Monday, February 28, 2011

Istanbul: Qualitative Computing: Saying Good bye

I am getting ready to leave Istanbul...and want to say thanks, first, to those who made this conference such a rich experience.

Thanks to:

Boganizi University for hosting this special conference on Qualitative Computing

The conference coordinators--Sema, Elif, Ceasar (sorry if I left anyone out)--you did a good job with all the pieces.

Thanks to everyone who attended.  I was able to renew acquaintances and make many new friends.  I was challenged, intrigued, prodded, and affirmed. 

Thanks in particular to the new young lights who attended...those who were in graduate school or just starting out in your professional career.  Your enthusiasm was exciting to see.  I hope that we supported you and helped you to see the possibilities for this kind of work.

Another special kind of thanks to Istanbul and to Turkey...what a fascinating, complex, exciting city.  Thanks for all of the experience I take away with me. 

So, I turn my sights to home...

Here are some of the wonderful cobblestones of Istanbul...streets created from beautiful stone in careful mosaic patterns. 

Reflecting on Qualitative Computing in Istanbaul...and the Blogness of it

Wrapped Fabric garlands for sale at the Istanbul Archeological Museum.  They look like May crowns to me. 

Oh the blogginess of it all...
I wanted to try using the blog as a place to record the conference experience.  It's the first time I have tried incorporating the blog into a real piece of action as it happens kind of professional work. 

The first day, I took notes by hand in my notebook, and then in the evening, translated the notes into summaries that I shared in the blog.

The second day and from there on...feeling more bold, I took notes on my computer as I listened.  But as if often the case for me, note taking falls into the compulsive, rather than the analytic side of my personality, and I take notes as if I were more of a legal transcriber than an active participant. 

When I uploaded my notes, I was pleased with the completeness...but then I began to wonder--do I have the right to share this kind of loose transcript of someone else's work?!  What is appropriate?  What crosses the line? I didn't audiotape and transcribe, but if I am listening and taking notes with a I come close to doing that? 

How would I feel if someone blogged this closely to my presentation.  I remembered that at a conference last year someone told me they were tweeting about my presentation as I spoke, and I have to say I was thrilled!  But tweets are only 141 characters. 

With this new appreciation of the blogginess of reporting on a conference--should I clear the note taking with the presenter?  Or, is it the responsibility for the conference to do this with the presenters?  What kinds of rules should now be set in this kind of venue?  Should the conference have planned ahead of time for their own web presence and held tight to their own dissemination?  Were they derelict? 

Or is it up to the presenter to be prepared to be 'published' as we speak--should I tell people what they may do and may not do before I start?

I thought about O'Reilly Media and JISC, both of which do everything in their power to create media transparancy for conference participants and those who are listening in...they videotape conversations, videostream whenever possible, set up archives...this is a welcoming approach to media.  Would academics like this kind of conference or would they feel that their work was being appropriated by others? 

Then I begin to feel a bit resentful.  If I follow in the tried and true way of means I make a presentation one year, turn it into a paper the next year, and if I am lucky publish it in the third or fourth year.  Why should I wait years after a conference to have my ideas move into publication?  Having spoken them aloud...haven't they moved into public view? 

This made me wonder about the issue that writing something in a blog--many people have told me is--publication, but that awful word in academia..."self-publication".  God forbid that someone should self-publish!  Does this mean then that having written about this topic of ethics, blogs, and publication...then I can't publish it in a 'real' publication? 

Hmmm....once again I say, oh the blogginess of it all!

This is a booth in the Spice Market, where I found this wonderful piece of advertising--the sign that said "This shop is recommended by Obama."  I didn't get a chance to find out why--but it seemed like one of those wonderful US meets other cultures' moments. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Istanbul: Qualitative Computing: Day 3

Istanbul: Day 3:  Qualitative Computing:  Saturday, February 26

Joan Miguel Verd

An Application of Qualitative GIS in the Field of Urban Sociology Using ATLAS:ti Uses and Reflections by Joan Miquel Verd and Sergio Porcel, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain

Qualitative Geography and Qualitative Social Science

I am holding a cat at the beginning and get off to a slow start.

-talks about the growing importance of issues of space in related social science fields

-Fielding and Cisneros on GIS and CAQDAS; leading to a new form of mixed method

-fall and rise of QR in urban sociology

+1970’s new urban sociology, criticisms of urban ecology

+1990’s; comprehensive analysis of urban complexities; radical deductive approaches abandoned

-geo-referencing or geo-coding?

+not clear yet how this should be referred to; CAQDAS programs use different terms

+could difference be useful?

+geo-referencing: locating on the space geographic points where data is produced or points that are mentioned in data; putting material in a geographical context.

+geo-coding: you are reading the territory as a “text”. Reading and coding of spatial information. Using landscape as the text. Reading and coding the spatial information as such

Analysis of urban transformation in Barcelona: Planning of the Three Hills Park

-the park area is surrounded by working class neighborhoods (shows a Google Earth and Atlas-ti visual); then he shows visuals of the earlier planning/an ariel view; early on summer houses for middle class; 1960’s self-constructed dwellings using the ‘free space’; During 80’s and 90’s tried to apply planning, but squatters resisted. 2009, town council, officially began to apply the plan. Neighborhood associations banded together to fight this.

Question: How was the banning applied? What was the process between 2009 and the final agreement between the neighborhood and the town council? How were some neighborhood groups more effective than others? What social processes produced the stronger viewpoint?

A Multimethod Approach (Cresswell would use this title for many forms of qualitative research)

Meshing of different kinds of data (Mason, 2009l; Moran-Ellis, et al 2009)

-non-directed interviews; observations, documents, etc.

How were Atlas.ti’s geo-coding functions were used?

-integration of different data sources (urban planning documents, photographs, observation notes

-using Googl Earth…it has to be constructed, and worked to become useful to their purposes

Data management and production


-place photos on Google Earth maps

-connecting observation notes to referenced photographs by using comments

[example zoon of photograph on a Google Map] [another photo from more distance, with references]

-you can work in Google Earth, doing much of this with no program like Atlas-ti

-worked “raw” Google Earth data to construct geogratic data to create a geographic meta-text

+transposition of urban planning on the territory to create a new enriched map to be analyzed

+geo-referencing of urban development documents and their contents

**issue; google maps may not be of same age as the photos you take

-text placed on the map…a picture of the park area, with houses in danger marked, and references to what the conversations are with each home

Data Analysis..working at conceptual level:


+geographic information does not have the contextual information nor can it help in understanding other information

….some pieces lost here

-graphic representation

Graphical snapshots

+atlas.ti does not produce graphic representations or maps on its own…

+it doesn’t make captions itself; this is something we had to do separately on our own,

Advantages of qualitative GIS embedded in Atlas-ti

-easy to integrate different types of information

-territory as a core element in the analysis; theoretical work improved

-importance of the visual dimension as a way to ‘think better’

Issues with atlas-ti; no maps; now way to add captions; need to avoid na├»ve positivism—a map doesn’t make it GIS…you have to work it to make it useful; essential that you go from the text to the meta-text to demonstrate what the interest should be for the study.

