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Jo Moran-Ellis, Department of Sociology, University of Surrey 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Jo Moran-Ellis, Department of Sociology, University of Surrey 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Jo Moran-Ellis, Department of Sociology, University of Surrey 1

2 PPIMs project Whats so great about mixed/multi methods? Arguments against Arguments in favour: the case of vulnerability 2

3 Methodological aims Making visible the hidden work of integrating multiple and mixed methods Substantive aims Richer understanding of vulnerability through the use of multiple methodologies 3

4 Secondary analysis of existing quantitative data for the relevant neighbourhoods ( Geographical/Area level data) 3 sets of Qualitative interviews with individuals: Whole Households: all household members Solo living respondents Homeless people Visual methods: photographs and video data with individuals Range of respondents derived from individual interviews 4

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6 Combinations of methods that could be chosen The epistemological and ontological implications of what is chosen The practicalities of carrying out the research How the data are going to be brought together (lack of theory?) Tensions between approaches and methods 6

7 Multiple Method Research Designs (MMRD) Multi-method designs -1+ method within paradigms Mixed methods designs -1+ method mixed paradigms Combining methods – 1+ method, one subsumed to other? Integrating methods – 1+ method of equal weight?** Triangulation – outcome of MMRD?* Data transformation Quantitized data Qualitized data 7

8 Emic and etic understandings? Multiple research questions? Multiple facets or contexts Multiple of singular reality? Mixed phenomena? 8

9 Sequential or parallel? Linked or independent? Respondent enrolment Development of research instruments Time required Costs – value for money? Necessary expertise? Team organisation and communication 9

10 Wheres your theory? How does that help? Assumptions and presumptions – negotiating a path through/round them Integration; triangulation; combination? When are you going to integrate? Have you missed the moment? Will your audience understand? 10

11 Methodological Differing findings Unit of analysis Political Preference/requirements of audiences Practical Time Money Age of data 11

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13 Multi-faceted nature of all phenomena Contextuality Micro-meso-macro dimensions/relationships Agency and structure 13

14 Essentialist approaches Constructionist approaches Fixed state/status Contextual and fluid An inherent weakness or something managed and negotiated? Children and vulnerability 14

15 Which one and why that? Insufficient for some purposes eg Policy development Cannot elaborate micro-meso-macro interfaces and relationships Structure and agency Some presumptions are problematic 15

16 Multi-dimensional phenomenon Access via different methods derived from an interpretivist stance Can explore contingency and dynamic aspects Draw on emic and etic conceptualisations to plan a strong design for mixed methods Can explore structural relationships and agency/structure interfaces 16

17 Census data National data sets (eg GHS) National statistical returns (eg Crime statistics for HO) Published research findings Local surveys (primary data) Local statistics (secondary/primary data) Limited data about children Research Questions Specific (hypotheses) Determined at start by outside experts/prior research Limited by what is available eg area; analysis unit 17

18 The example of children and non-domestic violence Area level: risky areas? Deprived areas (IMD measurements): are high crime rates against children associated with neighbourhood levels of deprivation? Individual level: vulnerable people? Are children more or less vulnerable to non-domestic violence than other age groups? How does this vary by (eg) age, ethnicity, gender, imputed social class, household income? 18

19 What does vulnerability mean in childrens everyday lives? Vulnerability unspecified by researcher; aim to understand how respondents define it; subjectivity and context of great importance. How is vulnerability experienced and managed by children in different arenas of their lives? An individual level experience: eg feeling safe. A cultural/community level understanding: eg what being vulnerable means to children living in this area 19

20 Children are often seen as inherently vulnerable Particularly the case in policy terms Indirect challenge from sociology of childhood Agency ; social actors But ambivalence about children as vulnerable members of society 20

21 Uneven distribution of economic, social and political power in society leads to certain groups of people being at greater risk of adverse events such as ill-health, trauma or material loss. But connecting vulnerability to a characteristic such as age or social status does not tell us about the experiential nature of feeling vulnerable or being seen as vulnerable. Designating specific groups of people vulnerable glosses how people experience and manage vulnerabilities in everyday life. Need to create ways of analysing the vulnerability implicit in daily life, and the coping strategies that people develop to manage these (Wisner 1991:128) and connect that with structural dimensions. 21

