Case Study, Feminist & Action Research By Group 4 : Sheila, Karen & Erin
Case study research is “the study of an issue explored through one or more cases within a bounded system” (Creswell, 2007,p. 73). What happened? How or why did this happen? http://cdn.softsailor.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/911-3.gif
Merriam, as cited in Gay, Mills & Airasian (2009), in explaining a bounded system said, “I can fence in what I am going to study” (p. 426). In education for example, the bounded system might be a teacher, classroom or school. “Case study research often explores a bounded system (a case) or multiple bounded systems (more than one case) over a period of time” (Creswell, 2007, p. 73).
It can often be difficult for researchers to identify a suitable case or cases (Creswell, 2007, p. 75). “Case study research can be presented as a strategy of inquiry, a methodology or a comprehensive research strategy”(Creswell, 2007, p. 73).
Types of Case Studies Creswell (2007) identifies the different types of case studies as:
The collective or multiple case study in which “one issue or concern is selected, but the inquirer selects multiple case studies to illustrate the issue” (p. 74).
The intrinsic case study in which case focuses on itself. (p. 74).
Actions to take when conducting a Case Study Determine if a case study method is suitable to the research problem. Ascertain suitable case or cases. Collect extensive data relying on numerous sources of information, such as “observations, interviews, documents, and audiovisual materials” (Creswell, 2007, p. 75). Analyse data in either a holistic or embedded manner. Report on the meaning or implications of the case or cases. (Creswell, 2007, p. 74-75)
SAMPLE CASE STUDY – Campus response to a Student GunmanBy: K.J. Asmussen & J.W. Creswell, 2007. The incident – A forty-three year old gunman attempts to open fire on a class of his peers in a university setting. His weapon malfunctions and after fleeing he is captured by police (p. 338).
Researchers first “drafted a research protocol for approval by university administration and the Institutional Review Board” (p. 340).
Researchers then limited their study to responses to on campus groups (p. 341).
Researchers widened the study to incorporate “the paradigm assumptions of an emerging design, a context- dependent inquiry and an inductive data- analysis (p. 341).
Researchers bounded the study in a time frame of eight months and by the campus community, a single case (p. 341).
Occurring Themes Denial Fear Safety Retriggering Campus Planning
Discussion Researchers found that in developing a campus-wide plan for future incidents might be categorized into two groups: “a psychological or socio-psychological response of the campus community to the gunman incident” (p. 348). Issues that were outlined during the case analysis were: leadership, communication and authority (p. 348). The case study outlined the need for organizational change that “would require cooperation and coordination among units” (p. 348). Asmussen, K.J., & Creswell, J. (1995). Campus response to a student gunmen. In J. Creswell (Ed.), Qualitative inquiry & research design: choosing among five approaches (pp. 337-353). Ohio: the Ohio State University Press.
Action research is described as “critical research dealing with real-life problems, involving collaboration, dialogue, mutual learning , and producing tangible results” (Denzin and Lincoln 2008, p. 643) Two main types of action research: Critical action research – “the goal is liberating individuals through knowledge gathering; also known as emancipatory action research” (Gay, Mills, Airasian, 2009 p. 488). Practical action research – emphasizes more of a “how to” approach to the processes of action research and has a less philosophical bent (Gay, Mills, Airasian, 2009 p. 488).
Characteristics of action research (Gay, Mills, Airasian, 2009 p. 486). Persuasive and authoritative – action research is done by individuals interested in solving every day problems they encounter in their job, data sources are identified that provide persuasive insights into the possibility and impact of an intervention. Relevant – to the participants and researcher in their particular context because researcher identifies the area of focus based on specific problems they encounter Accessible – not tied to the rigorous methods of other research approaches. Action researchers challenge their own assumptions, and are willing to reflect on and change their thinking and practice
The basic steps in the action research project (Mills, G, 2000) Identify an area of focus Collect data Develop an action plan Analyze and Interpret Data
Action research in action*open link and scroll down to page 178 for example of action research COME TO MY WEB (SITE) SAID THE SPIDER TO THE FLY: REFLECTIONS ON THE LIFE OF A VIRTUAL PROFESSOR (Mills, G, 2000 p. 178) http://resources.educ.queensu.ca/ar/sstep/S-STEP3-2000.pdf#page=186
“Feminist research approaches, center and make problematic women’s diverse situations and the institutions that frame those situations” (Creswell 2007, p. 25) “The aim of feminist research is to “correct both the invisibility and distortion of female experience in ways relevant to ending women’s unequal social position” (Lather as cited in Creswell, 2007, p. 26)
“ In feminist research approaches, the goals are to establish collaborative and nonexploitative relationships, to place the researcher within the study so as to avoid objectification and to conduct research that is transformative” (Creswell 2007, p. 26) Click on the link below to hear Sharlene Nagy Hesse-Biber, Boston College, talking to Patrick Brindle, Research Methods Publisher at SAGE Publications, about feminist research methods. The interview was filmed at the Mixed Methods Conference in Harrogate, July 2009. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGtF_C_r1HE
Can men do feminist research? Sharlene Nagy Hesse-Biber, responds to this question. *click on the link below http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Mq0koyZsAw&feature=related
“Feminist researchers need to look for what has been left out in the social science writing, and to study women’s lives and issues such as identities, sex roles, domestic violence, abortion activism, comparable worth, affirmative action, and the way in which women struggle with their social devaluation and powerlessness within their families”(Creswell, 200, p. 26)
To explore feminism and the complexities of gender as a social and cultural marker through a visual medium click on the website belowhttp://www.feminist.com/resources/artspeech/videolist.html#his
Using an action research model, identify a problem experienced by women. Imagine and outline the basic steps you might take in your own action research project Identify one of the issues or problems experienced by women on the previous website What kind of data could you as a feminist researcher collect to lead to insights about the problem? What plan or process could you put in place to remedy the problem? What insights might the data reveal?