Utilizing Qualitative Methodology in Understanding National Responses Adoption of an EU Environmental Policy. Dilek Unalan from Bogazici University

Business Administration…originally had an engineering background

This was her first qualitative research project; needed to find an appropriate methodology for her question.

Aim: provide an analysis of environmental policy adoption in the EU context through the lens of policy transfer

4 research questions:

How do concepts of policy transfer apply to environmental policy adoption in EU context?

What steps has Turkey taken to adopt EU directives?

How have different actors mobilized to shape Turkey’s responses?

Is Turkey’s response knowledge-driven policy or obligatory policy transfer?

She talks about her response to qualitative research…

Overall, the study took 3 years; interviewed over 80 people in EU and Turkey at various levels

Stage I: 6 people in Ministry of Environment—2 people who trained them; interviews 1/2002-4/2002; open-ended face-to-face interviews; qualitative analysis of documents and interviews

Stage II (missed this one)

Stage III: Outcomes of the adoption activities; (policy has still not been adopted and she is trying to understand why not)

Realizes that her research questions had many possible answers…there were many actors with their own perspectives

She shows a slide of her first analytical framework of the policy transfer process.

She did not use QDAS. She thinks her framework would have turned out the same, but the visuals would have looked better.

Silvia Bernard
“Grounded theory as a methodological strategy to gain a sense of reality” Silvia Bernard, Universidad Autonoma de Aguasaclientes, Mexico

How do individuals who migrate to an urban community develop their sense of belonging?

She did 5 interviews, then stopped and developed a diagram of the process. These migrants are moving from big cities to medium size cities—smaller cities. In this case they are moving to have a better quality of life.

Second diagram: of the components of the process—how do you move from alienation to belonging

What is the process for the stranger? How do they enter the receiving community? How do you develop a sense of belonging? How do you build social networks? (family, friends, work, broader community)

Issues in the Local Community: she built her themes using grounded theory and analyzed with MaxQDA. How does stranger look at the In group? How does the in group look at itself and the strangers?

Undertook 20 interviews; a generating question—tell me about their migration experience—why did they move? How did they feel? What experiences were significant? Realized that process was complicated for them, as well as for her. Men seemed to have an easier time than women did.

Research process:

1. Grounded Theory and MaxQDA

-help her to put aside her own perspectives and knowledge of the topic; be on guard about her own feelings and prejudices; experienced a crisis herself as a newcomer—in group looks at their way of being as ‘natural’. Draws upon Schultz’s definition of crisis

Maxqda allowed her to organize and homogenize the data. She could determine the most releveant topics and define properties.
Maxqda has helped her to avoid ‘bad process’…it helped her to keep on target with what the actual data said.

2. Merging with autoethnography

-discusses her move to the community where her university is; how she defined herself as a professional sociologist; but in the town she was considered a spouse and a housewife—and she couldn’t identify herself in the way she wanted in relationship to the in group. Her path was to stick to sociology and investigate social processes of migration; strangers and in group. She started using Strauss and Corbin’s grounded theory…and MaxQDA.

She could see herself in it, as she listened to the interviews. She started writing about her process for herself. Wrote a piece with a pen name…and was published in town…but she was recognized. She is trying to write a big piece now between her experience and the piece of the others. Going back and forth between autoethnography and grounded theory. Has been helpful to introspect in order to bring the study together. Has allowed her to make a more comprehensive understanding of the processes. She can go further…and come back and consolidate from the stories of others.

Many of the people she interviewed she had known for years so she knew the surface and the sub-surface. Finding autoethnography allowed her a new freedom in her thinking.

3. Sociological Perspectives

-Alfred Schutz

-Robert Lynd

-Robert Bellah

[An aside about Silvia's presentation:  This is a very interesting approach...she did a straight ahead sociological study on this issue...and then an autoethnographic study on the same question--these were parallel to each other.  She used Maxqda to analyze the straight ahead study...but we talked about what it would be like if she added the autoethnographic material to the Maxqda program and coded it together.  It was intriguing work.]

Questions for the Presentations: 

Sociology and the combination of geographic perspectives. What about the participatory aspects of the GIS? These discussions about land/urban environment we are going back to the discussions of the beginning of the 20th century—nature vs society? What do we need? How will we preserve these spaces?

How do you deal with issue that Google Earth says all maps are property of Google? Don’t get profit and keep the reference to Google Map?

What if you looked at the Barcelona study with an autoethnographic eye?

What if you looked at the immigration study with a spatial eye?

Sylvia doesn’t need a map—it isn’t part of her recent design…Geographical data cannot just be contextual data. We need to have a dialogue with geographers. What does Geo mean? How can we analyze our understanding of space and action?

Silvia wrote a whole book on the city; chose two neighborhoods; how do people inhabit the city? It has maps and photos? May need to add it back in.

How did you connect the personal with the ‘objective’ of grounded theory? These things have to be assembled. It was a huge effort. Why do we have methodologies where we separate them? Wouldn’t it be important to join them? It makes me want to start my next work in the global…complexity is embracing the whole thing, which is hard.

Udo Kelle
UDO KELLE: Beyond “cold interviewing” using triangulation and multiple data sources to enhance reflexivity in the qualitative research process 

What does cold interviewing mean?

Historical background

What can be done? [Triangulation of Methods]

Examples from research practice


Cold Interviewing; an interview without preparation in journalism; in this case meaning conducting interviews after no contact with the field and research subjects have been established. Little or no context/relationship established between researcher and researchee. You may be in the case that the intermediary doesn’t convey the message/information.

He shows an example about friends and family member bonds—and the difficulty, sensitivities, in responding to the questions. Different cultural backgrounds, gender differences—anger, silence, diffusion, tension, unease in this questioning. What are the political dangers that revealing information can raise for an interviewee—we can’t just assume it is about the individual…it can have larger consequences.

The social contexts in which interviewer and interviewee are located

Collection of Interview data as a social proves

-interactive process

-may hide motives and intentions

-may invent fictions

-create misunderstandings

Realist Position: Threats for the validity of QR

Historical Issues: why do we still use interviews if they have these problems?

-early field research: Malinowski—became famous over the world; got detained as citizen of enemy state; got permission to do research in a remote place; had no other obligations and was depressed—but he had 2 years for fieldwork

+William Whyte: Street Corner Society—his attempts to interview people in the home were uncomfortable and rejected…and then went for the street corner study

-1930’s and 40’s

+discussions about interviews; taking notes in the conversation or afterwards; concerns about the reliability of participants’ accounts; American sociologists asked to review the Chicago Studies—informality of the method discussed; little control of observer bias

Sociologists only had written accounts from the field (Archeologists have pots, etc.); this makes it difficult to debate the merits of the real data

TAPE RECORDERS!! Audio taped interviews developed…the technical device helped to regain trustworthiness of the researchers. Methodological debates of the time may not be as important as the tape recorder is affirming the worth of sociology.

