Park University Netnography on The Philippine Community Discussion

Help me study for my Communications class. I’m stuck and don’t understand.

Unit 6: Discussion- Qualitative Methods: Observing, Participating, Listening

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Introduction

Welcome to Unit 6. This unit continues the portion of the course about research designs. This week we shift away from quantitative methods to consider what constitutes qualitative research. Ethnography, netnography, and ethnomethodology are touched on. Qualitative research encompasses three principal methods: participant observation, intense interviewing, and focus groups.

Participant observation is described in detail, with special attention to the role of the researcher (complete observer, mixed participant and observer, or covert participant). Interviewing is discussed, with particular attention to the selection of informants. Focus groups are described as a third general type of social research (for the next 2 units).

More specifically, the methods we are addressing this week are:

  • Interviews
  • Field work
  • Ethnography, netnography, and ethnomethodology
  • Focus Groups
  • Observations

Your Discussion activity will be to conduct a mini-qualitative study (better if related to your topic, but not a requirement).

Note: For your research proposal, you will be asked to identify a specific method. Continuing from Unit 4, you will learn more about the various methods in detail. As you formulate your research proposal, use the activities during these weeks to determine whether the method used that week will be the best fit for your proposal. As you determine fit, bear in mind the trade-offs for sampling, measurement, and determining cause-and-effect relationships.

To set the stage for this, check out the following video interviewing Suhdir Venkatesh. He earned his doctorate in Sociology by field work – infiltrating a Chicago gang and observing its operations. He earned a doctorate and scored a sweet book deal and the gang and community suffered because of it (his worked disrupted a clandestine economy and social system –albeit illegal, but very stable for community members)Sudhir Venkatesh on Gang Leader for a Day (Links to an external site.)Sudhir Venkatesh on Gang Leader for a Day

Instructions

For this discussion, you won’t be asked to go undercover or infiltrate a gang or terrorist organization, but you will be engaging in a mini-qualitative experience.

Choose one of the following Methods to complete your discussion assignment:

  1. Interview: To utilize this method (Intensive Interviewing), you will need to:

    1. Identify a person with expertise or experience in your topic area
    2. Develop an outline with questions and follow questions to drill down.
    3. Record the conversation – notes, audio, or video
  2. Observation: To utilize this method you will need to select an Overt or Covert structure and plan for a way to record what you observe – field notes or audio/ video recording.

    1. Overt observation: go to a public place, e.g., shopping center, sporting event, etc. and observe the individuals & environment for at least 1 hour.
    2. Covert observation: there are so many live webcams from zoos to Disney World. Observe the video stream for at least 1 hour and observe the individuals & environment.
  3. Netnography (virtual ethnography): To utilize this method, you will need to select an online community to study. Due to the online constraints you will not be able to view this community for very long. That stated, you will need to spend enough time with the online community to identify:

    1. Characteristics of the group
    2. Customs/ practices, and possibly language usage of the group
    3. Social processes, hierarchies, interactions of members
    4. Note: this method requires a great deal of time and an emphasis on description.
  4. Focus Group: To utilize this method, you will need to select a group of no less than 7 individuals and:

    1. Focus group leader actively encourages discussion among participants on the topics of interest.
    2. It’s generally best to have group members be strangers and avoid power differentials.
    3. Usually groups are, by design, homogeneous by categories one wants to compare.
    4. The outcomes emphasize discovering unanticipated findings and exploring hidden meanings.

In the Discussion area

  • Present the following in the discussion thread:
    • Qualitative Method type and a brief overview of your procedure (This includes any questions you created/ used, place, time, etc.)
    • A brief statement of the outcomes of your inquiry
    • A brief statement of the strengths and weaknesses of your inquiry.

Prof. Angela

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