Focus Groups Focus groups encompass everyday social interactions, including group discussions, conversations, and negotiations within a diversity of settings (Bakhtin, 1986, as cited in Kamberelis & Dimitriadis, 2008). Focus groups are essentially a community of inquiry in which pedagogy, politics, and research merge (Kamberelis & Dimitriadis, 2008). According to Kamberelis and Dimitriadis (2008), Foucault’s (1984) genealogical approach, which is used to interpret the various factors that influence people, social occurrences, and institutions, is useful in deconstructing focus groups as pedagogical, political, and research practices.
Focus Groups as Pedagogical Practice Paulo Freire - through literacy programs, Freire encouraged people to reflect on their circumstances and to make an effort to improve their lives, often through political action. Freire viewed education as a tool for collective empowerment. In Freire’s view, liberation and transformation are never fully complete (Kamberelis & Dimitriadis, 2008). Jonathan Kozol - drew on Freire’semancipatory work in literacy programs and advocated for complex and rich word use in deconstructing meanings within social and political contexts. His study circles were held in unofficial locations and facilitated the empowerment of the people from within (Kamberelis & Dimitriadis, 2008).
Focus Groups as Political Practice: Feminism Consciousness-raising groups (CRGs) served to formulate theory based on the experiences of women in second and third wave feminism that could lead to their empowerment (Kamberelis & Dimitriadis, 2008). Esther Madriz (2000) perceived focus groups in feminism as places in which women could feel safe, share their experiences with one another, and regain control of their lives within a nurturing environment, enabling them to speak out against social injustices (as cited in Kamberelis & Dimitriadis, 2008). Abortion, incest, and sexual and physical abuse were some of the issues that emerged and were recognized as requiring political and legislative action (Eisenstein, 1984, as cited in Kamberelis & Dimitriadis, 2008). Third wave feminism emphasized the involvement of women of different ethnicities, classes, ages, background, and sexual identities (Kamberelis & Dimitriadis, 2008). Informal spaces enabled women to freely share their experiences in third wave feminism, shedding light on social issues and initiating positive change (Kamberelis & Dimitriadis, 2008).
Focus Groups as Research Practice Paul Lazarsfeld and Robert Merton – conducted focus groups in 1941 to assess people’s perceptions of WWII in order to continue developing propaganda. These focus groups were conducted within formal, face-to-face settings with predetermined themes (expressed content) (Kamberelis & Dimitriadis, 2008). Janice Radway – held focus groups to interpret the dynamics surrounding women’s interest in romance novels (socially constructed audience analysis) (Kamberelis & Dimitriadis, 2008). According to Kamberelis and Dimitriadis (2008), focus groups allow the participants more involvement and in the research process, decentralizing the role of the researcher and providing a more democratic style of research.
References: Creswell, J. W. (2007). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Denzin, N.K., & Lincoln Y.S. (Eds.). (2008). Collecting and Interpreting Qualitative Materials (3rded.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Gay, L. R., Mills, G. E., & Airasian, P. (2009). Educational Research: Competencies for analysis and applications (ninth ed.) Columbia, Ohio: Pearson Education Ltd. Kamberelis, G. & Dimitriadis, G. (2008). Focus groups: Strategic articulations of pedagogy, politics, and inquiry. In Denzin, N.K. &Lincoln, Y. S. (Eds.), Collecting and interpreting qualitative materials (3rd ed., p. 375-402). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Mills, G. (2000). Come to my web (site) said the spider to the fly: reflections on the life of a virtual professor in Loughran, J. & Russell, T. (Eds.).(2000). Exploring myths and legends of teacher education (pp. 178-182). East Sussex, UK. Retrieved from http://resources.educ.queensu.ca/ar/sstep/S-STEP3-2000.pdf#page=186