Saturday, February 26, 2011

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:

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