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Methodological Innovations 2011 A Picnic in the Field; negotiating the presentation of the self in researcher/respondent relationships during asynchronous.

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Presentation on theme: "Methodological Innovations 2011 A Picnic in the Field; negotiating the presentation of the self in researcher/respondent relationships during asynchronous."— Presentation transcript:

1 Methodological Innovations 2011 A Picnic in the Field; negotiating the presentation of the self in researcher/respondent relationships during asynchronous on-line interviews about food – a reflexive and auto/biographical account.

2 a picnic  ‘When we enter a field we make footprints on the land and are likely to disturb the environment. When we leave we may have mud on our shoes, pollen on our clothes. If we leave the gate open this may have serious implications for farmers and their animals. All of this is relevant to what we find out about the field and its inhabitants. Thus, when doing research (fieldwork) we need to be sensitive to respondents and the relevance of our own presence in their lives and the research process’  Letherby (2003:06)

3 a picnic  1. n. an outing or excursion including a packed meal eaten out of doors. 2. any meal eaten out of doors or without preparation, tables, chairs, etc., (usu. with neg.) colloq. 3. Something agreeable or easily accomplished etc., (it was no picnic organizing the meeting)  US. 2. garden party, barbecue, cookout. 3. Child’s play, colloq. pushover, cinch, piece of cake, esp. US colloq. 5. (no picnic) torture, agony. colloq,. a pain in the neck, esp. US sl. pain in the butt, difficult arduous, torturous, agonizing, painful, disagreeable, tough, hard, rough, unpleasant  The Reader’s Digest Oxford Complete Wordfinder, (1993) OUP, Oxford

