The Best WritersMethodologiesAAS 211March 15, 2022AgendaCheck in:“Talk story””What will you do during the break?”Go over Ethnography and autoethnographyNo need to wait or go anywhereWriting down your observations and thoughts (“taking field notes” or doing “participant observation” ethnography) is “research.” Talking to people in your community and family (“doing oral history interviewing”) is research. Reflecting on your experiences, especially in the context of various (intersecting) forms of oppression based on race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, age, etc. (“autoethnography”) is research.The original goals of Ethnic Studies and Asian American Studies were to make academic work relevant and accountable to real people and real communities, so your research is part of this lineage.The methodologies that I will go over today might help you start right away (if you already haven’t).Quantitative Method“Quantitative research (the word ‘quantitative’ comes from the word ‘quantity’) involves information or data in the form of numbers. This allows us to measure or to quantify a whole range of things. For example: the number of people who live below the poverty line; the number of children between specific ages who attend school; the average spending power in a community; or the number of adults who have access to computers in a village or town.”Surveys are common way of doing quantitative researchQuestionnaire“Respondents” answers exact same questionsWhen have enough responses, put data together and analyse in a way that answers your research question or what you want to know/exploreObservation researchWatch for instances of certain behaviors, patterns, phenomenon, etc.Media research based on “monitoring criteria” (e.g. specific focus of the article, author, date of publication, length, etc.) For example, “of all articles in major newspapers about the Wen Ho Lee incident, ____% assumed that he was guilty when the story first broke out.”Quantitative research may reveal important information, but you might want to go into depth with qualitative researchFor example, through a survey you may find out that major newspapers portray Asian Americans a certain way, but you want to know the reasons why they do. For that you would want to do interviews the writers, publishers, etc. at the newspapers.Advantages of surveysGood for comparative analysis.Can get lots of data in a relatively short space of time.Can be cost-effective (if you use the Internet, for example).Can take less time for respondents to complete (compared to an interview or focus group).Disadvantages of surveysResponses may not be specific.Questions may be misinterpreted.May not get as many responses as you need.Don’t get full story.“The aim of qualitative research is to deepen our understanding about something, and usually this means going beyond the numbers and the statistics.”Qualitative research helps us to give reasons why the numbers tell us what they do. It is often contrasted to quantitative research and they are very often used together to get the ‘bigger picture’ of what we are trying to find out.“Qualitative research helps us ‘flesh out the story’.”Face-to-face interviews/oral historiesFocus groupsEthnographic/Participant observationAutoethnographyEthnographyStudying a culture’s relational practices, common values and beliefs, and shared experiences to insiders (cultural members) and outsiders (cultural strangers) better understand the culture.Researchers become participant observers in the culture by taking field notes of cultural happeningsResearch may alsointerview cultural membersExamine members’ ways of speaking and relatingInvestigate uses of space and placeAnalyze artifacts (clothing, architecture, etc.) and texts (books, movies, photos, etc.)1. Jottings are the brief words or phrases written down while at the fieldsite or in a situation about which more complete notes will be written later. Usually recorded in a small notebook, jottings are intended to help us remember things we want to include when we write the full-fledged notes. While not all research situations are appropriate for writing jottings all the time, they do help a great deal when sitting down to write afterwards.2. Description of everything we can remember about the occasion you are writing about a meal, a ritual, a meeting, a sequence of events, etc. While it is useful to focus primarily on things you did or observed which relate to the guiding question, some amount of general information is also helpful. This information might help in writing a general description of the site later, but it may also help to link related phenomena to one another or to point our useful research directions later.Autoethnography: An Overview1)Carolyn Ellis, Tony E. Adams & Arthur P. BochnerForum: Qualitative Social Research, Volume 12, No. 1, Art. 10 January 2011Autoethnography is an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyze (graphy) personal experience (auto) in order to understand cultural experience (ethno) (ELLIS, 2004; HOLMAN JONES, 2005). This approach challenges canonical ways of doing research and representing others (SPRY, 2001) and treats research as a political, socially-just and socially-conscious act (ADAMS & HOLMAN JONES, 2008). A researcher uses tenets of autobiography and ethnography to do and write autoethnography. Thus, as a method, autoethnography is both process and product. [1]“Crisis of confidence”“In particular, scholars began illustrating how the “facts” and “truths” scientists “found” were inextricably tied to the vocabularies and paradigms the scientists used to represent them (KUHN, 1996; RORTY, 1982); they recognized the impossibility of and lack of desire for master, universal narratives (DE CERTEAU, 1984; LYOTARD, 1984)”Scholar begin considering social science as literature rather than physics:Stories rather than theoryValue-centered rather than value free“Autoethnographers recognize the innumerable ways personal experience influences the research process.”“Consequently, autoethnography is one of the approaches that acknowledges and accommodates subjectivity, emotionality, and the researcher’s influence on research, rather than hiding from these matters or assuming they don’t exist.”“For the most part, those who advocate and insist on canonical forms of doing and writing research are advocating a White, masculine, heterosexual, middle/upper-classed, Christian, able-bodied perspective.”In such case, a researcher disregards other ways of knowing but also implies that other ways are unsatisfactory and invalidAutoethnography, on the other hand, expands and opens up a wider lens on the world,Challenges rigid definitions of what is meaningful and useful researchHelps us understand how we influence interpretations of what we study, how we study it, and what we say about our topicEpiphaniesRemembered moments perceived to have significantly impacted the trajectory of a person’s lifeTimes of existential crises that forced a person to attend to and analyze lived experienceEvents after which life does not seem quite the same“…these epiphanies reveal ways a person could negotiate “intense situations” and “effects that linger—recollections, memories, images, feelings—long after a crucial incident is supposedly finished”Doing Autoethnography“When researchers do autoethnography, they retrospectively and selectively write about epiphanies that stem from, or are made possible by, being part of a culture and/or by possessing a particular cultural identity.”However, must also analyze those experiences if you want to publishTherefore…Must use methodological tools and research literature to analyze experienceAlso, must consider ways others may experience similar epiphanies; they must use personal experience to illustrate facets of cultural experience, and, in so doing, make characteristics of a culture familiar for insiders and outsiders. To accomplish this might require comparing and contrasting personal experience against existing researchFocus GroupsDiscussions with two or more participantsQuestions need to be prepared to guide and focus the discussionsHowever, participants are encouraged to explore issues you are researching in an in-depth way.Therefore, responses are often free-ranging  Focus groups and interviews can produce quantitative dataFor example, “20% of participants in focus group believed that Jeremy Lin was not as good as the hype” or “100% of Japanese American tenure track professors in College of Ethnic Studies that were interviewed are of Okinawan descent.Follow up with looking for reasons behind the statistical data.Research tips for focus groupsFocus groups can take time to arrangePrepare in advanceUse intermediary to help (not spirit medium: someone who is in close contact with potential participants)Refer to your research question to determine who you want in your focus group:What age group? Male or female? Income bracket? Generation? Race/ethnicity?Separate focus groups for different attributesIssues of powerFacilitator has much power in the discussionsBe aware of this especially in discussions o sensitivePaying participants?Advantages of focus groupsGood for community participation (grassroots input);Helpful in developing ideas and sharing latent, or hidden, knowledge spontaneously;Enables you to get information from a number of individuals simultaneously.Disadvantages of focus groupsCan be difficult to set up;Participants may need to be paid;Need to be sensitive to who the facilitator is;May need a translator;Sometimes difficult to organize and analyse information.