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Housekeeping. If I haven’t responded to emails, tomorrow . . . Stop tonight at 7:45, lit review workshop Next week, proposals: Keep me busy on emails, ask questions (I really mean it)

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  • If I haven’t responded to emails, tomorrow . . .
  • Stop tonight at 7:45, lit review workshop
  • Next week, proposals:
    • Keep me busy on emails, ask questions (I really mean it)
    • Send via email before class starts. That way I can give you feedback electronically. Word Docs or something I can open in Word (Pls)
where were we
Where were we?
  • Ontology: What is the nature of reality?
  • Epistemology: What is my relationship to that reality?
  • Methodology: How can I go about investigating what I think can be known?
  • Paradigms: socially constructed approaches to inquiry including: ONT/EPS/METH and varying more specific theoretical and value orientations.
    • (Positivist), post-positivist, constructivist, critical theorist
so what is qualitative research
So, what is qualitative research?
  • A range of approaches to research with varying theoretical foundations.
  • Focus = cases and that cases have analyzable features. Case = individual, couple, community, organization, event, country, etc.
  • Involves in-depth investigation of a small number of cases, including even a single case study (like Ethno of Speaking)

See NSF document by Ragin, Nagel, and White (2004)

Seeks detailed knowledge with the goal of finding out HOW things happen.
  • Grounding or starting explanations with the data, vs. with researcher’s assumptions (now, there’s always caveat)
  • Seeks to ‘make the facts understandable,’ rather than focus on causal inference or predictions.

See Sliverstein (2001) Chapter on Blog on Credibility

QI some different standards of evaluation than quantitative research.
    • ‘Reliability’ of field notes of observations, audio-recordings, transcripts, teamwork, etc. (not, replicability w/same results)
    • ‘Validity’ (Truth) = being reflexive about your values, authentically and truthfully as possible representing participants’ perspectives, comparing different kinds of data when possible, member checking when possible, etc.
ethnography now its your turn
Ethnography - Now its your turn
  • How would you describe ‘ethnography’ as an broad approach to research?
  • What did you hear, see, smell, taste, or touch in your mini-journal observations?
    • What was it like to sit there and just observe?
    • What was fun? What was challenging?
    • What did you jot down, what didn’t you jot down?
varying approaches to ethnography

Went to Galicia, Spain


Studying Separatist Movements



Vocational Training

Educational Organization


Went to Germany

Tensions between Serbs and Croats in community.


Refugees community from former Yugoslavia in his home town

Varying Approaches to Ethnography
tensions or issues to manage note in one semester
Tensions or issues to manage (Note: in one semester)
  • How much you have a specific ‘focus’ vs. letting the data completely guide;
  • How structured are your observations, interviews, focus groups vs. how much you leave things unstructured in order to (again) allow the participants to ‘drive’ your research agenda.
  • Extensive of interaction with professor along the way vs. go and do and then come back.
  • Small number of ‘deep’ observations/interviews vs. more with narrower focus?
  • How and where does the ‘literature’ come in?
so how might your projects be ethnographic in a limited but important sense
So, how might your projects ‘be’ ethnographic (in a limited but important sense)?
  • ‘field work’ = going out and talking to people, listening and watching.
  • If you’re working with one organization!
  • Looking for various sources of information where ever it may be: media, research, informal conversations, etc.
  • You’ll be making ‘field notes’ after interviews, focus groups . . .
  • Your focus on a ‘case,’ for example, ‘BP Oil Crisis,’ or ‘Temporary Workers’ or ‘community of technology users’ or different types of phenomenon with more or less definable communities or events, phenomenon.
ethnography of speaking
Ethnography of Speaking . . .
  • One type of ethnography = focus on language; how meanings are created in communities or in particular speech events.
  • We ‘do’ things with language in social settings.
  • Eth of Speaking looks at the relationships between form and content of communication and the creation of meaning.
  • How we talk has consequences for how we see the world and create meanings in organizational life – broadly speaking.
What does a competent speaker ‘do’ in a particular situation, for example:
    • In response to corp crisis?
    • In an executive speech to stakeholders?
    • On Facebook or writing a Blog?
    • As a temporary worker in a meeting?
    • In an interview? While recruiting executives?
    • What is the repertoire of language and communication skills? What are the hidden rules of interaction? Styles? Dialectics? Code switching? How is power communicated?
  • When you want to study a particular speech event or a particular speech community (bloggers, IT employees, academics), useful approach.
  • Analyze SPEAKING model in this class?
S etting
  • P articipants
  • E ends
  • A ct sequences
  • K ey
  • I instrumentalities
  • N orms
  • G enres
what about the last lecture
What about the ‘Last Lecture’?
  • Backstory . . .

caryn medved s top 10 list on literature reviews
Caryn Medved’s Top 10 List on Literature Reviews

10. Goal = Your ‘take,’ your way of interpretation of a body of work.

9. Careful reading is KEY before writing.

8. You need to read to know what you will use and won’t use . . .

7. So, by extension, you’ll read a lot of research, you won’t use.

6. Databases are your friends, librarians can become your friends . . .

5. Find some space to make piles.

4. Then, reorganize your piles.

3. Some ways to create piles: by theme across articles, by date of publication, by sub-discipline, by findings, etc.

2. Cite within the text & have a reference page.

Tell me what YOU think, in fact, tell me up front what your conclusion is, how you’ll proceed and visually organize for me – please.

Give a clear thesis statement:

“While the research on maternity leave negotiation tells us much about organizational policies, it tells us little about the variety of women’s experiences of returning to work after childbirth.”


“This review of literature is organized in the following way . . . “

Use an introduction, subheadings, transitions, conclusions – and, my favorite – spell check.