ICQI and Lancaster Catch-Up

I finally published the liveblog entries I wrote while I attended ICQI last week; thought they were all published, though it seems I published them as drafts, and thus they did not appear. I have been so busily working on my next doctoral program research paper idea (with a major due date that was just postponed to Wednesday), that I have lost track of nearly everything else.

I hope to post the idea for my next mini-research project tomorrow. I just received some internal cohort-mate feedback, and realize I need to process and develop the idea a bit more before I put it here.

Annual Meeting of the IAQI

The ICQI 2010 Conference is now over, ending formally with the Annual Meeting of the IAQI (and the barbecue immediately following). I am the only one that I can see still using a computer, ready to catch and capture whatever leaps out at me, though hopefully no Fighting Illini will appear (hey, I did not make up the mascot).

Carolyn Ellis just won the inaugural Book of the Year Award for her book Revision, which is about meta-autoethnography.

Yvonna Lincoln just won the Qualitative Research Lifetime Achievement Award. Her work (with Egon Guba) Naturalistic Inquiry changed the space for qualitative research, and her co-editor work with the editions of the Handbook of Qualitative Inquiry.

Harry Wolcott won the Lifetime Achievement Award. He was among the first people to engage in qualitative educational research. Wolcott believed that writing should be part of the dissertation, and it should be something that happens every day. His own personal life has become part of the critique of his work, and this opened the door to autoethnography, narratice inquiry, among others.

Serge Hein is presenting an update on the Collaborating Sites Network. Last year there were 86 of them, now there are 106 of them, so the number is growing. A Colleaborating Sites Advisory Committee was formed, the Website Technology Subcommittee and the Website Resources Subcommittee both were created and submitted recommendations. Nice that they recognized those of us who served on these committees (and yes, five of us stood, including your truly!).

The outgoing and new officers of IAQI were recoegnied and thanked.

New business was opened to the floor.

It was announced that the website will be able to have papers or parts of papers or even slide decks to be uploaded, as well as participant contact information to help better link members.

Let’s all off to the MidWest cookout at 7:00! Fine conference, yet again.


Finally attending a session on blogging, hurray!!

Michael J,. Sharpe (American living and studying in Germany) is presenting; he analyzed and studied blog entries in Israeli Settlers in West Bank blogs. fascinating work he did with what he found via his analysis. He found that the narratives of the blog entries revealed something different than the common stories we hear  about stories from “outsiders.” There is a settler victimhood perspective. I also spoke with him afterward about how he gathered his data for this research, which in turn made me consider how many options there are for studying this growing vast repository of artifacts online. Glad to see I am adding to all this!! Quite interesting research, especially given the academic work that Michael engages in; hope he continues to blog about this as well.

Karen LaBont is now speaking about her blog, All Hands on Deck, which she began in 2009. She did her blog work about the No Child Left Behind requirements for schools. Her paper that she is reading is about the importance of teaching and learning for their own sakes, rather than to successfully complete high-stakes, standardized tests.

Why Blog? A Case for Utilizing Blogs in Qualitative Research was the next paper by Angela Brayham. She read her autoethnographic paper about how blogging can relate to critical thinking and reflective blogging with a group of learners.Really juicy content.

Presentation of research on the Internet: Possibilities and ethical concerns — by Lori E. Koelsch and Amy C. Barackmam researched about privacy and  confidentiality on the Web, especially if using blogs. This is certainly an important issue, and while the definitions are even themselves still in flux, the main take-away is that whatever elements of participant data gets uploaded, it  is virtually always present.

A few concerns — once you post some of your information online, it may be considered already published. Additionally, there are (or should be) concerns about putting information wherever it goes online and if it crosses international boundaries with privacy laws, as well as who “owns” the information that one puts online. For example, if something were online, the issue of who owns it any longer.

Using Microblogs in Qualitative Research: Live-blogging for Human Rights by Julia Kathryne Daine. She studies how people used Twitter during the human rights violations in Iran. This reminds me of the program Haystack, to try to get around the Internet national censors. Very interesting research she did with this. Some very good implications for researchers. This becomes quite interesting with international cell phones that give access to the Internet, or at least posting to microblog sites for human rights issues.

