?

I got some new shoe laces for
my shoes.

Your loafers need new heels





Explore common understanding
Reveal ‘seen but unnoticed features of common discourse’
Violating these features is a sanctionable manner
Garfinkel’s breaching experiments
The subject was telling the experimenter, a member of the subject's
car pool, about having had a flat tire while going to work the previous

(S) I had a flat tire.
(E) What do you mean, you had a flat tire?

She appeared momentarily stunned. Then she answered in a hostile
way: "What do you mean, 'What do you mean?' A flat tire is a flat tire.
That is what I meant. Nothing special. What a crazy question!"
"On Friday night my husband and I were watching television.
My husband remarked that he was tired. I asked, 'How are you tired?
Physically, mentally, or just bored?'"
(S) I don't know, I guess physically, mainly.
(E) You mean that your muscles ache or your bones?
(S) I guess so. Don't be so technical.
(After more watching )
(S) All these old movies have the same kind of old iron bedstead in them.
(E) What do you mean? Do you mean all old movies, or some of them, or just
the ones you have seen?
(S) What's the matter with you? You know what I mean.
(E) I wish you would be more specific.
(S) You know what I mean! Drop dead!
The victim waved his hand cheerily.
(S) How are you?
(E) How am I in regard to what? My health, my finances, my school
work, my peace of mind, my . . . ?
(S) (Red in the face and suddenly out of control.) Look I was just trying
to be polite. Frankly, I don't give a damn how you are.
-Discourse Analysis
-Conversation Analysis
-Rating Scales
Social Accomplishments
Interview Data
Forms of Analysis

Get in into a usable form (e.g. sound files, transcripts, video files, notes)
Find a way of moving between the different parts of the data corpus (e.g. computer based analysis, word files, paper transcripts)
What do you do with qualitative data?
Use a suitable method of analysis (e.g. grounded theory, narrative analysis, discourse analysis)
Look for ways of displaying the data (e.g. quotation, level of transcription)
What do you do with qualitative data?
Codes are interpretations of the data
They are not pre-conceived ideas
They should ‘fit’ with the emerging dataset
Initial codes are descriptive
Line-by-line coding
Constant comparative method - e.g. compare what appear to be similarities and differences in the data
Coding data
Shifting symptoms, having
inconsistent days
interpreting images of self
given by others
avoiding disclosure
predicting rejection

keeping others unaware
symptoms as connected
having others unaware
anticipating disbelief
avoiding stigma
assessing potential losses
and risks of disclosing
If you have lupus, I mean one day it's my liver; one day it's
my joints; one day it's my head, and it's like people really
think you're a hypochondriac if you keep complaining about
different ailments … It's like you don't want to say
anything because people are going to start thinking, you
know, 'God, don't go near her, all she is - is complaining
about this.' And I think that's why I never say anything
because I feel like everything I have is related one way or
another to the lupus but most of the people don't know I
have lupus, and even those that do are not going to believe
that ten different ailments are the same thing. And I don’t
want anybody saying, you know, [that] they don't want to
come around me because I complain.

Charmaz, 1991

avoiding disclosure

assessing potential losses
and risks of disclosing
If you have lupus, I mean one day it's my liver; one day it's
my joints; one day it's my head, and it's like people really
think you're a hypochondriac if you keep complaining about
different ailments … It's like you don't want to say
anything because people are going to start thinking, you
know, 'God, don't go near her, all she is - is complaining
about this.' And I think that's why I never say anything
because I feel like everything I have is related one way or
another to the lupus but most of the people don't know I
have lupus, and even those that do are not going to believe
that ten different ailments are the same thing. And I don’t
want anybody saying, you know, [that] they don't want to
come around me because I complain.

Charmaz, 1991
Try to fit codes into processes
e.g. ‘keeping illness contained’, ‘living one day at a time’
e.g. ‘avoiding disclosure’ and ‘assessing potential risks and benefits of disclosing’ as basic features of living with chronic illness
Memo-writing (mix of ideas and data)
Theoretical sampling (checking categories against data) and deviant case analysis
Turning codes into categories
Establish the ideas and narratives that underpin categories
Can be done through different modalities (e.g. words, pictures, graphs, dramatic enactments)
Different modalities may be intertwined in the same narrative
Narrative as fundamental human activity
Turning categories into themes
Self help texts
Narratives of what stress is and why people get stressed are suggested
Oriented around the problem of accounting for sudden rise in stress-related health problems
Brown (1999)
‘[I]n an average lifetime the average employee loses one
and a half years from work because of a stress-induced
illness.’ Coleman, Stress Management Techniques, 1988: 9

