Friday, March 13, 2009

End of Data Collection, Round 1

Tonight I leave Country-of-Research.  I have managed to do 9 interviews over the past two weeks, one more this afternoon.  I came hoping to do between 10-15 interviews, so I am happy.

During my first week, I stressed out about not getting enough participants to interview.  And so I did a couple of pilots with people I knew.  As I did the pilots, I started to get a sense of the ideas being uncovered.  

Then the "real" interviews started last weekend.  One after another they came.  Some days, I did two interviews as I tried to accommodate my participants' schedules.  

After each interview, I said to myself: "go transcribe and code."  Until this morning, I have not managed to transcribe a single interview.  Why?  I can think of 3 reasons:

1. I don't like to transcribe.  It's detailed, tedious, and unrewarding work.  I am not good with administrative details.  It has been such a bother to just make sure that my files are ordered and de-identified with a coding scheme, keep my recordings encrypted, and ensure that my paperwork and records are in order.  Transcribing feels like a similar process.

2. I am too busy with other things like meeting up with people, doing clinical work (on the side), attending to family dinners (C-o-R is family's home).  I need uninterrupted sit-down time to transcribe. Yes, I'm allowing that to be an excuse even though I am fully capable of working in spurts if I need to.  ;-)

3. I am not familiar with MaxQDA--the CAQDAS I ended up purchasing.  I purchased it because it was the easiest and cheapest, but even then, I wish I had a little tutorial to take me through the basics.  Each time I started to learn it, I got interrupted by a phone call, or an email, or a knock on the door.

In any case, now that I've done some interviews, I have a sense of what theoretical sampling will be like.  In my mind, I can already begin to see the emerging theory (even without coding!), and have a sense of the kinds of participants I would want to interview in the second round.  But really, I need to be careful of "preconceived ideas" and ensure that my emerging concepts are well grounded.

I need to get out of bed, shower, eat something, and start to figure out MaxQDA.  Give myself a good two hours of uninterrupted time to do so.  Then I can begin transcribing... I think.

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