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Interviews so far (reflections…”How to” from now on?)

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007 @ 7:20 pm
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Posted in  Data Collection, Reflexivity, Research Participants

I feel the need to write down a brief summary of all the interviews i have done so far to get a clearer view of the broader picture.Here we are:

1. Focus Group (7 participants, interesting issues around culture emerged, written up in my MSc dissertation)

2. Two Interviews in India (with Indian counselling trainers – this revealed themes around perceptions/attitudes of transferability of western training models to non-western cultures)

3. Interviews with Pittu, Kam, Genevieve (more around spirituality and culture, the process highlighted that i shall make a more narrow focus…re-formulation of research proposal: new emphasis on counsellors’ expereinces of cross-cultural transitions)

4. Interview with Sophia (returner, December 2006 – homeland: Greece, host: UK)

5. Interview with Patricia (still in host, January 2007 – homeland: UK, host: Greece)

6. Interview with Christina (returner, May 2007 – homeland: Greece, host: UK)

7. Interview with Pat (still in host-host, May 2007 – homeland: Belgium, host: Greece)

8. Interview with Marina ( still host, June 2007 – homeland: Greece, host: UK)

9. Interview with Abd. ( still in host, June 2007 – homeland: UK, host: Canada)

Most of those interviews were done at stages where my research design was still not completelly clear. So, maybe there aren’t many common patterns as i might have been asking somewhat different things.Does this mean that i cannot use them as PhD data? Won’t i get confused in the data analysis? This is an issue that i can’t always clarify when talking with William. HE gives me permission to be ‘messy’ and often says that it is enough for me to have an area of interest rather than neat research questions and procedures of collecting data. But am getting confused here? How can i then claiming I am finding anything if am doing bits here and there? If each participant is revealing different themes according to his/her context and background and where each interview leads us (without following a particular interview schedule), how can i say that I am finding patterns that contribute to certain conclusions around ‘truth’? I can’t make any conclusion based on what one or two participants (of possibly similar stories tell me, isn’t it?). Don’t i need to have followed the same procedure and questions to ALL participants in order to be in a some sort of ‘valid’ position to draw any conclusions? All the above ‘data collection’ activities so far feel a bit fragmented to me…how could i bring them to a coherent perspective/lens or how can i do things differently from now on? Or am i really on a good ‘heuristic’, exploratory path and am just dwelling into the anxiety provoked by the postmodern, less structured way of being and doing in research…?

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