4 Social Change The NHS Information Centre published statistics last year suggesting that 2.7 million people in the country have some kind of disordered eating and men make up a quarter. This is a significant rise from the figure of 10 to 15 per cent of cases only ten years ago. Social Change The NHS Information Centre published statistics last year suggesting that 2.7 million people in the country have some kind of disordered eating and men make up a quarter. This is a significant rise from the figure of 10 to 15 per cent of cases only ten years ago. Method My PhD will focus on the role of food in individual life histories. The data will be gathered through in depth, on-line, asynchronous interviews with an opportunity sample of men and women. For Kozinets (2010) it is possible through the interview to establish a ‘sense of intimacy’ with respondents. It shares this attribute with correspondence techniques outlined by Letherby & Zdrowski (1995), which allow “a greater degree of confidentiality; the research subjects feel less exposed as people if they write rather than speak to a researcher.” (585) Method My PhD will focus on the role of food in individual life histories. The data will be gathered through in depth, on-line, asynchronous interviews with an opportunity sample of men and women. For Kozinets (2010) it is possible through the interview to establish a ‘sense of intimacy’ with respondents. It shares this attribute with correspondence techniques outlined by Letherby & Zdrowski (1995), which allow “a greater degree of confidentiality; the research subjects feel less exposed as people if they write rather than speak to a researcher.” (585) Auto/Biography The analytic idea of auto/biography is concerned with “the myriad of everyday and frequently fleeting social practices concerned with the articulation of (often competing, sometimes discontinuous) notions of ‘selves’ and ‘lives’.” Stanley (2000:40) “an epistemologically oriented concern with the political ramifications of the shifting boundaries between self and other, past and present in writing and reading, fact and fiction… the researcher and author are very much alive as agents actively at work in the textual production process.” Autobiography Study Group 1995 Auto/Biography The analytic idea of auto/biography is concerned with “the myriad of everyday and frequently fleeting social practices concerned with the articulation of (often competing, sometimes discontinuous) notions of ‘selves’ and ‘lives’.” Stanley (2000:40) “an epistemologically oriented concern with the political ramifications of the shifting boundaries between self and other, past and present in writing and reading, fact and fiction… the researcher and author are very much alive as agents actively at work in the textual production process.” Autobiography Study Group 1995 Introduction Our relationship with food and eating tends to be explored through an analysis of weight management issues with a clear focus on gender difference. Bordo (2003) and Howson (1999) for example clearly associated female identity with the body and sexuality. Lupton (1998) also highlighted the extent to which “femininity revolves around being highly interested in the attractiveness (slimness) of one’s body as well as health.” For her “the discourse of women’s obsession with food and dieting was also constantly articulated in popular culture” (1998:110). Introduction Our relationship with food and eating tends to be explored through an analysis of weight management issues with a clear focus on gender difference. Bordo (2003) and Howson (1999) for example clearly associated female identity with the body and sexuality. Lupton (1998) also highlighted the extent to which “femininity revolves around being highly interested in the attractiveness (slimness) of one’s body as well as health.” For her “the discourse of women’s obsession with food and dieting was also constantly articulated in popular culture” (1998:110). “food has been given dichotomous attributes such as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’, people attach emotions to food and use it to define who they are” Germov (2004:18) Do we nurture an emotional relationship with food throughout the life course, based on cultural ideals on what constitutes a healthy body size and lifestyle? Are we all “hyper-cartesian” bodies made to choose to monitor our own body weight? Malson (2008). Julie Parsons Lecturer in Sociology of Health & Illness School of Social Science & Social Work Faculty of Health Julie Parsons Lecturer in Sociology of Health & Illness School of Social Science & Social Work Faculty of Health Bordo, S (2003) 2 nd Ed., Reading the Slender Body, Body Politics: Women and the Discourses of Science, London, Routledge Germov, J. & Williams, L. (2004) 2 nd Ed., Sociology of Food & Nutrition; the Social Appetite, OUP, Oxford Howson, A. (2004) The Body in Society: An Introduction, Cambridge, Polity Press Kozinets, R.V., (2010) Netnography, Doing Ethnographic Research Online, London, Sage Leatherby, G., & Zdrodowski, D. (1995) “Dear researcher”, the use of correspondence as a Method within Feminist Qualitative Research, Gender & Society, Vol., 9, No., 5 (oct 1995) pp Lupton, D., (1998), Food, the Body & the Self, London, Sage Malson, H., (2009) Deconstructing un/Healthy Body-weight and Weight Management, in Riley, S., Burns, M., Frith, H., Wiggins, S., Markula, P., (eds) Critical Bodies: representations, Identities & Practices of Weight Management, Basingsstoke, Palgrave Stanley, L., (2000) from Cosslett, T., Lury, C., & Summerfield, P., (eds) Feminism and Auto/biography, Texts, Theories, Methods, London, Routledge Bordo, S (2003) 2 nd Ed., Reading the Slender Body, Body Politics: Women and the Discourses of Science, London, Routledge Germov, J. & Williams, L. (2004) 2 nd Ed., Sociology of Food & Nutrition; the Social Appetite, OUP, Oxford Howson, A. (2004) The Body in Society: An Introduction, Cambridge, Polity Press Kozinets, R.V., (2010) Netnography, Doing Ethnographic Research Online, London, Sage Leatherby, G., & Zdrodowski, D. (1995) “Dear researcher”, the use of correspondence as a Method within Feminist Qualitative Research, Gender & Society, Vol., 9, No., 5 (oct 1995) pp Lupton, D., (1998), Food, the Body & the Self, London, Sage Malson, H., (2009) Deconstructing un/Healthy Body-weight and Weight Management, in Riley, S., Burns, M., Frith, H., Wiggins, S., Markula, P., (eds) Critical Bodies: representations, Identities & Practices of Weight Management, Basingsstoke, Palgrave Stanley, L., (2000) from Cosslett, T., Lury, C., & Summerfield, P., (eds) Feminism and Auto/biography, Texts, Theories, Methods, London, Routledge From: Echo & Narcissus, by Waterhouse, J.W. (1903), Oil on Canvas, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

5 no picnic – ethics 20/09/2010  You are being asked to be a participant/volunteer in a research study for my PhD  Food choice & Identity: To investigate the relationship between individuals and their food choice using an auto/biographical research approach.  The purpose of this research is to examine the role of food in individual life histories. The study will involve a series of ‘interviews’ between the researcher and respondent. This may take place over a number of days or weeks, depending on your availability to participate.

6 an invitation  If you decide to be part of this study, your participation will involve: -  Consenting to be interviewed by way of an exchange of e- mails.  The interview will consist of en exchange over a timescale to suit.  The interview will focus upon your individual life history and personal experiences relating to food and eating both past and present.  You will be encouraged to identify themes around food and eating that are of interest to you.  The interview will be saved anonymously for future reference as part of my PhD and academic purposes as above.