Caqdas : These further added trustworthiness to outsiders. Now, researchers thought that you could gather more data. Affirmed worth again.

Mixed Methods: Helped to blur boundaries between qualitative and quantitative. Dispersed researcher’s attention and budget for fieldwork

1990’s: Application for grants became more complicated and standardized…shaped the research in significant ways. Bureaucracy of grant applications fits much better with quantitative forms of research…No place for emergence...making sense

Qualitative (pure) Interview Study:

-large number of interviews

-restricted time budget

-fieldwork/context is limited

-recording of fieldnotes neglected

“social research by heliocopter” ; like a landing force in an emergency

What can be done?

“Forceful and consistent triangulations of methods and data sources in every study”
-mutual validation of methods

-means to create more complete picture of the study

-necessary prerequisite for any sociological explanation

[picture of map showing triangle and the angles—how this works in geometry]

He suggests this notion of triangulation

“the creative use and combination of any source of information and material which supports the understanding of the social processes going on in the research field”

-qualitative and quantitative interviews

-informal information; observations, interviews,

-papers and documents

Two examples from research:

Care Home Residents: How can we measure consumer satisfaction?

-issues related to gaining data from care home dwellers
-formal methods of data collection and analysis

+semistructured interviews

+standardized questionnaires

Demonstrates how the triangulation works across various kinds of data

-comparing formal interview with informal contacts

-comparing interview with survey

Open or Hidden Refusal

Institutional context of interviewing; patients were within a total institution; great asymmetries of status and power; highly vulnerable;

Concerns about anonymity

-find institutional members who have more power (institutional board members)

-exp of the suspicions of the owner, entering the interview, and causing the members to close down

The role of information obtained informally in the field

-cooperative gatekeepers can actually be unhelpful; as they sort who the researcher can/cannot meet with

Example 2: Caregivers’ strategies in dementia care

-problems in communication between carehome staff and carehome patients

Carehomes as research site: Owners are critical gatekeepers: what does this mean for the staff? Issues when management invites the researcher in. Staff is suspicious of people who sit in the corner and take feels like a government official. The researcher need to move into the participant role, asking how she could assist; this allowed for informal interviews

-sharing life worlds led to a relationship
Triangulation between interview data and personal experiences

Experiences drawn from participant observation.

**”The necessity to reflect on and to develop the social relations with the interview partner”

-quality of data depends upon this

-developing these relations requires time

-our professional requirements may go against rules of social interaction; If I tell you something…then you should tell me something

-powerful agencies in our society try to get information from interrogation…and this is much like an interview

-keeping the balance is an essential part of social science research


-we are always in the field from the first moment of contact witht the subject

-need to be prepared to use all kinds of meaningful data

-QR cannot just be reduced to interviewing

-permanent recording of field notes essential to qualitative study


1. In first research, what order were the methods applied? How long were observations In that study.

2. You presented two proposals and an ideal; the real is to have enough time and money to do triangulation. Some government agencies need a fast turn around…and qualitative data is not essential to them.

As a doctoral advisor feels that participant observation is being lost. As a doctoral researcher find that more and more proposals are cutting off observations and increasing interviews.

Combine meaningful sources of information collected from diverse perspectives and in diverse forms.

--agree with your recommendations; should we transfer your suggestions to standards; we approve of the heliocopter methods; our peers are reviewing the grants and setting the standards—how can we change the standards; an example of integrating issues of gender—how this changed in German research proposals

-Udo responds; he agrees, but this will be difficult to do as we have to get researchers to evaluate their personality and the issue of developing of relationship; self-reflection is required here; your own person becomes part of the research.

-raising issue of conversational analysis discussions that relate to this discussion; we cannot reduce qualitative inquiry to interviews alone; using CAQDAS we can now add audio and text…to give the analysis more real connection with the data?

-when you have multiple kinds of data; you need to ask, why are the answers different?

In QR everything is data

Why do we emphasize disagreement within data and not agreement. Agreement is more remarkable.

There is an underlying issue here around professionalism in the institution. Need for training in these techniques. If we don’t train, we don’t get this understanding.

What about transferring this to a virtual environment: what are the issues with online interviewing? What about the contexts of becoming familiar with the virtual environment? What is relationship in online contexts? How does this apply to Nigel’s notion of glocalization? These questions of spatial/geo issues are located in the local and yet…much local is now globalized through the online experience. How is it different to be in context in chat rooms vs 2nd life?

How are the newer forms of interviewing opening up potential for this? Interactive interviewing, jointly produced interviews…how do they require more relationship and richer understanding of context. There is a literature on interviewing that is not cited here. This is located in the standardized literature of interviewing.

My comments about Udo's Concluding keynote:

His notion of heliocoptor interviewing...really resonated with me.  I realized how much I have been complicit with students' desires to be relieved of participant-observation activities...and just stick with interviews:  in and out--make it simple.  His talk was a good reminder to me of why I need to pay attention to this trend. 

To things that saddened me about the talk:
1.  He is one of the founding fathers of CAQDAs discussions in academic circles and he did not draw upon this experience here...and it was a CAQDAS conference.  I wanted to ask:  can you tell me how you see the field of CAQDAS changing?  Is CAQDAS supporting or challenging this interviewing trend?  I just wanted to tie it back to CAQDAS. 
2.  His discussion of interviewing issues was interesting, but he didn't tie it to the conversations about new forms of interviewing like what Ellis or Richardson have proposed.  New ways of conducting interviews and representing them.  As I talked to others at the conference about this--it seems that his discussion was very relevant to sociologists (which he is--but so are Ellis and Richardson) many of whom have lacked any access to the issues he is raising. 

I leave you with a photo of this wonderful bust of Sappho from the Istanbul Archeological Museum. 

Istanbul: Qualitative Computing: Day 2: Session 4

Istanbul: 4th session; day 2  (Friday, February 25, 2011).

The first speaker is not present, so we switch to a man who has wanted to share his project and get feedback.

Actually Rose steps in. We’ve just been talking animatedly about fractiles.

Rose Lema

Hpertextuality, complexity, creativity: computational design on bromatology and some by-products in a Maya Calepin. Rosa Lema.  Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Mexico City, Mexico

Bromatology=science of food and drinking

She is working with a database/dictionary on Mayan culture.

It was written by a friar living between 15th and 16th century. He was there for 40 years.

She defines hypertext

Poinecare (1906) e construction of a 3 body corpus…

She reads some short passages of Mayan
The Spanish text in the dictionary is 5300 words

Then she looks for words related to plants

Then she looks at the plant words and the frequencies.

She looked for animals; there were 31 equivalents.

Fruits: 109 occurrences.

Is her technology “Tropes”?

She shows how she uses different hypertext images in different forms to help her see the material in new ways.

Tropes goes from lists of codes to visualizations.

She demonstrates how different kinds of questions create the triangular perspective that helps her to get at the full range and possibilities of food words.

Plants and animals…then shifts to the names of things…and then the qualities of things…and words about food. .. ways that food is prepared…materials for preparing food. Associations are at the heart of what she is talking about, and how to draw associations from lists of words. The range of foods that can be linked…move out to lower frequencies;

She shows photographs of the actual foods—cooked or raw, showing how these words.

