Sunday, September 27, 2009

Alex Questions - Sept. 28

Q1 – Adler in his description of Humphrey’s Tearoom Trade was explaining his role as a covert observer-as-participant. It seems as if Humphrey’s crossed some lines in his research of “deviant” behavior in terms of homosexual acts in public restrooms. Didn’t he as “watch queen” in fact act as an enabler? Doesn’t this type of research raise many ethical issues beyond the so-called “deviant” behavior?

Q2 – Is the Tracy Everbach article typical of such qualitative papers? I ask because after the literature review, I was expecting to see hypotheses… or at least expectations. (Based on what we know from the literature, we expect to find this…) I say this because it seems like she had expectations from the literature and then the “study” supported those expectations.

Q3 – It’s probably obvious that I don’t read a lot of qualitative papers, but again back to Everbach. I enjoyed the article. In fact, I found it an entertaining read. Still, the “results” just reeked of “bias” to me. And as a longtime journalist myself, I personally agree with much of her findings. But her results seemed to me to be a personal essay filled with anecdotes to support her point of view where she tossed in a minor criticism or two from the “other” side. Again I ask, is this typical of a lot of qualitative papers?

Q4 – Given my point of question 3 above, I was pleased to read about “deconstruction” in the Fontana & Frey, (1998) chapter. But it seemed to me to be little beyond a mere mention. Can you expand this concept?

Q5 - As a long time journalist, I feel extremely confident in my interviewing abilities, including an ability to be situationally flexible. I would think this gives me an advantage in conduction interviews with qualitative research. After all, the goal is the same -- get to the truth. Am I setting myself up for a false sense of security, or is it true that journalists make good qualitative journalists?

1 comment:

  1. Alex, Dr. Harp asked me to clarify some of the points here. I want you to know I did not go into this study with a preconceived notion. I simply let the subjects speak for themselves. So your assertion that this sounded like a personal essay filled with anecdotes is out of line. When you begin to study framing and theme analysis I hope you will learn that there is a methodological way of organizing the information gathered in an ethomethodological study and researchers don't pick and choose to suit their own means.