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.

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 . . .

Qualitative Research and Technology — In the Midst of a Revolution

This final presentation of the day is by Judith Davidson and Silvana diGregorio, both of whom I met and attended a session with last year. Judy is here presenting, and Silvana cannot attend (she is in London).

This workshop is coming out of the new 4th Edition of the Handbook of Qualitative Inquiry that is coming out later this year (go, Norman Denzin and Yvonna Lincoln!), where there is the development from the CAQDAS (Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software) apps to the CAQDAS 2.0, which will be more Web 2.0 focus on software packages.

As there is a development of qualitative research that has developed on different continents.

Judy did an overview of the texts and software applications that have been used, and a recorded video or Silvana, who was in this way able to present to us as well, demonstrated how the Web2.0 concepts have come along and may be able to improve upon the more traditional usages of CAQDAS apps.

Judy is now sharing some sorts of apps that may help with this, including wikis, A.nnotate, tagging (del.icio.us), Everyday Lives (an ethnographic software tool for iPhones), blogs, IBM Social Research Group – Many Eyes, Word Tree (for document analysis),  and how these things will move forward.

Wonderful discussion afterward about researcher involvement and how we are at the cusp of a world of Web 2.0. While people expressed some ideas about where all this Web 2.0 work is going in the qualitative data analysis software, I reminded the participants in the session that there are only 4 (yes, FOUR!) people using the conference tag on Twitter.

Go figure.

Spotlight: Journal Publishing

This is an interdisciplinary panel session on journal publishing, with Dorothy Becvar, Ron Chenail, Roy Ruckdeschel, Ian Shaw, Harry Torrance, and Donna Mertens.

While I have published a few articles with co-authors, I have not yet published a work with myself as the sole author. I think this will have to be a goal for myself for submitting 2 articles I have been working on for publication consideration. Wonder why I have had a block for doing the formal submission

Dorothy is speaking about the editor as mentor, and in this capacity she is speaking about her epistemological (and ontological) perspective. She has a responsibility to the journal publisher, and she also see a responsibility to mentoring the authors.

Ron is speaking about how his open access journal just celebrated its 20th year anniversary. Ron claims that he wants to appeal to everybody’s internal reviewer. He is now also proposing the concept of an association of qualitative editors. There are other examples of groups of ediitors in other fields.

Ian is speaking about a journal that is aspiring to be an applied, as well as an international journal. Being an applied qualitative research journal can be a challenge, as well as those that are international journals that seek to reach to one form of audience or another. Issues in and around applied work are at times distinguished by more “pure” research.

Harry is acknowledging how educational research is more eclectic and thus accepted in UK-based journals. The British Educational Research Journal is the premiers British educational research journal, and is committed to being wide, broad, and general. Likewise, it also has an international readership, and they do publish works from outside the UK. This journal, even though it publises a wide-range of work, gets relatively little qualitative research. Look at the journal, read what it publishes, and then select a journal to submit to based on how your work crosses those boundaries and fits into what goes into it. He then gave a list of British journals that are friendly to qualitative work:

  • British Educational Research Journal
  • Brtish Journal of Educational Studies
  • British Journal of Sociology of Education
  • Cambridge JOurnal of Education
  • Gender and Education
  • Journal of Educational Policy
  • Journal of Education for Teaching
  • Journal of Philosophy of Education
  • International Journal of Research and Method in Education
  • Oxford Review of Education
  • Pedagogy, Culture, and Society
  • Race, Ethnicity, and Education
  • Teaching and Teacher Education
  • Qualitative Research

Donna is now speaking about how her journal in Mixed Methods. They are an international journal, and publish articles that advance aspects of mixed methods. She then discussed the Pragmatic paradigm and the Dialectical approach and then the Transformative paradigm (Mertnes, Harris, Holmes, and Brandt, 2007) as various sorts of frameworks for the sorts of articles the journal accepts.

Roy is now speaking about the importance of speaking about citing other articles from that journal. Additionally, look at the editors and the board people, to know what they write about and who they write for. Most of the times articles are submmited, the response is usually to revise and then address each issue that is identified and then resubmit.

Ron just did a plug for an online course he offers, which is Appraising Qualitative Research. This course teaches people how to assess (and hopefully review) qualitative research articles.

Wonderful time for discussion and Q&A. Glad to have had the opportunity to speak to Ron and Harry, both of whom I had been meaning to meet and speak to for some time.

Autoethnogaphy, Gender, and Sexuality

What a full session, so much so that the circle that the social worker facilitator wanted us to form into has now become an elongated, oddly-shaped sphere (per se).

Gita Mehrotra and Elizabeth Circo were speaking about a mixed methods health project about lesbian and bisexual women of color. Interesting how the two social worker authors self-identified in different ways, which for me raises issue of confusion over self-identification and development issues. The authors looked at many different research pardigms about the use of self in reserach. Interesting that they were not approved to do a dialogical interview, so chose to do this part of the research with one another. They gained a lot of insights into the methodological and epistemological issues. The authors handed out printed copies of their slides, in part because this is how they were required to present their work in their institutions.