‘[T]he young mother may suffer from feelings of inadequacy
in meeting the variety of demands made on her by her
children. The factory worker may suffer acutely from
the stress derived from the sheer repetitive monotony of the
production line. The teacher will have to cope with
day-to-day stress in the classroom, intensified by discipline
problems and inadequate resources.’
Dore, Coping with Stress, 1990: 12
Twentieth Century Disease

‘The queue at the supermarket checkout and the traffic jam
can become the fangs of the sabre-toothed tiger and when
confronted by these threats we respond just as if that tiger
were there - by activating our caveman stress response.
Having activated our body for an immediate physical
response, there is often no need or opportunity for physical
action! ... We cannot fight the queue; we cannot run away
from it either. So we become impatient and irritated;
we become angry; we fume!’
Looker and Gregson, Stresswise, 1989: 26
Primitive Response Syndrome

‘major changes in life at all levels, from the invention of
the motor car to the appearance of the test tube baby.’
Dore, Coping with Stress, 1990: 8

‘So we have achieved a dizzying rate of change, not by
an orderly process of biological evolution, but by the
frenzied maelstrom of technological revolution.’
Norfolk, The Stress Factor, 1979: 38
Fast Pace of Modern Life
Studied accounts provided by people who claim to have had paranormal experiences
Looked for the way in which these descriptions are put together in a plausible way
Speakers have to manage problems of disbelief through careful crafting of narratives
Wooffit (1992)
an I went in there (.) er:m w-with my mother in law
and uhm: (.4) friends that were with me
(1.3) .hhh (.)
X and I was just looking at the coffin
Y and there was David standing there (.3)
he was in Blues (1.0) .hh he wasn’t wearing his hat
his hat was on the coffin and he was there

‘I was just doing X when Y happened’

Use of mundane detail to make what follows seem more
reasonable and accountable
Analysis of how psychics and sitters interact
Looked at the way in which psychics design their talk in such a way as to make claims about the sitter, have them accepted and then attribute them to paranormal sources
Wooffit (2000)
P: >’ave you ‘ad< (.) bit >(o’)< trouble with your
back as well.
S: yes a little bit
P: he says ah’d best send
her a bit of sympathy down so you understand it,
S: yes
P: coz y’know h y’try to bottle things up and
you don’t always let people get close to you in that
sense do you
S: no.
P: he says she can be quite stubborn at time y’know
P: is that true
S: °yes°
P: an’he knows cz h you are fussy
about the bungalow aren’t
you - girl
S: yes I am
P: bless her he says (Wooffit, 2000: 472)
We accomplish things through our talk
Counsel: [referring to club where defendant and victim met] it’s where girls and fellas meet isn’t it?
Witness: People go there
Counsel: And during the evening didn’t Mr. O [the defendant] come over to sit with you?
Witness: Sat at our table
Action-orientation of talk
What function does a text serve?
What kinds of resources does a text draw upon?
Why is the text formulated in this way rather than some other way?
What sources of variety or contradiction are present?
How does the text construct the speaker and their world?
Doing Discourse Analysis:
Key Questions
Developed by Harvey Sacks, Emmanuel Schegloff & Gail Jefferson
Systematically analyse talk-in-interaction
How do participants make sense of interaction?
What business is being accomplished in a given interaction?
Conversation Analysis
Social life has its basis in the organisation of talk-in-interaction
Talk displays a high degree of normative sequential organisation
A turn at talk is based on and displays an interpretation of the previous turn
Naturally occurring talk is the most analytically useful
Basic Assumptions
The organisation of turns to speak or act is the social order
Depends on high degree of sociality - we infer each others intentions, likely utterances etc
Turns as smoothly co-ordinated - e.g. traffic flow
Basic rule: at least and not more than one party talks at a time
Ben: An’ there wz at least ten mi:lies of traffic bumper tuh
Ethel: [because a’that

Louise: No a soshe is someone who [is a carbon copy of their friend
Roger: [drinks pepsi

Dan: The guy who doesn’t run the race doesn’t win it, but ‘e
doesn[’t lose it
Roger: [b’t lose it
Talk is rhetorically organised into pairs (e.g. question/answer; introduction/reply)
There is a clear preference structure for second part of pair (e.g. certain responses are ‘preferred’)
Speakers have to manage problems that occur around these pairs
Adjacency Pairs
(Sacks, 1992)
A: You couldn’t help me could you mate?
B: How’s that then?

Child: Do you know what?
Adult: What?

A: Are you busy on Saturday night? B: No, I don’t think so.

