Research Design

sierra dk
Note by sierra dk, updated more than 1 year ago
sierra dk
Created by sierra dk almost 8 years ago
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Honours thesis (Methods) Note on Research Design, created by sierra dk on 09/06/2013.

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What I will be concerned with is not only the habitual behaviors, occupational practices and demographic composition of the Mountain Guide community, but also the more subjective opinions, beliefs and life stories of individuals interviewed. Qualitative methods will be employed to gather data. These methods will include general immersion in Mountain Guide community life in Canmore, semi-structured or informal and in-depth interviews around town, and participant observation. The nature of exploratory research calls for a multidimensional approach and open-ended research design. Ethnographic research is iterative-inductive in nature. My participant observation will consist of two aspects. The first aspect will focus on Mountain Guides town life and the activities they practice when they are not working. The second aspect will focus on the Mountain Guides in their workplace. Observations will be recorded in my private notebook. My research will not require research assistants or new language skills. Individual interviews are useful in describing the general characteristics of communities and can help to answer the specific questions of my research project. Semi-structured and informal interviews are appropriate to capture individual desires, motivations, outlooks, and life stories. The time commitment for participants being interviewed is one to two hours. Interviews will be conducted in English and notes will be taken in my private notebook. The interviews will be audio-recorded with the participant’s consent. The participant may choose not to be recorded but still consent to be interviewed. If this occurs, the interview will still take place and, however, it will not be recorded. Please see the interview guide in the “Attachment” section of this document.I will be transcribing the audio-recorded interviews onto my laptop. After transcribing, I will conduct a thematic analysis of the responses, sorting responses into categories marked by key concepts. By adopting an investigative stance that is open and flexible -- to reveal the most intimate and accurate account of the Mountain Guide community -- I will be able to generate ethnographic data that can capture descriptive insights on a relatively unexplored community.

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