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CONSIDERING IDENTITY THROUGH QUALITATIVE IMITATION GAME DATA LOCAL UNDERSTANDINGS OF SEXUALITY, RACE, AND OTHER SOCIAL IDENTITIES Andrew Bartlett

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Presentation on theme: "CONSIDERING IDENTITY THROUGH QUALITATIVE IMITATION GAME DATA LOCAL UNDERSTANDINGS OF SEXUALITY, RACE, AND OTHER SOCIAL IDENTITIES Andrew Bartlett"— Presentation transcript:

1 CONSIDERING IDENTITY THROUGH QUALITATIVE IMITATION GAME DATA LOCAL UNDERSTANDINGS OF SEXUALITY, RACE, AND OTHER SOCIAL IDENTITIES Andrew Bartlett & Jennifer Lyttleton-Smith SmithJR School of Social Sciences Cardiff University

2 TYPES OF QUALITATIVE DATA PRODUCED DURING IMGAMES Judge Questions Produced during live games in step one “Ask questions which you believe would be difficult for someone who does not share your X identity to answer well” Non-Pretender Answers Produced during live games in step one “Please answer naturally and truthfully, as yourself” Pretender Answers Produced ‘survey style’ in step two “Please answer as you imagine someone who holds X identity would answer” Judge Reasons Produced ‘survey style’ in step four “Please indicate the reasons for your judgement, giving as much detail as possible”

3 THE IMPORTANCE OF JUDGE QUESTIONS  Defines the local parameters of knowledge, understanding, and experience of different social groups that shapes the entire game  Through recording frequency of references to particular topics, we can know what the key features of these identities are considered to be by those who locate themselves within them  In order to produce reliable statistical measures for IMGAME (pass rate) judges have to be clever and play ‘well’. This is not necessary for qualitative analysis – all questions are equally interesting and helpful for analysis  NB. Unlike the statistical measure, a minimum standard of researcher knowledge is required to analyse the qualitative game data and deeper knowledge will result in more effective analysis, however basic content analysis can be conducted by anyone with an understanding of the Imitation Game

4 ASKING QUESTIONS TO DISCERN SOCIAL IDENTITY  In sexuality Imitation Game post-game surveys, most participants report that playing the judge role is the hardest part of the game “A lot of pop- culture is homogenised and they aren't that many 'gay- only' or 'straight-only' things” “It was very hard for me to invent questions” “I couldn’t think of questions about heterosexuality” “It's bloody hard to think of questions”

5 Likes/dislikes Stories from life – lived experiences and emotions Facts, trivia, definitions – usually right/wrong answers Biographical Views on situations, real or imagined Knowledge Hypothetical situations where related actions or reactions are requested OpinionPreferenceSituational UNIVERSAL CATEGORIES OF JUDGE QUESTIONS

6 IDENTITY SPECIFIC QUESTION TOPICS Sexuality  Sex Porn, first time, bad sex, fantasy, promiscuity  Encounters Flirting, cruising, seduction  Coming out To family, to friends  Entertainment and interests Movies, music  Friendships Best friends, colleagues, gender of Race  Education  Gender, sexuality and relationships  Politics  Race  Food and drink  Music and dance  Religion  Sport  Traditions

7 SOUTH AFRICA ‘RACE’ IMGAMES  Race Imitation Games: symmetrical games in which black students pretended to be white students, and white students pretended to be black students.  2 x Cape Town  South Africa is a racially divided country. To what degree can members of one racial group pass as members of another?  Cape Town 2013 Pass rates:  Black pretending to be white: 66%  White Pretending to be black: 90%  Awaiting Cape Town 2014 results.  What are the differences between the ways that black judges and white judges attempt to identify pretenders? What can these tell us about race and identity?

8 RACE, SOUTH AFRICA, AND UCT

9 ‘KNOWLEDGE’ QUESTIONS IN ‘RACE’ IMGAMES

10 ‘KNOWLEDGE’ QUESTIONS ABOUT ‘TRADITIONS’

11 ‘KNOWLEDGE’ AND/OR ‘TRADITION’ EXAMPLE QUESTIONS Black Judges What determines the value of the lobolla and how is it negotiated? ( Knowledge/Traditions ) Why is a sheep not a traditional animal to be slaughtered in ceremonies? ( Knowledge/Traditions ) What happens at the funeral of a twin, when one twin is alive and the other is dead? ( Knowledge/Traditions ) White Judges Who won the first ever SA Idols? ( Knowledge/Music and Dance/TV and Films ) Which sport/activity uses word slalom? ( Knowledge/Sport ) What do you and your family do at Christmas? ( Biographical/Traditions )

12 DISCUSSION OF CAPE TOWN ‘RACE’ IMGAMES  Imitation Games are potentially an particularly incisive way of collecting evidence as to the ‘culturelessness’ of whites.  A sense of there being a common distinctiveness to ‘being white’ is not explicit in the questions asked by white judges.  If there was genuine ‘culturelessness’ – if other groups had ‘culture’, and ‘being white’ was simply the norm – we might expect black pretenders to have the better pass rates.  The default to biographical questions of white childhood, which residential and educational segregation have made (relatively) inaccessible to black pretenders, might explain why ‘being white’ is harder to imitate.

13 CARDIFF AND WROCLAW ‘SEXUALITY’ IMGAMES  Sexuality Imitation Games: heterosexual men pretending to be homosexual men  2 x Cardiff, 2 x Wroclaw (and 2 x Palermo, 2 x Granada)  The UK and Poland have very different attitudes towards homosexuality, so we could expect very different Imitation Game pass rates  Cardiff vs. Wroclaw Pass rates:  Cardiff (May 2013): 64%  Cardiff (Dec 2013): 58% (average = 61%)  Wroclaw (2013): 57%  Wroclaw (2014): Awaiting result  How can we explain the similarity in results between two such different countries? Pew Research Centre, 2013 Available at: 2013/06/04/the-global-divide-on-homosexuality/

14 QUESTION TYPES IN CARDIFF AND WROCLAW ‘SEXUALITY’ IMITATION GAMES

15 SEXUALITY BIOGRAPHICAL AND PREFERENCE QUESTION TYPE EXAMPLES Biographical How was it when you came out to your parents or friends? How did it feel when you lost your virginity? What experiences of homophobia have you had? Preference What kind of men are you attracted to and are you ever attracted to women? Are you a top or a bottom in bed? Which gay celebrity do you most admire and why?

16 POTENTIAL EXPLANATIONS FOR SIMILAR PASS RATE  UK and Polish judges are asking different types of questions about very different topics  Is it easier to answer biographical questions about coming out than preference questions about sex?  Need to swap question sets to explore further  Sexuality is a universal experience and arguably the most popular topic in public discourse – should we be surprised that people are able to discuss it knowledgably, whatever their personal attitudes and experiences might be?  Is a quantitative pass rate the most important measure for sexuality studies, or is qualitative analysis necessary to reveal the true value of Imitation Games in this area? Question Topics by % of Total Questions

17 WHAT NEXT FOR QUALITATIVE IMITATION GAME ANALYSIS?  Huge amounts of data produced over 34 Imitation Game studies (so far…)  Judge Reasons  Pretender and Non-Pretender Answers  Variations on method (group games, altered step four etc)  How can the qualitative data improve the Imgame method?  How do notions of social identity vary across cultures?  What can the data tell us about how people construct their identity, and the social recognition of identities?


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