Telephonist: Hello, this is Gill.
Caller: Oh hello, I’m Tom. I wanted to speak to someone about ...
Preferred responses are unmarked - they are structurally simple
Dispreferred responses cause trouble - the interaction gets more complex:
indirect or mitigated declinations
Preference organization
G: I have the paper here I thought you might like to have it.
E: Thank you

B: Uh if you’d care to come over and visit a little while
this morning I’ll give you a cup of coffee
A: hehh
that’s awfully sweet of you,
I don’t think I can make it this morning .hh uhm
I’m running an ad in the paper and-and uh I have to
stay near the phone
Repair - we prefer to allow people to correct their own mistakes rather than correct them
Pre-sequences - we try to establish whether or not some action will be well received (‘Go Ahead’) before launching into it
Insertions - ‘if you answer this one, I’ll answer your one’ - establishing grounds before committing
L: But y’know single bed’r awfully thin to sleep on
S: What?
L: Single beds. // They’re
E: Y’mean narrow?
L: They’re awfully narrow yeah

Jack: Say what ya doing?
Judy: Well, we’re going out. Why?
Jack: Oh, I was just gonna say come out and come over here and
talk to the people.

A: I don’t know where the - wh - this address //is
B: Well where do - which part of town do you live?
A: I live four ten East Lowden
B: Well you don’t live very far from me
We must display the relevance of what we are saying to the business at hand
Tellability or newsworthiness
Starting and ending conversations usually involves management of topic - openings and closings
Category - types of things
Membership category - use of a description which displays belonging to some group
Categories carry implications - e.g. category bound activities
We formulate matters at hand through the skilful manipulation of categories and descriptions
1 PO1: [susname] you are (.)
2 I believe first that you’re not actually being
3 honest with your self and with us
4 in fact I don’t believe that you’re actually
5 telling the truth
6 I: I am telling the truth
7 PO1: Now [namea] has been stabbed twice
8 and he’s been bitten on the nose
9 I: Yeah
10: PO1: He’s in hospital now
11: I: mmmh
12: PO1: I believe that you are the person who have
13: actually inflicted those stab wounds to [namea]
14: now think carefully (.) and answer the question
15: honestly
16: No I didn’t do it (Auburn et al, 1999)
The X cried. The Y picked it up.
How do we all know what’s going on here?
Membership categorisation device is a collection of categories that go together
Based on rules of application (e.g. economy, consistency, duplicative organisation)
Being ‘membershipped’
Membership Categorisation Analysis (Sacks)
Category entitlements are the right to speak, act or feel in a
particular way by virtue of being a particular person endowed
with certain kind of knowledge
If you call up a friend of yours who is unaffiliated with the event
you’re reporting, i.e. someone who doesn’t turn out to be the
cousin of, the aunt of, the person who killed in the accident, but
just a somebody who you call up and tell about an awful
experience, then if they become as disturbed as you, or more,
something peculiar is going on and you might even feel wronged
- although that might seem to be an odd thing to feel. (1992: 242)
Category Entitlements
(Sacks, 1992)
Extreme case formulations
Three part lists
Other kinds of formulations
Study of the the rhetorical skills of politicians
How successful public speakers generate applause and present themselves in public
‘Tricks of the trade’ - e.g. generating ‘quotability’; the claptrap
Atkinson (1984)
Martin Luther King, Lincoln Memorial, Washington, 1963
‘I have a dream that one day
my four little children will not be judged
by the colour of their skin
but by the content of their character’

JF Kennedy, Inaugural address, 1961
‘Ask not what you country can do for you.
Ask what you can do for your country’
Generating quotability
Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, 1863
Government of the people
by the people
for the people

Winston Churchill, House of Commons, 1940
Never in the field of human conflict has
so much been owed by
so many to
so few

Winston Churchill, Mansion House, 1942
This is not the end.
It is not even the beginning of the end,
but it is perhaps the end of the beginning.
Generating quotability
Thatcher: As you know we’ve made the first crucial
changes in union law
to remove the worst abuses of the closed shop
to restrict picketing to the place of work of the
parties in dispute
and to encourage secret ballots
hhhhh Jim Prior has carried all these
Audience: x-xx-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx-xx-x
Thatcher: measures through with the support ...
Callaghan: … in this election I don’t intend
to make the most promises
I intend that the next Labour government
shall KEEP
the most promises
Audience: Hear hear
[On your marks - get set - go]
Thatcher: I am however (0.2) very fortunate (0.4) in having
(0.6) a marvellous deputy (0.4) who’s wonderful
(.) in all places (0.2) at all times (0.2) in all things.
Willie Whitelaw
Audience: x-xx-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx-xx-x
Foundations of Knowledge
and Professional Skills

Qualitative Methodology 2.

Steve Brown
Full transcript