Posted by: Jamie Ann | May 29, 2015

Meaningful Research: understanding the ‘art of presentation’

Reading Exercise Post 3:4. Jamie Schaub
Chapter 14 Qualitative methodology matters
Exercise 14.1 (p.311)

This exercise asked me to think about my terminal project as a public scholarship, and how it can make an impact within the homeless youth community I will be studying. I enjoyed the opportunity to reflect on how my final project could be utilized in real-life and not just as a final requirement for my degree.

The Questions

1. What are my obligations and how can I give back? My primary obligation to the homeless youth community is to treat each person with respect and without character judgment. This may go without saying, but I know that for me, I will have to keep my inner-judgment and jury in check. My secondary obligation to the homeless youth I interview is anonymity of my final data analysis and storytelling. Kids don’t want to be identified, especially if they left a violent home or are worried about retribution from former beefs and conflicts. Ensuring that their identity will be known only to me until the data is destroyed in a timely fashion.

I want to give back tools, recommendations and insights that are meaningful, helpful and authentic for working with or who are homeless youth. What this looks like I don’t know, but I do know that as long as I keep true to my obligations, the answer to this question will appear.

2. Identify other key stakeholders who may be interested in your research or findings: In my mind, I have two stakeholder groups, they are: the homeless kids I interview and those who I do not interview, Outside In Board of Directors and staff, and other social service agencies who specialize in homeless youth services. Another group who may be interested in my findings are social media developers – they may feel inspired to create a new app or social media space for this population.

3. How might I communicate main findings to these stakeholders? This question implies to think beyond the academic approach. I could present my main findings, insights and recommendations to Outside In board or staff meetings, submit a blog post, develop web content for Outside In and other service-agencies, create a community-lead Facebook page that has tools, resources and insights, leave findings at homeless youth hang-outs, pass out the information, etc.

4. How can I translate my findings into a feasible way, given time and resources available? If I understand the question correctly, I would create two narratives: one for academia, and one that is geared toward the public, such as a white paper. Both would entail compelling storytelling, yet the white paper would be told after I had completed my academic requirement (with a bit longer timeline to complete).

Again, another great exercise with perfect timing!

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