Tropes shows numbers and occurrences.

Star graphic depicts hypertextuality

Sphere graphic shows proportions between hypertext worlds

What can you learn?

Exp: plants were used medicinally, Mayans ate more plants and cereals than animals; they consumed more vitamins and minerals than animal proteins; corn and chili were extremely important as they are today; the term hunger appeared only once in the analysis.

Comment on Rose's presentation:  I had more opportunity later to talk with Rose about her work and the extensive linguistic fieldwork she has done with the Mayan's and other populations.  I think it would be very interesting if she tried some of the autoethnographic techniques that were talked about at the conference and drew upon some of this amazing field experience, connecting it with the great fieldwork materials she has collected.  She is eager and interested to try new technologies.  I can't wait to see what she comes up with next. 

“Practicing Qualitative Media Analysis with NVivo” Halise Zengin of Ankara University

She is the field of religious education. The film she analyzed is used for religious education. More and more often in religious education they are using DVD’s video’s etc.

She talks about trying to teach in a multi-cultural/multi-religious society.

“The Prince of Egypt”…Dreamwords, 1998; chunked into 5 sections and brought into NVivo 8.


-Inter-religious Program in Hamburg; training for thinking about an interreligious lessons

-she talked about the topics that were the focus of the movie?

Movies convey language of senses

-focused on visual and spoken text

-worked inductively starting with free nodes…then moving to tree nodes

-coding; looked at events and heros

-added explanations in the captions to the side

-she describes in detail how she imported the chunks of the film and then the way she actually coded the film material

-issues with adding transcription…you can’t add easily at a later point.

-she talks about viewing text and image in the same slide.

-she talks about taking notes and making annotations, and how she visually viewed them and used them.

-matching nodes was easier to do with text than with the film; opening video codes had special problems

-she didn’t use the matrix coding feature or the chart option with this study

-in conclusion; coding works well, but retrieving has issues.

My comments about this session:  I was very intrigued by what she was attempting here with analysis of a commercial film in NVivo.  I wanted to know more about the specific technical challenges she ran up against--were they the problems of a beginner or is the software still not robust enough with this form of data.  It got me thinking about the ways I will use visual analysis in my upcoming qualitative research class.  The wheels are turning!


Finally, we heard from the stand-in person.  [I am sorry that I don't have his name...maybe someone from the conference will get in and comment on the post--and we can get his name.] 

He is using atlas.ti He is from Sabanci University

Started his project in 2008; Social structure religion in Turkey. One of the biggest studies in Turkey about religion. Religion is a hotly debated subjected in Turkey. We wanted to know how religion was related to gender, economics, and politics.

3 phases in 3 cities;

2 cities are industrial cities with strong religion incporated.

They stayed for a month in the communities they studied.

They considered what constituted religion in Turkey. There are tensions that define religiosity in Turkey.

Each stage defined on the earlier stage.

5 tensions in

1. Transcendence

2. Traditionality vs modernity

3. Public and private

4. Scientific knowledge and religous knowledge

5. Textual practices

These were put in a matrix: with gender, politics, economy, belief, and practice…with the 5 tensions.

In 2008 looked at 8 cities; went to each and conducted interviews.

Had recordings transcribed and then they were analyzed in Atlas-ti. They have about 14 hours of talk. They considered this the exploratory part. They tried to talk to as many different people as they could find. Some people were found on the street…some met through friends.

Next month they start Stage 3. It will be a survey.

They have money and time…so they are “doing more with more”. Turkish budgets have increased 10 or 20 times for research. They are trying to make this a textbook kind of research, because they have the resources to do so.

Questions start emerging from the audience:

-how did you find the participants?

-why gender and not age?

-why the particular cities?

-how many people did you interview? (192 people interviewed in 8 cities)

He wanted to share the struggles with Atlas-ti.

-7 individuals working on this; leaders and Ph.D. students

-would the analysis be data driven or theory driven?

-should we only code based upon the pre-selected topics? How inductive can we go?

They prepared a codebook; now they have 170 codes.

When they began to code across the cities, they ran into problems with multiple coders, and the identification of the different locations.

Suzanne Friese suggested that they put all the documents into one folder…and they got rid of the old stuff and started to work from the new way to work;

Then he shows a network picture of the material.

The coded sections of text…with coding stripes—looks familiar; then they wanted to think about how to analyze…how to get into the data?

They started to divide up the topics…which became families of codes…distributing a topic to each individual to code on from that perspective.

Then they started to look at the “thick codes”: exp—Pressure had 400+ codes. Then look at the codes in the network view…and was able to divide topics from that.

He talks about how to make a network view from within Atlas-ti—shows us the basics. Says that it can help you to see co-occurrence. Exp: How do you see relationship between Sharia and democracy…and gender? These things become visible.

Issues for Him: Teamwork and QDAS…and how to make the data reachable…how QDAS helps to make this easier and more efficient.

Questions for all the presentations:

Tropes: in several languages; used with any kind of text (dictionaries, poetry, etc.) Developed in France.

Question about the religious education study: Did you want to critique the material?

What’s the aim for analyzing the movie? It was exploratory activity for her as a theologist. It allowed her to experiment with the technology?

How will she use it in the future? She teaches comparative religion—how can you use to teach students different subjects that arise in this movie.

Question re: Atlas-ti—she has used MaxQDA and NVivo; the network view looks more grounded theory approach more apparent…more visible. All your data is there. [Does she mean that it is more concrete?]

Network functioning has always been a part of Atlas-ti so it may be one of the stronger features.

We have an animated discussion about how to best work in Atlas-ti; Suzanne describes the way that might work better; it’s a discussion between beginner and the more mature user.

This wonderful piece of marble is from the Istanbul Archeological Museum.  It was placed up high, as it might have been on the building it once graced, so I almost missed it.  It was in the Roman section--a delightful picture of sea elements that really makes sense for this city that has so much fish, water, boats, etc. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Istanbul: Qualitative Computing: Day 2 Session 3

Istanbul: Session 5

Day 2

The wonderful Elif co-chair of the conference and a faculty member at Ankara University. 

I am the first presenter.  My talk was titled:

"The Journal Project:  Qualitative Computing and the TechnologyAesthetics Divide in Qualitative Research"

My sincere thanks to everyone in the audience for your gracious and supportive remarks.  Thanks especially to Rose and her suggestions around fractiles and related issues.  You've all been a great help to moving this idea forward. 

Visual Culture in Religious Architecture by Lillia Chernobilsky of the University of Buenos Aires

Religious architecture—design of sacred spaces. Functions are critical to religious architecture. They combine different kinds of artistic and symbolic meaning. Each building is a announcement of God.

Each building has to have a demarcation between the religious and non-religious.

Over time these spaces may not be profitable in the city centers and the role changes. New functions overlay the old functions.

Her paper focuses on the image—why is the image so important?

Visual culture—studies the social construction of the visual and the visual construction of the social. There is no culture that does not present itself visually.

