Thursday, April 7, 2011

Data Collection KhalaaaaS!

Amazingly, I got every single research done I wanted in baladelba7th.  This is partially luck, but also the fact that this particular group of participants is awesome and cooperative.  So now, I am officially done with data collection and on to writing.  I'm not sure how to feel.  On the one hand, I like the idea of it just being me and my data, not having to rely on people, or be social, which is difficult for me but a necessary part of data collection.  On the other hand, this is kind of the scary part, the yikes this is the last step before I get my phD part.  So far, there are two major things that I find slightly scary about the writing process:

1) I have so much data to analyze and transcription is so boring.  My advisor has warned me about data overload, and I'm starting to think she has a point.

2) There is very little research that relates directly to my field/topic, but a lot that kind of has something to do with it if you want to approach it from this framework or that one.  I've been reading about scholarly bases, but I'm still really not sure how to navigate this, especially since a lot of it is in disciplines other than mine, in which I have little or no formal training.

So, ideas, links, khawatir of any sort for the writing stage?

1 comment:

  1. Hamdullah! Especially given your, ahem, restricted timetable.

    I don't have much good advice about where to go from here, because I wrote very differently than you did--I collected data in two different field sites, wrote a chapter about each, and used residual data from both to write a third chapter, which made up the whole fieldwork-based part of my dissertation. (Well, there's other stuff, but that's the major chunk.) So I didn't have a process with "data collection," "data processing," and "writing" as separate stages--I wrote each chapter separately, while also collecting and processing data. Only now am I working on the whole text at once.

    My approach with the literature was to pick one related literature and read it exhaustively, and try to read other related ones at more of a reserve. (This works because the field I chose to read exhaustively is teeny tiny--maybe 25 monographs/edited collections, probably only 50 people working on it so not a lot of people to read). So, everything ever written on my community of study, basically, is sitting in a pile on the bench in the office (or has recently gone back to the library), whereas a chunk of stuff on related-topics is getting picked through and used as background. I also did separate searches for the topics of my thematic chapters, to contexualize as I went.

    That was probably totally unhelpful.

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