The Week 3 blog task appeared to be the most challenging for you so far. Reading over some of your posts I can see that your understanding of qualitative research and collaborative ethnography is still crystallizing.
Traditionally researchers have treated humans as object-like data sources. This makes the notion of taking a collaborative approach difficult to get your head around. Lassiter advocates the necessity of collaborative ethnography and many of you have waxed on his work in your posts.
Books bound in human skin, ‘Old Books’ by Moyan Brenn, October 2011 (source)
Erin considered the merits of sharing for both the researcher and consultant. Both Sam and Tayla weighed the pros and cons of collaborative ethnography in media research. I particularly appreciated that Sam volunteered aspects of collaborative research in clear, convenient statements:
“Collaborative ethnography relies heavily on the mutual relationship, I believe, with the subject and the researcher.”
Carolyn drew attention to the gems this kind of research can garner:
“To discover something unexpected but truly revealing is another advantage of ethnography”
And, after questioning the reliability of memory, Chris positively concluded:
“Hard data is rarely able to capture this landscape and dynamic that possibly only lives in people’s personal stories.”
Taner raised the concern of qualitative research being flawed because there is a broadly accepted illusion of being able to achieve sterile, detached research to contend with. Most of you have just conducted conversations with people you know for the purpose of research so how do you take yourself out of the picture? The answer is that you don’t. You adopt a reflexive research practice.
I was pleased to see that Tayla was already aware:
“We must as researchers, be constantly aware of our own actions, attitudes, and beliefs towards our research and research participants, it is this reflexivity that drives good ethnographic collaboration research.”
Eddie and Eliza quickly identified common themes across the television memory posts they read. Behaviors around the television and family interactions featured often. Along with the sense of family that television viewing brought to the home, Emily and Charlotte noted similarities and differences across cultures during the same era. Both also took satisfaction in reading the stories gathered by others and conducting the conversations. Emily added:
“Deliberately engaging in conversation about memories of television was enjoyable and extremely interesting. It gave you an insight into the lives of family members before you remember or were even born and the joy in their voices when they spoke about their memories was a pleasure to hear.The first-hand accounts that we received were valuable in terms of research and it would be fascinating to continue research in the area of memories of television.”
The stories you have gathered have certainly been enjoyable and informative for me to read. There is additional reading available, such as Clerke and Hopwood, that can further your understanding of this approach and doing so in teams.