Main goals:

-compare and describe 5 most represented religions in Argentina…in this presentation Catholicism and Islam

-establish difference and similarities between architectonic images and the religious beliefs pertaining

Religions in Argentina:

No official religion, but Catholics dominate (76.5)

She shows a diagram of the classical form of a cathederal and a mosque…what are the spaces, seating arrangements, windows, arches, etc.

She starts with a Mosque in Buenos Aires (the largest Mosque in Latin America)

She shows analysis with Atlas-ti software…showing the spaces outlined for us to focus on.

-the trees in the garden

-arches along a walkway

-the brand new mosque in BA…arches in new relationships in a new design

-minarets; a common feature in a mosque; highest point in the mosque…often highest point in the area; generally have a pointed roof (she shows various minarets—different designs but a shared archetectual ethic).

-domes; In her many pictures you can see the visual coding in Atlas-ti…demonstrating the critical features.

-she shifts to the inside where the Imman stands; a pulpit

-she shows the calligraphy

-the abulation area; water for cleansing

[I am thinking about what it would look like, for instance, to look at the code for minaret—all the minarets would be extracted…hm…]

Then she shifts to Catholic cathederals



[the software is really seamlessly integrated with the presentation—it’s a great example for how to bring it together without making it the special attention.]


-details that show up with analysis; symbols of state within the religious architecture

-stained glass; many religious scenes

-ribbed vault


-Muslim religion is where the faithful comes to contact God. Decoration focuses on the inner space, one cannot use iconic representation; abstract, calligraphy, no benches or chairs in prayer space

-Gothic architecture:

+must be sustainable, have terticality; and have iconography

Shares two examples of small, humble churches.

Comparative Cause Mapping and CMAP3 Software in Qualitative Research by Mauri Laukkanen of the University of Eastern Finland

This is the paper that is a corollary to the workshop he did yesterday on this software.

My wrist is wearing out so I may go light on this one, because I put up notes on yesterday’s workshop.

-idiosyncratic causal mapping; mapping of one individual’s beliefs (He describes a study that someone did of Frederick Taylor’s thinking.)

-comparative causal mapping; compares beliefs across individuals or organizations

-he shows a method where he fills in various pieces (words) and then asks the respondent to draw the relationships as they understand them (the causal links)…I think this could be interesting to use


-suggestions: Katherine Hales and fractiles; they want to associate sciences and humanities

-the fractile geometry of nature – this is a book

-where did you go with curating? Where is it taking you?

-why/how can you think of QDAS as aesthetic? Can you say it has beauty?

This a photo of the sheep I found in the first restaurant I visited in Istanbul:

Istanbul: Qualitative Computing Conference: Day 2 2nd AM session

Istanbul: 2nd AM session notes

Serap Kavas and Ayse Gunduz Hosgor from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara present on “Listening to Divorce Experience of Professional Women through narrative Interview: Some Methodological Concerns”

-31 highly educated professional women were interviewed; this was her dissertation study

-she used feminist perspectives of empowerment; how do women in Turkey experience divorce? How is the experience described by women?

[It’s interesting in powerpoint, that these screens use a background, but they almost all use the one frame for a heading and bulleted points below. The visual is still lesser.]


She talks about the power imbalance in the research situation and how this moved them toward thinking of interviews as fluid encounters and to recognize the vulnerability both sides might have experienced (researcher and researchee). In their case, some of the researches were in jobs of a higher rank than the interviewer…and some of the researchees were even critical of the research process based upon their own training as researchers.


-difficulty of scheduling for busy women; these is something more for them to do

-how she began to realize that the research process was an affirmation of these women; some of the group were members of “Divorced Mothers Association” in Istanbul…they were eager to change attitudes to divorced women in Turkey

-other women found that this recognized divorced women as normal women—they are not from outer space!

-using term “highly educated and professional” gave affirmation to women who lived in a highly patriarchal society…and this could be very important to the participants. They are models for other women who are struggling in their society.

[These were her thoughts about reciprocity…but was it so for the women…I’m not sure.]

-therapeutic nature of the interview; it helps if you can turn the interview into a conversation.

[My wrist is giving out. I don’t know if I can keep up at this rate.]

She shares some of the findings that emerged from the interviews and demonstrates how the narratives turn into critique of society itself.

[This is an elegant study and elegantly presented. I enjoy the style…but I am wondering—where is the QDAS? How did it figure in the project?]

Through the process of interviewing, the interviewees discovered new evolving meanings for themselves.

“Can we use NVivo 8 with Rubrics?” Sevilay Atmaca, Funda Yolcu and Fitnat Kaptan of Hacettepe University in Ankara Turkey

[The presenter is, I believe, the graduate assistant for the project—is this because of her English ability?]

Focus is on assessment; how to assess students; use of formative and summative assessment. She describes the terms and gives examples: assessment, rubrics.

How could CAQDAS assist in this process? NVivo 8 allowed for analysis of student poster projects.

Student Poster projects on botanical part observations from a course on outdoor education.

The rubric had five criteria and three levels. She shows an example of the rubric.

She described the assignment and how the rubric was presented and described.

They used high resolution photos of the posters for importing digitally into NVIVO 8.

AHH!! She shows an example from NVivo. That was helpful. Everything else has been text alone.

Now she is discussing the conclusions…how did NVivo 8 help the researcher/teachr: data organization. Etc.

One tiny shot of the program itself….hmm…I wanted more.

“A study in Urban Memory: A Qualitative Analysis” Martha de Alba Gonzalez fro the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana in Mexico

Discuss combination of different programs: Atlas-ti

Her study is about memories of elderly people in Mexico City.


-societies worldwide are aging

-are cities prepared?

-studying the past experiences of cities could help to understand urban context and needs of the elderly

There is nothing yet research wise on preparing cities for this coming demographic change.


-semi-structured memories about collective memory and social representations

+social frames of memory (Hallbwachs)

-time: personal and historical

-space: city, neighborhood, special places


+sketch maps

_geneologies and biography

To the present; their daily life and representations of the city today

[I find this fascinating…these are things that are of interest to me]

Mexico City is now one of the largest cities in the world…it is hard to study for this complexitiy. She used GIS to help her map the areas with high density of elderly. This was quantitative work…and then worked with qualitative work and looked at different demographic issues.

Her oldest participant was born in 1918…and the youngest in 1950 (60-92)…they experienced Mexico City’s process of expansion and modernization.

She shows photos that contrast before and after…very affective.

She combines Atlas-ti and Alsasce.

She starts with Atlas-ti and the organization of the codes…then she used Alceste for the exploratory work into the codes about the past experiences and description of Mexico City. She said that Atlas-ti is your subjective decisions and she wanted ‘harder’ evidence from the material.

Alceste looks at the frequency of terms associeated in the santences…it looks at the discursive universe or semantic context. It is a statistical method based on word co-occurrence.

Then she shows a ‘hierarchical descendent analysis’ which shows the vocabulary that is co-occuring and its frequency of co-occurrence. It is a kind of cluster analysis.