22 Interested in the different ways in which children might construct, explain and experience vulnerability Theoretical integration with macro level understandings of children as vulnerable Children aged between 10 and 18, living at home with at least one parent 22

23 No predetermined definition of vulnerability Interviews to explore how they conceptualised vulnerability and how they responded to it Photo-elicitation and video-journey interviews in addition Focus here on integrated findings for non- domestic safety and vulnerability 23

24 Others constructions: all were aware of the ways in which adults thought children were vulnerable although they were not always sure as to why Sometimes accorded with their own experiences and constructions, sometimes not Spent time managing other peoples worries whilst also managing the situations in which they felt they were vulnerable 24

25 I: are there any […] rules that your parents set [about using the internet] P: not really but they dont let us have hotmail because of the chat room, my sister had it but I dont know what she did but then they banned it … so I dont get the benefit which I think is really unfair as all my friends have it and Im the only one who doesnt have it I: do you understand the reasons why you cant have it? P: not really, I asked but they wouldnt tell me (Tom, age 13 years) 25

26 The threat that strangers (could) pose when no adult present to protect them (eg in the town) P: If I like see someone who doesnt, if its late or something and I find, if I see someone who doesnt look like normal than I just walk off with my mates and go somewhere else. I: […]what kind of things do you look for when youre trying to decide if someones OK or a bit..? P: Its just like if he doesnt look right, theyre watching and things. (Stuart, age 12 years) I: What is it about strangers that you worry about? P: Kidnapped (Jack, 13 years old). 26

27 parental fears about how places became more unsafe at night or outside the bounds of daytime were understood as being simply about the dark: I: What about when you are outside playing? Are there rules about where you can go or what time? P: Sometimes I am not allowed to go to the park I have to stay right in front [garden]. And we are not allowed to come home really late. I: What is late, what would be late? P: Well, when it gets dark. When it gets dark. (Yasmin, 11 years old). 27

28 Respondents 14yrs and older differentiated parental worries about vulnerability from the real vulnerabilities to be dealt with Threats of violence: in some places other young people were looking to fight, were in gangs, or there was a strong chance of general violence occurring (visual and video data). Important to know when to leave a place and who to avoid (video data) Important your parents did not know 28

29 False information about whereabouts I go to my friends house and well go out, and Ill just text my parents and say weve gone here, there or wherever. If Im staying at a friends house, I will go out with them but wont tell my parents (Lucy, 14 years old). Withholding information about own vulnerabilities Managing gendered threats to self 29

30 this is where my mum dropped me off outside [the station] and there was a man on his phone there…I felt uneasy I got out of the car he hung up and looked at me and I was just about to walk down [the underpass] and he turned as if he was going to walk down to…so I went down there [another way]… I felt much better doing that where I knew there were a lot of people around rather than having rather than I dont know whether he was following me you as a teenage girl you feel uneasy about these things (Rachel, aged 13, video data) 30

31 Usually I would say that theres not many people my age that I could be frightened of, because theyre my age therefore I know how they think, and even if theyre acting hard and theyre going hard and theyre going to beat you up, you theyre not because..[they just] want to scare people (jane, 13) If I see a man on his own I get scared if theyre big, especially if they start looking at you, and sometimes there are men that will look at you and not take their eyes off you and you start to feel uneasy and think what are they looking at? 31

32 Vulnerability emerges as contextual to the social worlds of the participants Reflects the ways in which children/young people are positioned between structures which constrain their actions on the basis of their age, and their own desires, opportunities, and abilities to be (relatively) autonomous social actors Vulnerability is a site around which the relationship between their structural position in their families, and in society more generally, and their status as social actors is played out 32

33 Using a mixed methods approach Interface between micro and macro dimensions of physical safety, distributions of risk, violence Would need primary data to capture distributions of management strategies 33

34 Vulnerability is experienced in many domains, at many levels Single methods approaches are limited in the understandings they can produce Need to be specific about which methods, why, how, when. 34

35 Ideal resolution: Careful prior design and planning! Integration or other relationships? Tendency to a particular kind of multi methods design in some contexts Often driven by etic mode of intervention/government Often leads to resolution through: Etic measures of the emic Loss of depth? 35

36 Which combines methods/data/analyses in such a way that they form a whole but retain their paradigmatic nature (ie they are not translated one into the other) and make a contribution of equal value ** 36

37 From the start During data generation/fieldwork Through data analysis Via interpretation As a product of presentation 37

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