One of the authors spoke about how some of their interviewees felt comfortable about speaking with them about their research, as there were some shared experiences. I have found this as well with some of my work, namely as I reported in my paper that I presented at the Networked Learning Conference earlier this month in Aalborg, Denmark.

They engaged in autoethnography with one another. This seems to be a theme I am noticin.g both here in the conference as well as within the literature. Wonder if anybody is doing research on this? They are now reading sections of their autoethnogaphy sections. Interesting repetition of a family goal: “Assimilate, work hard, and do not draw attention to yourself.” One of the authors finished her reading in tears, to a round of applause by the tightly-packed room. Not sure why the tears, though others seem to have nearly shared them. The other author is with a little more force, and humor, with a number of people (again) nodding and laughing with a sense of, “Yes, we get it; we get you, we get your struggles.” People cannot get a hold on their physical health, as they cannot get a hold on their mental self. Hmm, have heard this theme before here at this conference as well.

The authors then spoke about some of their challenges with doing this research, with the one that stuck with me the most was how they researched their communties, and how they ended up knowing the members in their small communities much more than those members knew them. Very interesting implications for their practice.

Kimberly Dree Hudson is now presenting her work by reading her paper. Interesting concept of ambiguity, and how the intersections with it and elements of relationships, racial / ethnic / sexual, among other realities, that seem to be something beyond clear expression and organization. What is the experience or strategy (of power and privilege) of when people who “pass” choose to or not to come out (of the closet). Really interesting aspects of class and culture that support or do not support clearly addressing these issues.

Looking around the room, this is one of the more diverse group of session members that I have seen here. I see people who are clearly definable, as well as those who are not quite as easily categorizable. In many ways, this seems consistent with the queer approaches to autoethnography itself; there is an amount of fluidity in self-identification and development of the self with the complexities of cultural and traditional expectations.

Then I went to bed… In 20 minutes, I felt that the blood flow to the head (and to my penis). I was afraid that I couldn’t do it, as there was no arousal (as I was worried), but I had a hard). Next time I realized that it really helped, I relaxed and everything was great!!!) I’m very grateful to the company for such a cialico.com drug! I TOTALLY RECOMMEND IT!!!

I love the question that the speaker just shared that she gets asked — “What are you?” That comes saddled with issues of race, sexuality, and a plethora of other issues and experiences that are filled with concepts of privilege and positionality.What a vibrancy when these issues begin to be raised, especially within American Higher Education. Hiding. Hidden. Exclusion. People of color. Intersectional passages. Fear who to love or be intimate with. Quite reflective.

Brandon Hensley is now speaking, and he spoke about his autoethnographical experiences of transitioning from Catholic elementary school to a larger public middle school. Interesting how he is reliving memories of when he struggled, alone, as the butt of bullying and the like when he was younger. Never know if now, as he is a handsome and confident your researcher. Good lesson, in that one cannot always know (ok, one can rarely know) the challenges that we have experienced earlier in our lives (with earlier being a vague term) and which have formed aspects of our identity.

He just used the term reifies. Exmple of a term that sticks in my mind via my challenge understanding the concept within the communities of practice literature.

Hmm, Judith Butler reference. I really need to read more of her work.

Horrible story of bullying and how he recounts of the crowd of students as they were going to his getting beaten up and issues of “being proud” and taking the beatinng “like a man.” Really advanced example Brandon is doing with autoethnography — he recounts his stories and then weaves between them issues of theory, reflection, and research. Really clear work of body-building and how its compensation for issues of male inadequacy and how his internal pain and suffering was structured to build muscles and a focus of constructing control.

Now, his inner identity issues as he ontinues to work out recall the same issues of hypermasculinity and physical ideals. Interesting that his compensation for the challenges as a youth, he has now become all the aspects of ideal that society reaffirms and rewards. He made himself act masculine, assertive, and unattached. Now that he is not working out to avoid fights any longer, he is now questionning of why is he working out so much. This reflection on embodied lived experiences is fascinating, especially when considering how the outward result is the very hegemonic masculine continuation of the issue that the other authors all resisted.

Bradley Gangnon is now speaking about his work in China, and how his challenges within the educational system. He expressed various examples of how positive classroom experiences helped him come to a better understanding of himeselg as a gay man and a gay academic. He was always out in his classroom, until he went to China. He was an activist more in name and not in action, and read queer theory though did not actively connect the activism with practice. Fascinating recount of a session in China.

Alas, Brad did not have time to finish his work as the timing was a bit off in the session. Too bad, as I wanted to here were he was going to end up with his work.

This was so very unfortunate that there was not time for any discussion of any of these papers — these were among the more personal accounts I heard in today’s sessions, and to not have the opportunity to discuss, process, and ground the experience with those in the room who seemed to relate with elements of all their work is a truly missed opportunity.