Then she went on to discuss the findings that are embedded in the hierarchy.

She shows photos of the earlier city and its activities: “The best time of the city was my youth.”

Photos contrasting country to city, which many experienced as they immigrated from one to the other. The indigenous people arriving and trying to adapt to the world of the city.

Photos of the downtown neighborhoods and urban poverty—shanty shacks hand made

Photos of precarious jobs and trades..street selling, etc.

Then she compared Atlas-ti to Alceste

Atlas-ti=semantic analysis

Alceste= lexical analysis

-bringing methods together expands the knowledge possible from qualitative analysis

-both methods are limited, so combination makes sense

She raises the issue of programs that take time into account: is there such a program? [DeDoose has the beginnings of this.]


The visuals from the Mexico City study=were the visual provided by the participants? No—she asked for these, but few had them or didn’t want to share for this. An issue may be that the interviews were quite long. The drawings also took time. The photos she used were ones she gathered from other places.

What % of the participants were born in the city…what part were immigrants. Selection criteria was that they had been living in the city for 20 years? Probably 50-60% were immigrants…few people are born in Mexico city…from this age group.

? about the code list for the elderly study; she looked for big subjects in the interviews. The interviews are very complex. There were many sub-categories within each major category. She decided to use Alceste to explore the initial pieces of the work.

Comment: elderly study—making the connection between the interview responses and the photos—showing people the photos would that have raised a new perspective? Your presentation makes a strong argument for mixed methods. It could be incorporated into one tool…and that would be valuable. Martha said that Alceste results told her that neighborhood needed to be considered as a critical variable. A particular vocabulary was associated with a neighborhood.

? for first study with divorced women: what language were the interviews conducted in? what was the role of software? Did not use QDAS in this project…used it in a later project.

Ceasar’s announcement

Two journals are going to publish selected papers from the conference.

They will ask scientific committee to evaluate the papers.

Turkish Online Journal of Qualitative Inquiry is one of the journals that will publish the papers: this is a brand new online journal ,. It is publishing in English. Published quarterly.

FQS Forum: Qualitative Social Research (may 2012 will be the issue for this material)

This is published in 3 languages. The process will be the same.

More photos from the conference:

Istanbul: Qualitative Computing Conference: Day 2 Session 1 presentations

2/25/11: Istanbul: Day 2 notes

Suzanna Friese “Taking you on the Journey of Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis”

She used a Prezi presentation…wow, first one at this conference.

She is proposing a method of computer-assisted analysis…this is a contrast to text books that focus on methods without any reference to technology. She believes that computer grounded analysis can be a method in and of itself.

People are overwhelmed by the features of a computer program for QR and they are actually happy to have you tell them. She has developed this process over time. Writing the book made the method more precise and real to her. The book will be released by Sage soon.

Stages of her method:

1. Getting ready: Setting up a project—[This is what Silvana and I have described as representing the research design in the software.] She shows how you set up the project in its truncated top-level form of the E-project (my term)

2. The landscape and the journey; she shows a drawing from one of her children.

3. Navigating: NCT—Noticing things; Collecting Things; Thinking about Things—a model drawn from John Sidell (whom she worked with at Oregon State University—this fact I learned as we travelled in the taxi to the conference…a very nice opportunity to get to know her after all the years I’ve seen her name.

4. Playing the Puzzle:

Then she describes how these stages translate into computer programs for qualitative research . I really like the connection to Sidell…it adds a wonderful link to the early years of CAQDAS, but also a rich sense of qualitative research.

She goes back to work more deeply into the stages, showing examples from Atlas-ti, which is the tool she is working with for the book.

She talks about the coding issues she has encountered in training; heavy coders, light coders…abstract codes vs concrete codes; issues of generating codes vs developing trees/clusters/structures . Review of the coding list—sorting, structuring the materials. Where do you feel that there is saturation—“you feel that point”.

1. Developing sub-categories; categories and sub-categories; “When you teach someone the skills to code…technically they have the skills to create categories and sub-categories,” but as we all know this isn’t a leap everyone can make. She shows how you could take notes and begin to see clusters working by hand. She leaves the main category empty and then subsumes categories with content underneath it. She talks about coding on within the sub-categories…and saving the things that don’t seem to fit into the main category area until you know what to do with it, that is remanded to the sub-categories.

2. She talks about the “code swamp” . She shows another children’s picture of a swamp—it looks like the game Candy Land. It’s a very real feeling. What are the dangers? One is mixing codes. Keep the categories distinct. Let the computer do the sorting and finding.

3. Structured landscape: she shows the original child’s drawing of a landscape with defined areas imposed by a program…now you have a developed code list.

4. Benches of Reflection—back to the children’s drawings where she has now circled the benches the child included. This is an opportunity to talk about memos. Codes are containers of one sort—memos are containers of another sort. Codes focus on quotes. Memos focus on ideas. There are many kinds of idea memos—how you name them depends upon you; research questions, team memos, analysis memos. She walks through a research question memo that she had developed.

5. Tools for Exploration; analysis tools. The material is now coded…now you can go into it. She shows examples of queries.

6. Visualizing Relations—are tools for exploration…but also are used to represent what you have. [I really like the Atlas-ti visuals…the networks are very compelling].

7. Finally she imposes a graphic map on top of the child’s landscape, showing the different ways you can get to the idea/destination that you have identified.

She overviews the entire process that she has described. I think for many here who are new to QDAS, this is very valuable information, and a good reminder for us all.

2. “CAQDAS—Is a free software approach possible” Vincenzo D’Andrea, Stefano De Paoli, National University of Ireland and Lorenzo Ruzzens and Maurizio Teli, Univ of Trento, Italy

“QDA-UniTN” is the name of their project .

At their university didn’t have licenses for the major CAQDAS packages, and they needed an alternative. They also had needs they didn’t feel current CAQDAS could meet.

Current trends

-distributed collaboration

-web-based platform

-multiplatform, open/multi data standards

Type of data:

-offline and online: is there a difference anymore? They were concerned that they had lots of data but didn’t spent as much time with analysis as collection. Online data is now a critical feature for most projects…it is not less valuable than that gathered face-to-face.

Their goals:

-move to open source and away from proprietary licenses; this is important to avoid transposing items later

-to foster group collaboration for data analysis

-to reduce cost

-to support “technological ecumenism” giving more choice to the user

[I am intrigued by this but I am worried—is this going to go the direction of people who tried to demonstrate that QDAS could be done with MS Word products?...I listen on…]

History of the Project:

2 depts; sociology and computer science with interest in science and technology studies, info systems, internet research and social informatics

-their students collaborated (6 students; 150 hours each)

-in 2007 they attempted to integrate with existing system—WeftQDA

-2008—they did a feasibility study for a new system

-2009-used cases and and he did a methodological thesis

-2010; created a prototype and presented the project

The Pros:

-packaged tools require work arounds; you don’t have flexibility; you can’t add on

-you can work offline [this part I didn’t quite understand]


-privacy issues/security issues

-lack of trust

-resistance to change

Conclusions: don’t want to compete, but want to promote a new way of thinking about QDAS. He mentions other tools “DiscoverText, dedoose, a.nnotate, and he suggests creating your own toolbox. This is a new era. This wil be the new way of working.

