Monday, 14 May 2012

Watch Out for the Default Positon

One thing I have been noticing as new research students knock on my door is how easy it is for me (and them) to go straight to the default design position of grounded theory and interviews....(god forbid that thematic analysis is ever raised which I have committed to never doing again..b-o-r-i-n-g!!!)...

In the last five years I have discovered that are so many more exciting options, both for data collection and data analysis than this default position

In terms of data collection the options are endless; by all means use interview but why not augment it with some tools to allow for a richer process.

We are doing a study at the moment of grandparents experience of grandparenting after vision impairment and using relationship scanning tools taken directly from family therapy interviewing to augment our interviews.

In another study involving supervision of case managers in disability services  we are using complex sociograms to augment interview transcripts. You can get your participants to write poems, draw, do timelines, watch videos of themselves doing something related to the question at hand. We have another study where people who binge use an ipod to record their experience AS it happens (except the vomitting bit!).

In terms of data analysis the world is also your oyster. You can actually use established theories to analyse transcripts and see if they fit, you can use metaphors to add depth, code in big multi-disciplinary groups to gets multiple perspectives. We have just finished a study where the coding was done by actual participants which was very exciting and lead to much more trustworthy results.

Only pick grounded theory and interviews if it is the best for your research aims..otherwise MOVE over interviews plus grounded theory!!! Enoughs enough!!

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