ROUGH LECTURE OUTLINE - Spradley: pp 92-106

Analyzing Ethnographic Interviews (Step Five) Analysis begins with systematically "HEARING DATA" and "seeing" what it has to tell us about the culture. There are many ways to analyze something. The best way to begin analyzing your data is to look for PATTERNS in the various pieces or parts of the culture that the informants gave you in their data. This is the phase at which you begin to "make some sense" of things, and pull it all together. NOTE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CONVENTIONAL RESEARCH AND ETHNOGRAPHY: --Conventional research: 1) Select a topic 2) Formulate hypotheses to test 3) Collect data 4) Analyze data in light of hypotheses 5) Write it up using numbers --Ethography, BY CONTRAST: 1) Select a problem/issue 2) Collect CULTURAL data 3) Analyze date looking for themes, patterns, or common symbols 4) Formulate ETHNOGRAPHIC HYPOTHESES (more on this as we go) 5) Write it up, using our informants data RELATIONAL THEORY OF MEANING: This is simply exploring the relationship between words, experiences, and the telling of it. Meaning, for Spradley, means: "How do words and behvior become meaningful?" That is, how do they become signficant, and how do we (the researcher) find out what they mean? A. Symbols: Something that stands for something else (see previous lectures B. Meaning Systems: What is the link between symbols and other symbols? What do the terms "joint," "stir," "big house," "slammer," or "pokey" all have in common, and what differences might there be that reflect the cultural meanings of each term for participants (if any)? How does somebody become "fluent" in a meaning system" such as street-racing, dance, or hangovers? --Cultural meanings systems are encoded in symbols --Language is the primary way we reflect this, but it can be done by t-shirts, hair, or cars we drive. --The meaning of symbols is linked to other symbols in in the culture --our goal is to "decode" it all and identify the underlying coding rules C. DOMAINS: A symbolic category under which other terms are included. --Cover term: "Tree" is a cover term for "oak, pine, walnut" or "New person" is a cover term for "fish," "noob" or "newbie" SO? Well, we begin by looking at how cultural members put their world together, that is CONSTRUCT IT. We do this with a DOMAIN SEARCH, which is going through the data to see what terms people use in their everyday world in the culture (see Spradley, pp 102, ff). STEP SIX: Domain ANALSIS: (read pp 107-119)

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