I think he is on the right track. I think mash-ups have great potential. It’s a good radical view but presented in a very old presentation package.  I just wish he had shown us the actual tool. 

Finally he shows us an example of Scrapbook, an add-on for FireFox, that can do QDA like things.

He talks about the future of what they have created…may be called “QDA Libre”, considering launching as a business model.

“A Mixed-method Analysis of the Impact of the Economic Crisis on Neighborhoods: The Case of Turkey” presented by N. Banu kavakli Birdal of Bogazici University with Bruce Rankin of Koc University, Isik Aytac of Bogazici University and Burcin Eraslan of Koc University.

This was a presentation made at the 2009 ASA meeting in Boston. This is a representation of the project, and the presenter’s first experience with CAQDAS—in which she re-analyzed the material. She worked in Nvivo 9 (she was trained in NVivo 8), she realizes now how she could have used the package.

In 2001 there was a drastic economic crisis in Turkey…she shows facts that demonstrate the pain…Lira loses by 40%, real wages halved, etc. REALLY BAD!

This study examines the impact of the crisis on urban neighborhoods; social problems, coping strategies. What happened to these neighborhoods? How did they change? They worked with a sample of 201 urban neighborhoods from around Turkey.

Qualitative: In-depth Interview

Quantitative: Household Survey and Neighborhood Survey (Neighborhood Chair—they have all statistics and demographic information about the neighborhood)

“Work and Family Life Under Siege Project”

She describes the study methodology with clarity—the study conducted April to Feb 2004.

Then she described the background literature on economics and neighborhoods.

-socially-organized neighborhoods vs disadvantaged neighborhoods …what features constitute one and not the other

Their question: Were neighborhood networks of social support stretched too thin to provide help to needy families? Is the vitality of the neighborhood being eroded by the economic conditions and its aftermath?

Quantitative results: Neighborhood problems increased on several fronts since the economic crisis.

[The presenter seems nervous presenting in English, but she is doing a very good job. I wish I could say—you are doing fine! Don’t worry! You really know your stuff. It’s a very solid study.]

Qualitative Analysis:

Open-Ended Questions (5 questions at the end of the close-ended questionnaires)…

Asked the Muhtars (neighborhood chairs) to provide information about the effect of the crisis…and the personal experiences of the muhtars.

GREAT she shows a Wordle! This is word count of the Muhtar responses related to what happened to the families in crisis. RED words: poverty, pep, unemployment—these are the largest, most used words.

How did the families cope with the project: words include: savings, loans, debt, etc.

She talks about the ways she didn’t use the tool well…the problems with setting up things correctly and using attributes/autocoding etc. efficiently.

She talks about how hearing the presenters caused her to reconsider her methods and to think of why the wordle is valuable. She felt the wordle confirms what she learned from reading and re-reading the data. Understanding outliers/skewed results have different meaning in quantitative and qualitative data.

Showed an NVivo model; models the coding categories: two major areas are social problems and coping.

She is discussing really good thick content…and showing how the results were reached. She talks about the relationships between ideas like poverty and un-employment. The Muhtars drew these conclusions. They saw marital problems, divorce, and rising crime as also tied to un-employment…that was at the heart of everything.

She is mixing straight text (a la powerpoint) with NVivo made slides. Does QDAS promote visualization as representation? Without QDAS these presentations would nothing visual. Digital technologies, cameras, computers alone—did not lead to visual illustrations.

She describes the coping strategies that were used…and she describes the places that were not as affected and why these neighborhoods did better. One interesting example—Adana, Cehan—the earthquake of 1998, a huge catastrophe…the earthquake had already destroyed the area…the economic crisis added to it, but it wasn’t at the heart.


? Muhtars—they are elected officials. She only spoke to the neighborhood survey. Did the Muhtar’s present the quantitative data to you or did they speak to their interpretation?

-Muhtar’s keep records, but they don’t save them. They are not published data. They keep them handwritten themselves.

-?’s…why don’t they publish the data? It has started in Istanbul, but not in other communities.

-?: the theoretical studies you relied on were from foreign sources, were their Turkish sources? Studies by Turkish scholars? How did this affect your thinking. The Muhtar system is deeply socially embedded. What is the Turkish people’s perspective on the issues of poverty and unemployment—how is this at play when the Muhtar is interviewed? Did it make a difference that you were Turkish making this study.

There is a debate here—that the study was actually about the effect of the crisis on the people in the neighborhoods…what do people say about the affect on the people.

Do open interviews help you to interpret the other data? Open-ended questions helped you to understand the mechanism.

Question/issue for Suzanne:

-is this really a method? A qualitative research method? What is the effect of learning the technology like this to their understanding of qualitative research? Can QDAS be the starting point for qualitative research?

Question for 2nd presenter; What were some of the methodological problems you found?

-he responds with the basic issues that we’ve documented in many places.

General photos from the conference:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Istanbul: Qualitative Computing-Diverse Worlds and Research Practices Conference

The first day of the conference is over...and what a day.  The conference is being held at Boganizi University.  It's on top a steep hill.  We are in the Albert Long Hall, an older building with quaint lounges and meeting places. 

The conference opened with remarks from the Rector (Chancellor in the US) of Boganizi University.  I was pleased that qualitative research was getting this kind of attention, and he seemed genuinely proud to be having an event like this on his campus. 

Keynote: Nigel Fielding, Surrey University

We were off and running with Nigel Fielding's keynote, which, borrowing a term from him, addressed the
"Glocalization" of method--how we are going global and staying local at the same time.  Fielding addressed three topics along these lines:  1)  the growth of Citizen research; 2) Emerging social science research communities, and; 3) Citizen research and CAQDAS technologies.  Ideas that struck me from all of this included:

-how the Web has intensified and accelerated the growth of citizen researchers
-how many technologies are coming on line that citizen researchers can use quickly and easily (exp: survey tools)
-how the number/quantity of social science researchers are expanding around the world
-how many communities are growing their own researchers (the researched can now research themselves)
-how assumptions from anthropology and sociology that are lodged in an earlier time are holding us back from understanding and embracing this emerging era
-the importance of paying attention to the variety of 'mash-ups' that could be of value to Qualitative Researchers
-there is a huge need for training in CAQDAS--we haven't begun to address that challenge

Questions/issues that the discussion raised included:
-In Egypt the mobile phone was a tool for a revolution...does CAQDAS need to come down to this level of simplicity?  What would a new CAQDAS look like?
-can we afford to separate ourselvees from the needs of communities and people who are making local the name of professionalism and standards? 
-what are the implications for training social scientists? 

2.  The first panel addressed:  Learning and Teaching QDAS
Rivers and Silver's paper was first (given by Rivers)  "Identifying Aspects of Learning Experience and Usability in CAQDAS: A Longitudinal  Case-study Project" 

Christine was reporting on a 12 months study of 23 researchers and doctoral students who participated in the CAQDAS 2 day training program and then were subsequently surveyed (closed and open responses).  They analyzed the material in QDAS Miner. 

