Jeffrey’s Twitter Updates for 2009-08-31

  • I am still discussing issues I am now aware of regarding the transcription of research interviews this week. #
  • Just learned that Greenwich Village 10014 is the 3rd most expensive zip code in the US: Bohemians beware??? #
  • The doorman said he saw a large raccoon walk up the sidewalk in the middle of the night. A raccoon in Greenwich Village? Mind little dogs! #
  • I look up, and in front of me is Grant’s Tomb. Yes, I rode to Riverside Park and am taking a break around 124th St. May be sore tomorrow. #
  • Needed an exercise break and a transcription break, so went for a bike ride. #
  • Need a break from transcription. Will finally go for a bike ride. #
  • New comment on “Bakhtin, dialogicality and the (moral) act” #

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Research Interview Transcription Issues

TranscriptionI am nearly finished with my transcription, and as I mentioned last week, I am quickly becoming aware of the politics around transcription, namely those where people assume (uncritically, of course!) the way they handle these issues are done in the same way by everybody engaged in transcription.  Into the literature I went for some guidance, and what I found was somewhat surprising.

One of the articles I read when I searched the literature, Transcription in Research and Practice: From Standardization of Technique to Interpretive Positionings, raised a number of important points that invited me to pause for reflection on how I am handling myown research project:

  • transcription is theory-laden, and there are not uniform conventions or standards for how to make decisions
  • language and meanings are inherently situational and contextual; the theory and method for handling transcription needs to be addressed and clarified by the researcher
  • transcriptions seem to be interpretive constructions arrived at by choices by the researcher

How often I find research papers that gloss over or do not even acknowledge the transcription of the interviews, without addressing any of the concerns or issues that fundamentally influence the direction of the research?

While this article is a bit dated (1999) and I have located some more recent works that I will try to process later this week, I found Lapadat’s and Lindsay’s concluding paragraph (p. 82) inciteful, leaving me with the feeling that I need to know more:

Unlike Kvale (1996), we believe that the problematic issues cannot be avoided simply by omitting the step of transcription. The hard work of interpretation still needs to be done. Researchers across disciplines for many years have found transcription to be an important component of the analysis process. We want to emphasize that it is not just the transcription product—those verbatim words written down—that is important; it is also the process that is valuable. Analysis takes place and understandings are derived through the process of constructing a transcript by listening and re-listening, viewing and re-viewing. We think that transcription facilitates the close attention and the interpretive thinking that is needed to make sense of the data. It is our contention that transcription as a theory-laden component of qualitative analysis warrants closer examination.

Yes, I do indeed need to closer examine these (and other) issues I am confronting now in my research.

Jeffrey’s Twitter Updates for 2009-08-30

  • Great suggestions for webinar best practices. #
  • Beginning my day of transcription. #
  • Tomorrow, to transcribe! #
  • Drove 400 miles today. A record for me. Now, time for some wine and a winding down for the night. #

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The Reader Movie as Complexity

I watched the movie The Reader last night, and was surprisingly pleased with it. The “secret” (as if there were only one) it addresses is one that unfortunately lingers even today in many situations and experiences. Set within post-World War II Germany and the present, it was stronger and more touching than I imagined. One thing is certain, the movie is more complex than the brief description provided by Netflix; not in its online complexity, but rather with the ethical, moral, and legal issues that it raises without becoming preachy, self-righteous, or adequate in its confronting the main character’s bildungsroman.

the reader

As a viewer, I have a lingering sense that, yet again, life if more complex than we ordinarily like to compartmentalize it.

Jeffrey’s Twitter Updates for 2009-08-29

  • Awful traffic on the Jersey Turnpike going south where the two lanes merge. #
  • Headed for a long drive though the rain today. #
  • Rain. Fog. Cold. No Critical Mass NYC for me tonight 🙁 #
  • Looking increasingly likely that no Critical Mass NYC ride for me this evening; too much rain 🙁 #

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Jeffrey’s Twitter Updates for 2009-08-28

  • 2 new comments on “Silence and Voice” and more #
  • 2 new comments on “Silence and Voice” and more #
  • Anybody out there planning to attend the Critical Mass bike ride in Manhattan / New York City tomorrow night? #
  • More follow-up from the storm destruction of the trees in Central Park: Dealing with the Damage #
  • The movie will be shown in HD, and there is a 300 member orchestra with live music for the event. #
  • I just bought tickets for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring at Radio City Music Hall #
  • Just bought tickets for an interesting show at Radio City in October. #
  • We just had a fire drill at the office. We walked down 17 flights. Tiring, but good preparation for the unthinkable. #

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Critical Mass NYC Bike Ride Tonight

critical mass I am hoping for nice weather this evening, as I am planning to attend my first Critical Mass ride in Manhattan / NYC this evening. Sponsored (as much as these sort of things can be sponsored) by Time’s Up, it is an opportunity to reclaim the streets for bikes, people, and the joy of community (with a little social and environmental activism in there as well, it seems). We pay taxes, and as there are a lot more people in Manhattan who are not driving in cars, it seems we can enjoy the streets, too.

I know, bikes are always on the streets, freely riding to and fro. The difference? It is dangerous to ride on the streets along. Like so many things in New York, we celebrate the right to be alone and independent, though we often like to do that together. Ironic, but this is what we so love about NYC!

Like many informal groups, Critical Mass is a bit difficult to track down online. Wonder how many people attend these things?

times up Regardless, I am looking forward to attending my first event, as informal as it may be, from my new environmental group (which I joined, btw, and have a nifty new hat to show for it!), Time’s Up. What a cool logo they have.

I only wish I would know somebody, or have somebody to attend tonight’s Critical Mass ride with . . .

Perhaps I should rather hope it stops raining and clears up – I am still too new to bike riding to want (or be able) to do it in the rain!