7 ethics – 25/11/2010  Your participation in this study is voluntary and you are under no obligation to participate in this study.  You have the right to change your mind and leave the study at any time without giving any reason and without any penalty, upon which all personal information will be immediately destroyed.  Any new information that might make you change your mind about being in the study will be provided to you.  If you have an eating disorder you are strongly advised not to participate in this research.  If you consent to participate in this research then please reply to this .  All our future correspondence will be done through a specific address

8 beginnings  What I'm really after is your 'food story'. Perhaps, this will include your earliest food memories, favourite foods, memorable food occasions, whether your eating habits have changed over time and why this may be. Also, absolutely anything food related that you'd like to share with me.

9

10 SILENCE

11 beginnings  25 th November - 16th December – Drew  ‘food as you may or may not know is something that I have become passionate about and certainly my relationship with food has changed through my life…’  25 th November - 24 th January – Barry  ‘The blind optimism of youth and the determination to cook like a god. The meal was memorable for the fact that she was still there at breakfast and the startling realisation that one could get pleasure form cooking. I have unfortunately, worn the dinner on occasions since then, but like to think it was not a criticism of the food…’

12 SILENCE

13 more beginnings  5 th January – 17 th January – Ellie  ‘In the beginning was the 1950’s – a widowed mother who told me she was weaning me when my father died, so I believe I was weaned on tears…’  17 th January – 20 th January – Ophelia  ‘Food played a big part in my early childhood in the early 1960’s partly because I do remember being hungry a lot… but and in spite of, always being starving at teatime, the monotony of beans on toast, marmite sandwiches or fishfingers for tea day after day grated when I knew my mother was a brilliant cook… but she never cooked her ‘grown up food’ for us…’

14 more …  5 th January – 6 th January – Betty  ‘This really got me thinking. My earliest memory of food must have been when I was five or under as I remember my father showing me how to make a pie out of all of the food on my plate. You mash it all up together with a fork, but you can leave the peas whole if you like to make the pie look prettier. He made it in to a pie shape then I could pretend it was a cake and cut it in to slices and eat it, it was fun. When I told my mum this years later she was surprised because she said he was a stickler for good table manners, so maybe he showed me when she wasn’t around. He did like to play. He died when I was five so I can place my memories in a timeline easily…’

15 beginning again…  7 th January – 20 th January – Juliet  Will be happy to help. And, I have a love-hate relationship to food, it is my biggest 'issue' in life, as probably it is with many people. So, it should be interesting. Will you reflect back too?  It is not a huge problem to me, don't worry. It is just a big topic in a way, because food is so important and yet so hard to 'manage'. But I am learning to manage it in my way, so I'd like to participate. It would just be helpful for me to also know what you discover! That way I might learn something too.  I am not sure what you mean. Do you want me to start writing a food autobiography all by myself? In that case it will be something I will plan in on the long term, because I am very busy right now and my attention is very scattered, so I need to focus and not take on another project. If you want to know something about me and my food stories sooner, it is better to pull out a questionnaire, then I do not have to give it a lot of thought, ie how to structure, etc. Writing an autobiography is a nice idea, but right now it would pull me out of my priorities.

16 and again continued  Still not 100% sure what you mean with collecting stories. Do you want me to keep a diary? Or write about food as a child? It is a big thing in my family, but I doubt there are many stories I could find written by me about what food means to me. Can you clarify a bit what you want for your purposes?  Another thing which is quite peculiar is that I am very sensitive to the intention with which food is made. If there is a social gathering where there is bad energy my stomach refuses. I guess in London a lot of food is addiction food that I buy into, but my liver revolts. My parents food at home was full of love and care and it always made me happy! So did the countryside food at the *** *****!

17 numbers  Target (November 2010): -  60 on-line asynchronous interviews by June 2011  MenWomen  Invitations = 53Invitations = 101  Accepted = 29 (55%)Accepted = 55 (54%)  Declined = 2Declined = 5  Attended = 18 (62%)Attended = 35 (64%)

18 endings…  I enjoyed participating and wish you all the best with your analysis especially the emotional side of it all :)  I agree that women seem to be left to the mundane cooking while men get to do the fun stuff, though I think there may be a generational element to this as well. Anecdotally, my dad never stepped into a kitchen or fired up a barbecue for that matter. After retirement he figured out how to use the microwave to heat up the food my mom'd left him for the day!! My brother-in-law, cooks really well, but usually only for special occasions, with my sister (who hates to cook) making meals for the week on a Sunday at a push. I find that with my partner the mundane roles are shared, but he didn't grow up in that environment (his mother does everything) and he often looks to me for 'the last word'. Yesterday he made breakfast, and we cooked dinner together. (Bethany 16/04/2011)


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