I liked the 'tight' way that they analyzed the material--slicing it and then dicing it carefully...I mean, these are really expert methodologists, and their decisions showed that. 

What strikes me after all is said and done is that...your first introduction to a CAQDAS package cannot be your last.  Where they seemed to see break down was with people who didn't use CAQDAS on a regular basis for project management...but seemed to compartmentalize its use (I put my field notes in ...and that was all).  The breakdown came after the "code and retrieve" place--most people get that...but after that projects often wither and die on the vine. 

To follow up on that Thomas Ebert and Claus Stefer (who work with Udo Kuckartz of MaxQDA) --all at Phillipps-Marburg, Germany--did a comparison of the 3 methods they use to deliver training of MaxQDA:  1) traditional workshop (face-to-face; short term get together); 2) Blended Learning (semester long; go through a qualitative research project and learning the software); and, 3) Webinars (up to 2 hours, synchronous web chat.  I enjoyed the presentation--it's really good to hear how others are trying to bring others along with training. 

The third speaker was Ceasar Cisneros--a fill in for the speaker who didn't show.  He wrapped together ideas he has been sharing about the ethnocentricism of the ways we look at and describe the history of qualitative research.  Different regions have different milestones in that history, but the official version is owned by North American researchers.  What I found v ery interesting was the way he showed how with something that seems as basic to qualitative research as the interview...this tool is actually represented differently in different eras.  Using the Lincoln and Denzin 7/8 moments of qualitative research he illustrated it this way:

Period 1/2:  Structured, Semi-structured, and open ended interviews were the dominant way of approach.
Period 3/4:  Feminist Criticism attached this mode of interview
Period 4/6:  What emerges is the autoethnographic and post-experimental interview
Period 7:  We find our way to the performative turn and what that does to the interview. 

In the discussion of these talks, we agreed that there is great need for methodological training, not just CAQDAS...and there is need for greater attention to institutional supports, not only individual support.  We talked about the issue of where training in CAQDAS is not available and why. 

After lunch our session was on the issue of Mixed Methods...and this turned out to be fascinating (what's happening to I joining the other side?!)

Udo Kuckartz spoke on "Joint Displays:  Advanced Ways to Use QDA Software for Mixed Methods Approaches"  He spent his sabbatical last year working in the US with John Creswell and thinking about the use of mixed methods.  It sounds like it was a productive year.  He asked us some very compelling questions:  When does the mixing occur?  Is it 2 separate studies?  On what level does the mixing occur?  How can QDAS assist with mixed perspectives?  He showed us three examples of how the mixed methods could be made integral.  I would do it an injustice to try and describe without the examples--but it was clear and compelling. 

Jane Fielding then spoke on "Mixed Methods and Computational Tools: Linking Fear and Place Using Open-ended Questions in a Community Safety Survey".  She took us from a survey of 915 respondants--closed and open-ended various GIS tools.  It was a stunningly good example of what it means to bring all these tools together to answer a question. 

Cesar Cisneros returned to give his 'real' talk:  "Is a New Mixed method Practice Emerging as a Result of the 'spatial turn' in Qualitative Research?"  His talk opened with the sharing of several diffeent kinds of maps; geographic, disciplinary, Aztec--social scientists are map makers he declared.  Then he shared a framework for thinking about spatial work:  1) naive geography; 2) qualitative mapping; and 3) spatially integrated social science.  This was exciting stuff. Cesar has been looking at the world of cultural geographers--Mei-Po Kwan, Cope, and others.  He talked about the capacity to connect a full range of digital data including spatial data.  "It is important to realize geography is a good place to think about the new possibilities of qualitative research," he stated. 

We concluded with a workshop from Mauri Laukkanen from the University of Eastern Finland on "Causal Mapping with CMAP3"  This software tool, which he developed, is designed specifically to be used for informal and structured causal mapping.. I am very glad I learned about it and the methods that he, as a business researcher, uses. 

(Mauri and I had an extensive email conversation about the tool after the conference.  This helped me to better understand his perspective as the developer.  He is going to be adding a response with links to his paper.  You can contact him at for more information on the product.) 


An impressive first day!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry...May at the University of Illinois

University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignImage by Jeffrey Keefer via FlickrI have two program pieces accepted for the Seventh Annual International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry.  It will be held in May at the University of Illinois in Champaign, Illinois. 

Here is a description of what I will be doing:

7th Annual International Congress on Qualitative Inquiry
University of Illinois—Champaign, Illinois
Thursday May 19-Saturday May 21, 2011

Friday May 20 and Saturday May 21
Illini Room B: 

Art Exhibition:  The Journal Project:  An Interactive Exhibit Bringing Together Arts, Technology, and Qualitative Research

This exhibit explores the split between technology and the arts in qualitative research.  In this study, 18 months of personal journals were analyzed in qualitative data analysis software and through arts-based approaches.  In the exhibit, social science posters mix with fiber arts (felt and multi-media pieces) to create a multi-dimensional approach to data analysis.  The goal is to demonstrate the strengths of both methods of interpretation and the ways we can learn from their interactions.  

Gallery Talk:  Friday 3:30 pm

Judith Davidson, Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts-Lowell

Issues and Practices in Arts-based Research
Chair: Liora Bresler
Participants: Donal O'Donoghue, Liora Bresler, Petula Ho Sik Ying, Judy Davidson
Discussant: Johnny Saldana


Arts-based inquiry is based on the notion that the processes and the products of arts can contribute significantly to research. The concept of arts-based research (ABR) as a methodology, generated in the early 90s, grew and expanded rapidly, spawning distinct genres and communities. This panel examines various approaches under the umbrella of ABR, focusing on the concepts of relational practice, embodied inquiry, and ethics of self and others involved in documentary films. Presentations will also discuss the practices of cultivation of “habits of body/mind” for intensified engagement in conducting the research, and qualitative data analysis software involved in ABR.

Technology and Arts-based Research:  The Question of Aesthetics within Qualitative Research
Judith Davidson, University of Massachusetts-Lowell
One University Avenue . Lowell, MA 01854 .

Qualitative data analysis software (QDAS) has been available to qualitative researchers since the early 1980’s, but few qualitative researchers have made use of it in relationship to arts-based research approaches.  Not only have qualitative researchers using arts-based approaches shunned the use of QDAS tools, but the general consent within the field has been that the use of these technologies for the conduct of qualitative research, would necessarily be an unaesthetic experience.  Drawing upon my Journal Project (a study of my personal journals that employs QDAS and arts-based approaches), the work of Mark Johnson (philosophy of aesthetics) and Liora Bresler (aesthetics of qualitative research), I seek to develop an alternative perspective that joins technology and arts-based research in qualitative research through a grounding in the notion of aesthetics.  In this way I hope to develop a discussion that will allow qualitative researchers to participate more thoroughly in the global research conversation of a digital age. 

You can get to the conference and the program at this url:

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