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The Use of Qualidata Datasets in PG Unit Dr Jo Haynes Department of Sociology University of Bristol.

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Presentation on theme: "The Use of Qualidata Datasets in PG Unit Dr Jo Haynes Department of Sociology University of Bristol."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Use of Qualidata Datasets in PG Unit Dr Jo Haynes Department of Sociology University of Bristol

2  Rationale for using Qualidata archive in unit  The assessment  Problems  Benefits  Example of student approaches  Summary of strengths/weaknesses of submitted work

3 Rationale  Rich data generated by students in dissertations going to waste  Lack of adequate training/support for qual data analysis, e.g. assumption that it is ‘easy’ or ‘self-evident’  Comparison with teaching of quantitative data analysis  Lack of adequate training in QDAS

4  Students are constantly reminded in the course of the unit that they: ◦ Need to have a research question/issue ◦ Research question/topic needs to relate to previous studies/literature ◦ Data analysis should address research question/issue ◦ Analysis should be data driven (not simply confirmation of researcher’s views)

5 The datasets used for assessment (2009)  Virtually Second-Hand: a Case Study of eBay, the Internet Auction Site,  Consumption, Lifestyle and Identity : Reading the New Men's Lifestyle Magazines,  Dynamics of Transformative Ideas in Contemporary Public Discourse,  British Migrants in Spain: the Extent and nature of social integration,  Creating Citizen-Consumers: Changing Relationships and Identifications,  Employment and Working Life Beyond the Year 2000: Employee Attitudes to Work in Call Centres and Software Development,  A Qualitative Study of Democracy and Participation in Britain,  Context and Motive in the Perpetuation of Racial Harassment and Violence in North Staffordshire, 2004

6  The projects were selected on the basis that: ◦ they appeal to a broad a range of substantive interests as possible ◦ there are identifiable ways in which the data could be carved for up for sampling purposes ◦ the project has ‘good’ quality data

7 ◦ With your selected study, you will design and carry out your own ‘small-scale’ qualitative analysis on a sample of documents from the data. Choose an analytical approach that best suits the question/issue you want to address and what you want to do with the data, e.g. discourse analysis; narrative analysis, and so on. You must also incorporate Nvivo to support your analysis of this data. You should explore relevant literature that will provide theoretical/empirical support for your analysis.

8 You are expected to write a 4000 word research report which should contain the following elements:  Introduction: a discussion of the study and relevant theory/background detail  Methodology: a description of the analytic process and justification for the specific approach to the analysis, which should be linked to a discussion of how you incorporated Nvivo. You should also describe the sample of documents included in the study. There should also be a discussion of any issues raised by carrying out secondary analysis of this data.  Findings: presentation of the analysis carried out. This should include quotations or data from the study. You should also include your interpretation of the findings here.  Conclusion  References  Appendix You should include a list of the nodes used as part of your analysis with descriptions explaining each node, any models, memos, or other pertinent information from Nvivo.

9  Secondary analysis ◦ Common issues such as ethical considerations and lack of insider perspective (Hammersley)  For students ◦ Difficulty of coming up with ‘different’ or ‘original’ approach ◦ First/early encounter with qualitative data as secondary not primary researcher, i.e. from a distance  Project information and data ◦ Uneven quality and amount of information/guidance about each project ◦ Mixed methodologies

10  Opportunity to critically evaluate the design, execution and conclusions of original research  Practice ◦ Developing new theoretical rationale to re-interpret data ◦ Devising a data subset to explore same/new theme ◦ Integrating theory, data analysis and discussion in a report ◦ Presenting qualitative data appropriately  Utilising QDAS to support data analysis

11  A Qualitative Study of Democracy and Participation in Britain, by Devine and Roberts ◦ Primary research: In-depth study of activists to explore mobilisation processes, group life experiences and assessments of democracy and political life in Britain. It asked: “do voluntary activities generate social capital? Does group life sustain networks and norms of trust and reciprocity? Do positive experiences of group life instil wider feelings of confidence in political institutions and the system overall?” ◦ Student: Examined whether it is accurate to link affective social behaviour with perception of community and state-level political inclusion. S/he asked: “how do socially active citizens perceive their local community attachment? How do they asses their personal ties? Do social identifications with the local neighbourhood correlate with political participation? Is local attachment linked to trust in national politics? ”

12  Consumption, Lifestyle and Identity : Reading the New Men's Lifestyle Magazines, by Jackson and Stevenson. ◦ Primary research: assessed mens’ magazines’ significance in terms of competing theories of masculinity and in relation to Britain’s changing media and consumption cultures. ◦ Student A: explored how the interviewers participated in the knowledge production process of the interview, whether there were any clear gender differences in the amount of researcher involvement and the process of creating a group identity within the focus group as a whole. ◦ Student B: explored the extent to which discourses of new manhood permeated responses; shifting the emphasis from magazines to a broader examination of the constructs of the ‘new man’ and the ‘new lad’, analysing how these discourses are creatively utilised by the participants through resistance.

13  Dynamics of Transformative Ideas in Contemporary Public Discourse, by McLennan, Osborne and Vaux ◦ Primary Research: through two case studies of the LSE and DEMOS, the research “sought to understand the way in which societal ideas (e.g. ‘the Knowledge society’ and ‘Third Way’) emerge into the wider cultural and political arenas; how they are initiated, established, networked and modified as their careers unfold”. ◦ Student A: provided a case study of the LSE- its present function and the role of intellectuals given tendency for universities to become ‘businesses’ ◦ Student B: explored the organisational culture of LSE

14  British Migrants in Spain: the Extent and nature of social integration, by Karen O’Reilly ◦ Primary research: explored the trends, motivations, mobility patterns, identity and way of life of British migrant communities in the Costa del Sol. A major theme in the findings was the lack of integration of British migrants with local Spanish people. ◦ Student: explored the reproduction of class differences amongst British migrants in Spain and how British migrants “engage with the cultural conception of class in constructing themselves in opposition not just to tourists, but to other expatriate Britons”.

15  Context and Motive in the Perpetuation of Racial Harassment and Violence in North Staffordshire, 2004 by Gadd, Dixon and Jefferson. ◦ Primary research: addressed the question of “why some people engage in racially-motivated violence, and how their motivations for doing so intersect and/or conflict with publicly-expressed nationalist, racist/anti-racist, and religious sentiments”. ◦ Student: explored whether “people use cognitive reduction strategies in the narrative construction of the self and how common modes of narrative construction themselves can […] contribute to consonance, a means which psychology, through the use of experimental methods, has failed to appreciate. It therefore seeks to create a bridge between a psychological concept and sociological practice [….]”

16  Comments fed back to students about ways to improve their data analysis concentrated on: ◦ Failure to identify an independent way of working with the data ◦ Lack of integration of theory with data analysis ◦ Lack of clarity about analytical approach ◦ Poor presentation and interpretation of data

17  Positive comments fed back to students included their ◦ Innovative, original lines of enquiry ◦ Strong theoretical support for analysis ◦ Integration of theory, analysis and methodological discussion ◦ Creative use of NVivo, e.g. modelling frameworks, relationships between themes, etc.


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