Posted by: Jamie Ann | May 8, 2015

Please to meet you, hope you guess my name… In the name of Research

Reading Exercise Post 3:4. Jamie Schaub
Chapter 7 Qualitative Quality – Interview planning and design.
Exercise 7.1 (p.133)

This exercise asked me to take a self-reflective approach and think about how I will be perceived as a researcher by my terminal project’s participants. In order for me to collect data for my terminal project, I will be asking homeless youth to take a survey about how they use social media to meet their basic needs such as food, shelter, healthcare services and employment. I also hope that I will be given the opportunity to interview face-to-face to gain more insights and take their photos to include in my final project. This is a lot to ask for from a population that considers themselves as outsiders’ and where trust is not easily nor quickly earned.

I hadn’t thought about what people would be thinking about me. I have been to busy thinking about how I am going reach them, overlooking the obvious which is how will I be perceived. My answers to the assignment’s self-reflective interviewing questions are below.

1. What are my obvious physical traits/demographics that my participants might see or notice? They will see that I am…

  • Female
  • White
  • Make-up less
  • No earrings
  • Smiles a lot
  • No wedding ring (I am going to take it off when in the field. I don’t want to be seen as a white suburban married woman)
  • No nail polish
  • Casually dressed, and depending on weather may or may not notice tattoos
  • Some may notice former ear lobes and lower lip piercing holes

2. What other qualities/characteristics of myself and interview style will be visible during the interviewing process?

  • Empathetic listener
  • Keeps strong eye contact
  • Shakes hands beginning and afterwards
  • Authentic
  • Funny
  • Fidgets (I confess)

3. How will these traits impact and influence the interview process? The data obtained? My relationships with the participants? I hope to quickly earn their trust by treating them with respect and with authentic humor. I want to be able to put them at ease (even though this kind of a situation is high-anxiety for me) and feel that during our time together, I am an interested friend and that they can share additional insights that are not asked by me either via the survey or face-to- face interview. I also hope that I will be able to take some photographs to include in my terminal project. For example, I want to take a photograph of fingers that are backlit against a smart phone.

I’m nervous but excited to experience this part of my final research project. I hope that it all goes well. Wish me luck!

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