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Reading Log- Qualitative Study

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Josh Hibbard

on 9 June 2010

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Transcript of Reading Log- Qualitative Study

Cresswell Chapter 9
Writing a Qualitative Study Overview In this section, Creswell describes the general structure of qualitative studies. He focuses on four rhetorical issues:
Reflexivity and representation
Quotes Creswell then assesses each of the five approaches to qualitative study in light of these elements. Additionally, Creswell explains the overall structure of each approach and the embedded structure. Reflexivity and Prepresentations in writing Creswell explains that researchers today are much more self-disclosing than they have been in the past. Being an Omniscient, distanced qualitative writer is no longer tolerated. Being an Omniscient, distanced qualitative writer is no longer tolerated. Creswell stresses: "How we write is a reflection of our own interpretation based on the culture, social, gender, class, and personal politicas that we bring to research" (p. 179). This was an important concept for me to understand.
I am still not sure how I am going to communicate my "lens"to the audience. This seems especially important when I am writing my interpretation of what participants say. Should I write what they say, or what I think they mean? Audience Knowing one's audience is a foundational element to human communication. Tierney identifies four potential audiences that are common to most studies: 1. Colleagues
2. those involved in the interviews and observations
3. Policy makers
4. the general public As a doctoral student, it seems that I am afforded the only option of writing for each individual professor. This makes me wonder how I will fare when I have completed my studies and face other audiences. Encoding Encoding is similar to the "style"or "tone" of one's writing. In my study, I will be employing a scholarly tone as I write for my professor. I will write keeping in mind that future audiences will likely be peer reviewers as well as university administration. "Quotes" Creswell provides some basic guidlines for the use of quotes in one's reseach, indicating that ample quotes should be used. He provides three types of quotation uses: Begin with short-eye catching quotations
Embed quotes. Use briefly quoted phrases within the analyst's narrative
Use longer quotation and convey more complex understandings The use of quotes will be a difficult skill for me to master. I think this is because I have seen many different examples in the literature. There seems to be no standard guidlines for the use of quotes.
Some questions I have: How much is too much?
Are long quotes more effective or short quotes?
How much "slicing" and "dicing" can or should I perform when trying to make a point that believe the evidence supports?
Important things to note concerning a Case Study from this chapter Reminder: I am conducting a case study there is no standard format for reporting case study research The overal intent of the case study shapes the larger structure of the narrative One should open and close the case study narrative with "vignettes" The study must identify the issue, the purpose, and the method of the study The study should employ a funnel approach, from describing the broader picture to a narrower one. As a general guide, the study should be broken into equal setions between the description, analysis, and interpretation Josh's Reading Log
April 26, 2010 It's All About Jesus
Chapter One
"Jesus and Higher Education"
Summary This chapter introduces the study. The authors begin the study with a description of the town where the study takes place, then move to describe a worship service conducted by the Christian organization being studied. In this description, the author's state the purpose of the study: "To enrich our understanding of collegiate Christians in general and the Students Serving Christ student organization" Observations
analysis The author's background and perspective contributes greatly to their observations. the authors write something that, for the first time, allows me to see the importance in disclosing "who you are" in the research study. They write: "We- two researchers, both born and bred catholics- confess that this faith-based gathering is a bit diorienting" (p. 2). This "confession" allows me, the reader to understand the perspective the authors are writing from, which, in turn, allows me to better understand their conclusions based on their observations. This chapter also provides a review of religion in higher education, specifically in public higher education. The authors state that most students expect their institution to play a role in their emotional and spiritual development while in college. In some ways, the authors are proving the need for the study, or the importance of the study. "The academy remains largely ignorant about the intricacies of evangelical organizations and uncertain how to meet the unique needs of evangelical students while remaining true to core, secular institutional values" (p. 11). For example, the authors claim: for this reason, the authors believe their study addresses an important issue. They insist that this study offers empirically derived insights about how students' participation in a homogeneous evangelical student organization enhances their satisfaction with their collegiate experience and helps them develop important life lessons. The authors use an Ethnographic Approach Research Setting A two-year study of a medium-sized interdenominational Christian student organization at a medium-sized public 4-year residential college in the Midwest. theoretical Frameworks The authors employed the use of as their interpretive framwork ritual Ritual is a performance act Ritual involves transmitting information through symbols The authors attempt to view student evangelical subculture through a ritual lens Audience The authors intend to reach "multiple" audiences through this document, including both "sacred and secular." It was interesting to begin this book right after I completed the reading of Creswell's chapter 9. Reading this chapter has helped me feel more at ease concerning my final research project for this course. I was struggling with how to write-up my observations, as this is something I have never done before, excpet as an academic activity. It appears the the write-up of these sections is simply about describing what you see in much detail. Although this has potential for laboreous reading, I now feel confident in my ability to complete this section of my research write-up. While the authors appear to have some bias in their conclusions, it appears that this is acceptable. For example, we all have our own biases that are a product of who we are as humans. Therefore, it is important that we report this to the readers as much as possible to they can be informed and better able to understand the research through their own lense. In some ways, the reader has to recognize the evidence presented, identify the lens from which that evidence was recorded, recode the evidence based upon this knowledge and their own lens, and come to their own conclusions. Qualitative research is no easy task It's All About Jesus
Chapter Two
"Research Processes"
Summary This chapter felt like reading a disclaimer. The authors provided the following:
reasoning for the study, the research methods, data collection procedures, research quality Research Orgins Research Methods Data Collection Research Quality The issue of marginalization interested the researchers Although Christianity was the most popular religious group on campus, the Christian organization described itself as a "fringe" Finally, the authors note that the organization they chose was both opportunistic and convenient. The authors note that their ethnography is unique from other qualitative approaches in that it describes adn interprets cultural behavior. This study is situated within an "interpretive worldview with critical theory leanings" (p. 25). The authors also provide a disclaimer for their intepretation of thier observations, indicating that they are "partial and incomplete" Observations Formal Interviews Informal Interviews Attendence in over events and programs 50 Public ministry services Private ministry services evangelical training sessions Servant Leadership Meetings Bible Study Gatherings Conducted more than formal Interviews and focus groups 30 Conducted informal Interviews and focus groups "Countless" triangulation The authors used four kinds of triangulation:
Data triangulation
Investigator triangulation
theory triangulation
Methodological triangulation In addition, the authors employed the following quality control practices and procedures: Peer debriefing member checks audit trails validity Response and analysis This chapter was extermely helpful As I read Creswell's description of the structure of a case study, I often wondered what I would write in each section. After reading some of these sections in Magolda and Cross' study, I know feel that I have a better understanding of what the write-up will look like. My research project might be.... lame... After reading the section on "quality control" I realized that my study has not taken into account many of these practices and procedures. My final project, for example, has little use of triangulation methods, peer debriefing, or audit trails. These practices, and others, need further consideration for my final project. I found Magolda and Cross' description of "Major differences" quite... INTERESTING This section highlighted the issue of the researchers and participants clashing belief systems. The reseachers mentioned that these different belief systems "often clashed" and "proved very disorienting to both SSC members and us" (p. 26). This made me wonder how these belief systems clashed. The authors did not mention how or when this occured. I was under the impression that the researchers maintained a "neutral"stance throughout the research. These comments, however, lead me to believe that the researchers often discussed or argued thier point of view against the participants point of view. Is this good research methods? Perhaps having the participants defend their point of view was important to the study. Belief Systems Reading this chapter had me thinking about belief systems. This led me to wonder what role the researcher should play when faced with a dysfunctional situation for which they believe then can help. The frustration the authors felt when they saw the participants struggle to find the "one 'True' answer" made me realize that the author's might have acted upon this frustration by sharing their beliefs in an attempt to change the beliefs of their research participants. However, in this case, it was all about a difference in belief. Is there ever a situation where it is appropriate? For example, teaching tribes who live deep in the jungle of Paupa New Guinnea to wash their hands before preparing food, even if it goes against their religious beliefs. Is it ever approapriate or acceptable for the researcher to interviene in a study? It's All About Jesus
Chapter Three
"Researchers' Tales"
Summary The authors recognize that who they are as researchers influences how they observe and interpret their participants. As researchers, the believe that it is important to know about the researchers since the study, in many ways, is about them. About kelsey About Peter Raised catholic Researcher and Participant relationships I was pleased to read in this chapter some direction to a question I asked in the last chapter. One of the authors cites Dewalt and Dewalt (2002) as providing advice for striking a balance between disclosing informaiton with participants and maintaining some distance from which to see the culture as an "outsider." I will attempt to track down this publication and see if it can help me better understand the boundaries between the researcher and the participants. Questioning her own catholic beliefs during the study States that she believes in God and considers herself a "Christian" This research project served as an impetus for her own religious awakening Labels himself a non-Christian and a sinner something I found Interesting There is a section where Peter is describing himself. He describes a service he was observing where he felt like the pastor was speaking direclty at him. He writes that "Matthew's sermon induced a moment of paranoia for me..." This statement, and the surround description of the event, made me wonder if Peter was experiencing what Christians call "conviction" or "the prompting of the Holy Spirit." I do wonder how Peter's life is different after conducting this study. Peter admits that some of the attitudes of Christians annoy him. Peter admits that some of the attitudes of Christians annoy him. I wonder how this impacted his two year study. He must have been annoyed during most of his observations and interviews. Peter's Annoyance with Christians How did this influence his observations? How did this influence his interpretations? Why would he choose to research a group of people that annoy him? Peter shares that he felt alienated at times during his study Something I found
confusing... I found it confusing that Peter refered to himself and Kelsey as non-believers, but Kelsey referred to herself as a Christian. Isn't that confusing? Why is this? Raised Catholic through high school Response and Analysis The authors conclude the chapter with an explanation of why it is important for the reader to know some of their life stories. They affirm that understanding more about the authors helps the reader understand who they are and who they are not, what they might have seen in their fieldwork and what they might have missed, and what they concluded and what they misconstrued during their study. Overall, I appreciated this chapter because it helped me understand the validity and limitations of a qualitative study. the End Did Jesus teach higher Ed? for example, they describe the worship service as "a rock concert more than a worship service." Their evidence for this remark is that the worship team has guitars, drums, keyboards, and percussion instruments. However, from my experience this is completely "normal." This kind of worship service is different than a traditional 18th century worship service, yet is still far from a rock concert. This observation reminded me how much our background, experiences, and personality contribute to the interpretation of our observations. This is what makes qualitative study so difficult. Something interesting... Creswell wrote about the structure of an ethnography. I have been able to notice and compare this to the structure of the current study. While loosly similar, the authors of "It's all about jesus" tend to write with more of a casual tone as opposed to a scholarly or academic tone. I wonder how this impacted his two year study. He must have been annoyed during most of his observations and interviews. In some regards, I wish that the authors would have described more about themselves or provided a resource where more information could be found about them. If they truely believed in the importance of disclosing who the researcher is, I think they would have provided more avenues for readers to learn about the researchers. 2007
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