Saturday, 16 February 2013

Research Dilemma 7: Data, Transcribing, Analysis, Writing, Others

Wow! So, did you find it hard to believe my last dilemma?
Well, not more than i had to. But i am over it. Yes, i am over the Dilemma itself. I am super alright now, i am at that point, where every other researcher would like to be.....but of course the research journey is full of dilemmas. Therefore this month, i will explore the dilemmas i am having after having collected data, left the field, and started reflecting, and every day meditating upon that data!
Apart from the last dilemma, i should say that the field was great, everything went as unexpected. Data was collected. I received requests from my respondents that i had anticipated. And many times i found myself being part of that field- there was much co-production of data than i had anticipated. I am sure Latuor, Massey and Bourdieu will be happy with my Methods Chapter- of course after i have overcome all the research dilemmas.

1. Collected data- Let's at this point forget that i lost some data, let's focus on what i have. It's massive!It's data deluge! It has all the leads one would want in a qualitative research! And some quantitative too. Ask me what next, that has been a dilemma! Its an equal dilemma when everything in your academic life changes to a continuous reflection and meditation upon your data. Everything you read, overhear, or think, is all connected to that piece of research.

Last week, when  i met my supervisor, i remember my 'half' nod to her idea that i should submit a chapter to her in a months time! What made me 'half' nod?

2. Transcribing- Do you know how much this pains? Well, not as much, as long as you don't end up staring at your screen when the tape is running! I am hating all those transcriptions that i recorded in sort of public places, when it was raining, or when i had intruders in the focus group discussions. Of course i can avoid this by paying someone to transcribe for me, but its also a pleasure to listen to your own mistakes, pinch yourself, and appraise yourself where you did right during the interviews. Poor girl, she had over 100 respondents!

Well, i am almost there, I am halfway the transcribing  and hopeful of a Chapter in a months time! Wow! Positive energy needed here.

3. Analysis- Abstract- Believe your supervisor, don't believe yourself! Paid for a Qualitative Methods training at the university (particularly nVivo) after coming back from the field, thinking this will ease my data deluge and transcribing emotions....No, not all. You need to do even more work to use this software!
And if you think any other tool like Atlas.ti  is easier to use, you are wrong, they are equally the same. Now am preparing myself for the most exciting dilemma, CODING! We all love it, don't we social scientists? And guess, what i am over-excited about facing this analysis dilemma in the coming Week 7.

4. Writing- Well, let's just say, it's not writing the next blog post. It's writing a Thesis chapter potentially to submit to The Oxbridge Supervisor! Here we come Master of Philosophy- What's the theory behind all my research? How do i then move beyond that conceptual framework and literature? Which narrative? Which philosopher?
On my list:
Foucault (xxxx),
Latuor (x),
Marx (x),'s a dilemma, right?

Others- Don't ask me what these could be, just check the next blog post. It's already a dilemma ti describe them.......Research journey is an 'others' dilemma.


  1. I know what you mean. I am at this point now.

  2. Elca, all the best, call me up for moral support!