Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sung Woo-Questions

In Everbach study, I don’t see the connection between the change in newsroom and feminine culture.

->Everbach’s study demonstrated many characteristics of qualitative study that were questionable to me. First of all, I don’t see the connection between feminine culture and the change of Herald Tribune, not in this article.
Qualitative studies make the case out of a specific case, based on a subjective analysis. I don’t have trouble with that. But if you want to connect it to a larger concept like historical background, ethnicity, cultural construct, or gender, I think you need to have some kind of loop, or a lasso that relates the two; the specific and the universality, or generalization. How do you induce a big conclusion from a specific interview? To me, qualitative studies jump to generalization.
Everbach’s study consists of three propositions, a syllogism.
①The news room of Saratosa Herald Tribune has changed.
②The new leadership brought the change.
③ The feminine culture drove the new leadership to change.
①, ② is well described in the article. But ③?
Should we just assume because the editors are females? The statement like “the managers brought their experimental as women to the newsroom culture” is not supported by this study. Or is it that I failed to see it?

Other practical questions about Everbach's article.

- Is three weeks of observation in 9 months a typical period?
- How do you attribute interviews? In Everbach’s article, she made bold statements like “these are characteristics of feminine management style” and attribute it to “see Weaver’s interview”, but we cannot see it.
- Shouldn’t the companion study of content analysis have been one study?

When you do an observation, how much do you have to know about the settings?

Yonghwan and I are doing an observation on second –life teaching class, for example. How much do we have to know about the second life? It seems to me that the more you know, the better your research gets. But according to Adler & Adler you really don’t have to. So I’m confused. Can one freely choose one option among being a complete participant, participant-as-observer, observer-as-participant, or complete observer?

An observer, isn’t it good to be free?

May be observation can rarely be a primary research method (Adler and Adler, 105). But I think it has a strong point of being free. It could be a very good exploratory method to do before you are restrained by rigorous logic of causality, or bound by financial limitations. So I felt, when I set in the second life teaching skill class, disguised as a professor-to-be who came for a pedagogical purpose. As I observed other participants comfortably, I could narrow down the research question I had.

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