As a blogger for years now, with the experience of having liveblogged several conferences along the way, I think I want to present some of my research next year in this area. Of course, by then my doctoral thesis idea should (hopefull!!) be approved!

Directions in Qualitative Health Research

I am attending a session on qualitative health research, which is often a challenge in the US (as well as elsewhere, it seems). There are a lot of qualitative health researchers here in this conference, especially from the social work and nursing fields. Wondering why so few of these discussions have made their way to New York area institutions.

Some of the challenges that were identified by the first speaker, Jennifer Beale (U of Toronto).

  • integrating qualitative researcher into health sciences agenda
  • getting into the field and thus finding a site to conduct it
  • getting research published in health sciences

While she was discussing these issues and explaining some of her positive ethnographic experiences, I wondered about the other challenges to having external qualitative researchers within healthcare:

  • what’s in it for me? (WIIFM?) – Why should the organization allow access? What will the organization get for somebody looking over internal data or strategic processes? How will it promote improving patient outcomes or otherwise improve internal performance?
  • who within the organizations will review the findings from a legal or marketing perspective if the research findings are not possible
  • to what extent does the researcher know how to navigate the healthcare organization’s institutional review board (IRB)
  • establishing mutual partnerships and research possibilities first seems to be the best first step (IMHO)

Murilo Moscheta (University of Sao Paulo, Brazil) spoke next, who spoke about his paper Responsivity in Health Qualitative Research: Resources for inquiry and the development of non-discriminatory healthcare assistance. The team concern in his paper was how to serve a GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender) population, as just showing up with resources did not work. His work was to work with the team to try to understand what was happening with them.

I am partly attending this session as a result of a conversation I had with Murilo during the opening reception on the first night of the conference. The ideal situation for dialogue that he established in a project imploded when a participant in the session stood up, said she could not deal with the situation at hand, and left the room. He then wondered, from the researcher’s perspective, what should the researcher’s response be? This led him to a study of dialogue, about how can we explain what happened so we can understand the situation and then respond.

Theories of dialogue were then reviewed, with one framework that dialogue is always done in response to something that was said before. Communication is a chain, and in this way, if everything that I say is a response, who is the author? Responsivity is recognizing the co-authorship of the act of communication?

Using the prescriptive model, dialogue is that conversation that occurs between the I and the Thou, when the otherness of the other is acknowledged and engaged in. This is interesting with an appreciative stance to enable creativity.

Once again, inviting people to discuss this work means more than just showing up. People often do not respond to the content, they react to the process. When he later debriefed this with the nurse, the result was a creative response. The discussant does not create meaning — that happens within the context of those involved in the interaction.

Yes, I clearly need to learn more about these communication theories. So many things to learn!

Stephanie Baller then spoke about her paper, The Influence of Materialistic Values and Activity Level on Physical Activity Location and Type. Her research was on the physical environment, including how values effect how people choose to locate themselves in time and place. She used a survey to get enough basic information to then inform a focus group. Her work thus comprised mixed methods reserach. Her research involved materialism and activity, thus for a four-quadrant perspective.

Interesting discussion about the idea of distance, and how much of this is based around perception. With this, and given that her findings showed that the people who generally use the rec center are more materialistic (want to be seen, use the same things with a sense of ownership and competition) and the result was that rather than asking everybody, “What do you all want?” the question should then be asked to those who do not use the space, “What do you need that is different?” with the understanding that this  is the population that needs to be reached.

Great discussion about how issues of race, gender, and class influence who uses or does not use gyms, which parts of the gyms, etc. Thinking about my own experiences of this, it reminds me of when I used to go to an over-priced facility where I felt that I needed to get in shape before I even entered the facility . . .

