Introduction To Critical Enquiry Research


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Guest lecture to postgraduate students in Creative Industries Faculty, QUT, 22 September, 2008

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Introduction To Critical Enquiry Research

  1. 1. Introduction to Critical Enquiry Research KKP601 Approaches to Enquiry in the Creative Industries Associate Professor Terry Flew Guest Lecture 2008
  2. 2. Recommended Readings <ul><li>Methodology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>David Deacon, Michael Pickering, Peter Golding and Graham Murdock, Researching Communications: A Practical Guide to Methods in Media and Cultural Analysis (2 nd Edn., Arnold, 2007) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Judy Giles and Tim Middleton, Studying Culture: A Practical Introduction (2 nd Edn., Blackwell, 2008) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Applications </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Manuel Castells, ‘Why Networks Matter’, in H. McCarthy, P. Miller and P. Skidmore (eds.), Network Logic: Who governs in an interconnected world? , DEMOS, 2004. <> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Terry Flew, ‘Global Media Cultures’, in Understanding Global Media (Palgrave, 2007), Chapter 5. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Researching Communications (chapter titles) <ul><li>Approaching Research </li></ul><ul><li>Dealing with Documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Selecting and Sampling </li></ul><ul><li>Asking Questions </li></ul><ul><li>Handling Numbers </li></ul><ul><li>Counting Contents </li></ul><ul><li>Analysing Texts </li></ul><ul><li>Unpacking News </li></ul><ul><li>Viewing the Image </li></ul><ul><li>Interpreting Images </li></ul><ul><li>Being an Observer </li></ul><ul><li>Attending to Talk </li></ul><ul><li>Taking Talk Apart </li></ul><ul><li>Using Computers (e.g. SPSS) </li></ul><ul><li>What, how and why of researching communications </li></ul>
  4. 4. Studying Culture (chapter titles) <ul><li>What is Culture? </li></ul><ul><li>Identity and Difference </li></ul><ul><li>Representation </li></ul><ul><li>History </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural Geography </li></ul><ul><li>Case Study: Global Tourism </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural Value: High Culture and Popular Culture </li></ul><ul><li>Subjects, Bodies, Selves </li></ul><ul><li>Consumption </li></ul><ul><li>Technology </li></ul>
  5. 5. What of Research? <ul><li>All research methodologies need to be situated within a four-fold understanding of the research process : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Define the problem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gather the evidence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Analyse the evidence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Draw conclusions </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Qualitative Research <ul><li>Qualitative research ‘consists of a set of interpretive, material practices that make the world visible … [as] they turn the world into a series of representations … [through] studying things in their natural settings , attempting to make sense of, phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them. ’ </li></ul><ul><li>Norman Denzin and Yvonne Lincoln, Handbook of Qualitative Research , 3 rd Edn., Sage, 2003, p. 3. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Beyond the Words versus Statistics Dichotomy DATA HYPOTHESES TEXTS INTERPRETATIONS
  8. 8. Object and Subject of Research Demonstration of research outcomes to those outside of related peer communities Examples: APA(I); research with/for corporate, NGO and government clients Research driven by interest in engagement by others with artefacts produced and consumed by others Examples: textual analysis, audience research, action research; ethnography External Assessment of outcomes by related peer communities Examples: exhibition, installation, live performance event, circulation of creative written work Research driven by person’s own creative practice Examples: art works, novel, performance Internal Subject of Research Object of Research
  9. 9. Research Techniques <ul><li>Action research </li></ul><ul><li>Field work </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Surveys </li></ul><ul><li>Case studies </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnography </li></ul><ul><li>Focus groups </li></ul><ul><li>Discourse analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Content analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Textual analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Archival/documentary research </li></ul>
  10. 10. Developing a Sample <ul><li>Sampling texts and documents </li></ul><ul><li>Sampling populations </li></ul><ul><li>Sampling content </li></ul><ul><li>Sampling data </li></ul><ul><li>Sampling statements and images </li></ul>
  11. 11. Modes of Engagement <ul><li>Participant observation </li></ul><ul><li>Surveys </li></ul><ul><li>Semi-structured interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Questions of representativeness, relevance, reliability of evidence </li></ul><ul><li>Triangulation of cases and research methodologies </li></ul>
  12. 12. Interviews and Focus Groups <ul><li>Organising an interview </li></ul><ul><li>Medium of interviewing (face-to-face or other) </li></ul><ul><li>Single interviews or focus groups? </li></ul><ul><li>How structured is the interview/focus group? </li></ul><ul><li>Organising questions to time </li></ul><ul><li>Comparing responses </li></ul><ul><li>Resource implications of different methods (e.g. timing, transcription, online v. face-to-face) </li></ul>
  13. 13. Case Studies <ul><li>How many case studies (scope and resource implications)? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the key information sought (‘Occam’s razor principle’)? </li></ul><ul><li>Availability or relevant documentation and data </li></ul><ul><li>Mixed-method approaches (e.g. publicly available data and information, interviews and audience/user surveys) </li></ul><ul><li>Comparative case studies </li></ul>
  14. 14. Triangulation: Case Study #1 - Media Corporations and Online News Media PUBLICLY AVAILABLE MATERIAL (speeches, annual reports, secondary sources) SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEWS (key informants within the organisation) TEXTUAL/CONTENT ANALYSIS (analysis of sample of online content)
  15. 15. Triangulation: Case Study #2 - New Media and Developing Countries PUBLICLY AVAILABLE MATERIAL (policy documents, archives, speeches, online publications) PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION (immersion in the locality of case study) USER ETHNOGRAPHIES (‘stories’ about patterns of use – affordances and problems)
  16. 16. Entering the Research Industry <ul><li>Research is a $5bn+ industry in Australia (ARC - $1.2billion annually) – most research funding is externally driven </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Timelines/milestones </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project management/working in teams </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outcomes/deliverables </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>End-user orientation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Publishing research: how to present to different readerships </li></ul><ul><li>Researching for industry : outcomes-oriented research (‘bottom line’ – time constraints – research commercialisation) </li></ul><ul><li>Researching for government: policy-oriented research (‘ideas thick’ research – Cunningham – presenting findings for decision-makers) </li></ul><ul><li>Advocacy research – understanding your constituency </li></ul>
  17. 17. Entering the Research Industry <ul><li>How to present at conferences and seminars </li></ul><ul><li>Presenting to the media </li></ul><ul><li>Applying for research funding </li></ul><ul><li>Building a research CV and networks (e.g. developing an ‘affable persona’) </li></ul><ul><li>Ethics of research: research/consultancy relationship </li></ul>