An archive of data September 30, 2008Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Academic, Dissertation, Ethnography, Methodology, PhD, PhD Data.
I am working on the methodology chapter for my dissertation at the moment. Here, I am trying to describe all of my data material, which is a rather tricky affair. As you probably know, I have been using various ethnographic approaches in my PhD project. My engagement and ‘zone of identification’ within the field of youth and online social networking in Denmark is quite strong as I have been entangled in the field since 2004 (both as a researcher, a public speaker, a blogger and as “an expert” in the media).
Therefore, I am trying to incorporate the idea of having an ‘archive of data’. The idea comes from Tim Rapley’s book “Doing Conversation, Discourse and Document Analysis“. But where Rapley presents two categories of data, researcher-generated and already existing, I am trying to add a third one: The kind of data that are generated by my own research results.
In this way, my ‘archive of data’ consists of three different types of data material:
- Data generated by me (such as interviews, open-ended questionnaires, ethnographic observations
and field rapports)
- Already existing data (such as newspaper articles about the subject, public debate and discourses etc.)
- Data generated on the basic of my previous research (such as comments on my blog, reactions on my public talks and articles, newspaper articles with me as a source etc.).
At the moment I am working on building up and describing this archive. One of my main challenges is being able to handle this massive amount of data and to analyse it righteously. But hopefully this division will help me analyse and reflect on my own role as a researcher within the field I am studying.