Methods field research (concept)

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Published on: 22/01/2011

Two methods are important here: 1) my search method and my 2) analysis tool. Also crucial: 3) the saturation during the analysis.

1. Search method

This has to be worked out, but for now, these are the directions:

  • Keywords search (different combinations): neighborhood & memory & history & local & community & public& collective….. see also the searches I have done looking for literature.
  • Maybe I should look closely at the cases that I already have to see what kind of words they use and apply them in my further searches.
  • Check if I can find Mike Thelwall blog searching tool. I have checked quickly; this is not it. It analyses an RRS-feeds-corpus. But it might be this one: Everything can be found here: .
  • Ask around in the different networks (twitter, facebook, etc.).
  • Inclusion/ exclusion criteria: local residents being involved in gathering stories about their neighborhood made available by Internet. Right now, I would include digital storytelling AND life writing projects under the umbrella of participatory public history (see below), but I am not sure whether vernacular stories include personal stories. I should keep my eye open for a definition of vernacular stories (Burgess on my to do list?).
  • A minimum of 20 participating persons? A minimum of 50 items?
  • Where do I stop: a street, neighborhood, city area, complete city?
  • In connection with my last point from Burgess 2009: “When the practice of public history moves beyond merely “accessing” or “harvesting” vernacular histories and engages the public directly as co-creators, it is transformed into something we might properly call participatory public history. To the definition of public history as “history that is seen, heard, read, and interpreted by a popular audience” (NYU Public History Program 2007), we would add “created.”

2. Aspects to analyze:

  1. Who took the initiative? (top down, bottom up,…) (what about mini-cases?)
  2. What were the aims/ expectations? (direct: history oriented, present, future stories, exhibition, participation/ indirect: social cohesion, community memory, …)
  3. What was the the method? (life writing, digital storytelling, meetings, interviews, professional intervention, selection, …).
  4. What are the interactional affordances of the website?
  5. What is the course of the case over time? (shifts in the points above, temporary project, duration, number of story items, …)

3. Saturation

Will follow the principles of the grounded theory (theoretical sampling, theoretical saturation and [constant comparison?]) (Bryman, 2008)

  • Start with a certain number of cases (different countries, distribution of differences in points above).
  • Analyze and cluster.
  • Another number of new cases.
  • Analyze all again. If still shifts and new information in analysis, then:
  • A new number of cases again.

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6 Comments - Leave a comment
  1. […] Work out the research-approach of the field description article. […]

  2. […] Started searching based on the thoughts in this post. […]

  3. […] from literature)Looking for cases following and adjusting the search method « Storyhood on Methods field research (concept)Notes from meeting Liesbet on 21-01-2011 « Storyhood on Methods field research (concept)Notes […]

  4. […] time I encounter the word 'affordance' in the literature around cases like mine and it is also one of the aspects I want to use for the analysis in my field description. There is also a short introduction of web […]

  5. […] matrix in order to be able to compare the differences and similarities on the aspects described in this post about the research methods. I can do that in an Excel-sheet, in MaxQDA (software for qualitative data analysis) or even a […]

  6. […] (see this post in January) we talked about making claims about differences between countries based on distribution of the […]

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