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Data collection dilemmas (supervision)

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007 @ 9:27 am
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Posted in  Data Collection, Research Participants, Supervision

As i move along, i encounter people that i can interview for the PhD. I am aware of being anxious about a number of things, dilemmas i need to answer before i proceed:

1. there are many Greek participants, still in the Uk that come my way.Shall i interview all of them and what if i end up with too many Greeks? How would this link with the non-Greeks stories?

2. most participants seem to be those that remain in host culture, this is for practical reasons, i couldnt geographically follow those that return back to their countries, apart from those Greek ones that i find in Greece as returners. isnt that also affecting the story i am going to say?

3. How many cultures shall i involve in the PhD? it all gets complicated cause i wouldnt be in the position to find literature for all of them, especially when counselling is not actually well defined abroad as in the UK

4. Is my reseach question answerable? (what is the counsellors’ experience of managing cross-cultural transitions?). I am not sure if the interview questions are answering that specifically. I also talk about implications for training, supervision etc…how can i discover those if i dont ask trainers etc

5. not sure if i can o any focus group, hard to find those kind of participants togetehr in one place. some friedn in newcastle said there might be 4 Greeks and 2 asians she knows up there…but this Group would be so unbalanced (with so many greeks). isnt it better to interview them individually?

6. Isnt it inevitable that i will be listening to Greek participants differently that the non-Greeks? so, how can i manage that? when i talk with Steph, i constantly worry that i may be dominating the process….how can i be insider and outsider at the same time? am i allowing the true stories?

am feeling a bit lost, if not anxious. i suspect that because of the fact i personally dont feel i have a comfportable place in the world and my dilemma around returning to Greece and living comfortably there has become kind of legendary and very challenging, i might be resisiting the real stories from participants, or keeping it to a ‘safe level’ or hearing what i want to hear etc….need to sort this out in my meaning making process, will talk with William….i could write more here but cant right now, i dont have the words….what is that about? i havent found the right angle yet…this culture thing is a vacuum, i need some rootedness and security and inner comfort.

POST SUPERVISION THOUGHTS:

I saw William and discussed the baove, he actually said that am doing fine and i shall just get on with collecting my data as it comes, the questions above are not that important

something we do need to think about is who could be my external examiner. I would really like to have Colin but am not sure if he would accept given that there is an established relationship alrealy. It will emerge i think

so , will get on with my interviews, Julian also commented earlier today that am well ahead with time, so all looks good!

William wrote this email to me after supervision:

“Those 6 headline themes that you produced in the meeting with me yesterday need to eb sat with and mused on. Are there are other themes? Can all your data be usefully fitted into these themes? What sub-themes begin to emerge? Can these themes be grouped on paper in relation to one another? Finally can each theme have its own metaphor – could each have an animal but don’t force it!Of course such data analysis might eb ahead of its time and only provisional nonetheless it is my guess that your final version in the thesis will not be so far away from this.I think you can write yourself as a case study and do some depictions or case studies of some of those you interviewed – a few Greeks a few non Greeks!”

Also good to remember another metaphor:

When William asked me to think of a metaphor about how i see myself in the UK and how in Greece, my response was:  I see myself as an eagle in the UK (bord, strong, self-reliant, sharp vision, sense of freedom etc) and as a whale when in Greece (it’s the biggest mammal, in the sea=fluidity, going at great depths in the ocean etc). The question is: could these two animals/parts of me develop a dialogue with each other? Let’s see what comes out

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