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working on data analysis with interview transcripts

Saturday, April 12th, 2008 @ 9:26 pm
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Posted in  Data Analysis, Heuristics

During the last few days, i have been working closely with an interview transcript to see how i approch the data analysis. there are many challenges that appear and decisions that are to be made, i will discuss all my concers with supervisor and the PhD group this coming week. I have just sent my analysis notes to my supervisor by email and wrote the following to him, amongst else:

“The document am sending you to look at has notes from 2 phases. PHASE I is the notes i
kept when i did the interview months ago and tried to summarise tha participant’s
response to each of my main interview questions

PHASE II is the work i did since i saw you on Thursday. What i did is
that i took the transcript and sat with a pen, trying to find the MEANING UNITS that seem
to appear: i just read the transcript and underlined what stood out and tried to phrase
it in a few words – i came out with 20 meaning units/concepts as i call them. As i was
reading, i was also trying to think of literature i may have read about them etc

I am left wandering: i am answering the research question? to some level yes, to  another
level the narratives touch on too many things, cause i left the design/structure so
broad….is that a bad thing? well, maybe it will make my life difficult in terms if
coming to a creative synthesis…but, will see about it, still early

I have 22 interviews, some rich, some more flat….maybe i could sit with each of them
and try to draw in a document the meaning units, until i can see some patterns…it is
lengthy process, maybe i could give myself a deadline of a month to do that and see what
comes out of it…i could focus on the 12 interviews with the Greeks as a group and try
to make a synthesis of those first  (something that i intend to present at the conference
in Berlin in late July together whith Maria, the Greek Professor) – this would be a sort
of Greek case study

i could then have the other set of interviews and see what insights i get from those of
different cultures……I am a bit concerned (from reflexivity point of view) about my VISION and INTERPRETATION of
things….sometimes i feel too aware of differences, almost creating them in front of
me…other times i become ‘colour-blinded’, sometimes i experience the universal
dimensions…other times i am more ‘fanatical’ about things that become visible to me and
maybe are taboo-related…….so much process, my fear is that i might not be FAIR to the
data, i might not be able to treat it well, is there a danger of becoming manipulative
with it when it comes to interpretation? (which does not sit comfortable with the
humanistic being in me…)”

I think the above shows my reflexivity process as a researcher…i am nut just adopting concepts or techniques from a textbook but am constantly questioning both my data as well as my relationship with it and my inner process, as the data analysis proceeds. In terms of my heuristic methodololy, i could say that  i am in the ‘illumination’ process…more to come on that

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