ROUGH LECTURE OUTLINE - Spradley: pp 107-154

REVIEW FROM STEP 5: 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 A "DOMAIN ANALYSIS" is simply the process of looking for the names of things that relate to other things ("symbolic relationships"). We can break this down into: --COVER TERMS: A broad word, phrase, or label that organizes our broad (and usually shared) experiences, such as: "Place where I lose my freedom" or "troublesome people." --An included term is probably best understood as examples of things included in the cover term. For example, informants might talk about their experiences, and you notice that their stories might share commonalities: 1) "Prisons are: -- a place where I lose my freedom" "Marriage is: -- a place where I lose my freedom" "The classroom is: -- a place where I lose my freedom" 2) Or, you ask an interviewee to describe customers in a restaurant, and one theme that emerges is "troublesome people." So ask yourself: What are some names for "troublesome people" and what are some examples of each? Then, we start looking for commonalities and differences in the patterns that emerge from cover terms and included terms to see how it might shape the culture. For an example, think of VanMaanen's article that we discussed ("The Asshole") on the class homepage, and how he used it to show how police organize their work around labels. For next time: **Step 7: Asking Structural Questions **Step 8: Making a taxonomic analysis (a KEY step!)

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