Plenary: Round Table: Troubling Times: The Right, The Left and The Obama Factor

I made a point of getting up and getting out earlier this morning as I wanted to attend this plenary panel on the oppositions around Barack Obama, and “what it invokes for the citizenship” of the US. The chair is D. Soyini Madison, who is introducing the topic in a convincing manner. I knew about some of these challenges, though she helped me to frame how President Obama is not seen as doing enough of what any political side of every issue wants. No matter what he does, nobody seems happy.

The panel is comprised of Bryant Alexander, Aisha Durham, Claudio Moreira, Norman Denzin, and Michael Giardina.

Bryant spoke about the need for environmental emergency, partly due to the BP spill in the Gulf, as well as the range of concerns involved in the environment. He also spoke about what it means for President Obama to be a black president. He is waiting for Barack Obama to demonstrate how he is a black man in the White House, though he is not reallly sure what that means. Makes me wonder what that means, since it is so obvious about the president, but the fact that race is present in conctested ways on many levels, this is a very useful concept to consider. I found Bryant’s perspective refreshing; I would like to hear more from him.

Aisha Durham spoke next; she introduced herself as a Texas educator (with all that means today given the Texas curriculum problems). She does believe in the emancipatory, affirming, and transformative aspects of knowledge and education. When students ask her why she is there, she responds by stating that she is there in pursuit of freedom. Quite inspiring.

Michael began by announcing that he did not prepare a script, but he did want to speak about Sarah Palin. He read several quotes from a Palin rally, and the examples he read were partly anti-Obama as well as Islamaphobic. Now a quote from Chomsky, who stated that this right-wing position is really addressing issues that happening to them — those are answers — but they are not hearing anything else.

Claudio Moreira spoke about various mythologies (is Elvis still alive? Was Obama born here?). He spoke about how we can not be a hostage of this state; we need to take care of ourselves. Do we talk about the politics of cynicism or a politics of hope? Thoughtful.

Norman is speaking as being caught between 3 discourses. Driven under a relentless framework of fodder or injustice under Bush, and then we get caught up in this Obam / Clinton / McCain /Palin conflict. The politics of Bush gets pushed to the side and there is an issue of this conflict in every manner. Then, with the Obama victory. Sleeping well that night with the sense that the Left Won, and almost the next day the fire of rage began with the counter-Obama discourse and now the air has once again been sucked out of the room, as the same issues used against Bush are now used against Obama. We are now back where we started. In this, he then mentioned a book Acts of Acitivism and an essay in it —  Crazy Patriotism and Crazy Post-Black Woman (did not catch the author reference).

Can we find a space today that is not distracted by the right and is straight forward to focus on within universities and journals and culture? That is Denzin’s challenge.

Great question from somebody from the UK about what the Tea Party is.

What are the Democratic messages of the Left? That may just be the problem — there is the lack of any other vision. The Left does not seem to have a message of its own to stand on, as opposed to being only in reaction to. The Left gets caught up in all its individual issues, rather than a leading strategy. Wondering if that is what the situation is — the Right has the same message it pounds home, while the Left is only seen in reaction to while not fostering its own vision.

So, what is the vision of the Left? Dare we hope that there be some strategy?

The attendees of this session who are asking questions, or at least the past 5 questions, are all from people who are not American. Very telling of the issues at hand?

The Right seems to have a rhetoric, filled with sound bites and a message that in some way speaks to enough of a base that it is easy to rally the troops. What is the base for the Left? Is there a base that can have its own rhetoric with sounds bites that does not react to, but instead directs its troops toward some goal, some vision of the future? With the Right’s base in a Christian self-righteousness and a whiteness that makes an automatic us vs. them (and by them I mean anybody who is not white) seem like a safe place, an all of us together with enough shared (hegemonic) stories, including even those that are not there. This reminds me when I was a Rupublican; there was a certain sense of safety as being a member of something that has a message and an identity of a sense of us (god, guns, and gays; white christians, pro-life, etc.). Even if I did not fit all (or even most) of the stereotypes in the party-line, at least  there was a party-line.  It was not intellectual, not overly thought-out, and was hammered home again and again, without ever feeling a need to apoligize or respond to criticism.

How can the Left do the same?