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…
- 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
- 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!