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Long-lived teams working across the primary-secondary analysis spectrum.


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Presentation given by Karen Henwood at event 2 of New Frontiers in Qualitative Longitudinal Research: 'Research Relationships in Time'. Cardiff University, 7th February 2013.

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Long-lived teams working across the primary-secondary analysis spectrum.

  1. 1. Long-lived teams working across the primary-secondary analysis spectrum Prof. Karen Henwood NFQLR “The research relationship in time” February 7th 2013
  2. 2. The case ‘for relationships’ in QLRFamiliarity & depth of knowledge can develop & be co-produced over timeCross generational exchanges; distributions of capitalsMakes possible ethical sharing and pooling of valued resources (data sharing and pooling, reciprocity in other ways)Intimacy as a resource : intensity brings insight; increases reflexivity – worked on over time – not just looking backIntimacy as a provocation (??)Conducive to “careful judgement based on practical knowledge based in time & place” (Edwards & Mauthner, 2002)Technology risks obsolescence, relationships can promote resilience by enduring/adapting in time
  3. 3. Lessons Learned: One Project Team’s Reflections on Qualitative Secondary Analysis (QSA) in Austere Times• MaF (Henwood, Shirani & Coltart; 2007-2011)• QLR study of accounts provided by 2 cohorts of men (2000 & 2008) of their lived experiences and relationships in & through time (before-up to 8 years after first child)• Part of Timescapes Network : dynamics of continuity & change – tracking through multiple waves of in depth qualitative interviews & multimodal methods• Unique experiences of efforts at “scaling up” through qualitative secondary analysis (QSA) Published in FQS, 14 (1), January 2013
  4. 4. MaF project team’s reflections on tensions & dilemmas of QSA Ongoing , evolving challengesContext: rising optimism surrounding QSAQSA as a strategy for QR to Definitional issues & Historical & navigate profound socio- Institutional Context of QSA cultural, political & - as sources of ongoing tension - & insight into ways of working economic challenges across the primary-secondary spectrum Epistemological Issues – risks of treatingHowever, such efforts risk data as free-standing or realist privileging conceptual & position of making data whole substantive developments versus own experiences of careful over continuing professional attention to acknowledging the situated knowledge claims, & ethical challenges intellectual commitments, relational & negotiated workings & legacies of creators of original work
  5. 5. Conclusions: Under-examined costs and risks of QSA• A defence of interpretive epistemological positioning of QLR• Over-valuing distancing over proximate knowledge replays a quantitative epistemological positioning• Retaining a focus on meaning & context in the generation of insights promotes subsequent meta- analysis and synthesis of findings• Strongest arguments in favour of QSA (not involving revisiting by original researchers) is for new inquiries to approach the data sets in ways that are temporally, historically & analytically separate from the originating team• Stress on the importance of QSA taking place in a timely and careful way & avoiding risking detriment to (the legacies of) primary & secondary projects
  6. 6. Can research relationships be shared? The need to theorise relationships : discourse & subjectivityAside from the powerful insights afforded by relational thinking about (research and other forms of professional) practice, many challenges are posed to relational ways of working : - The ties that are enabling (through deepening understanding, increasing reflexivity etc) are also the ties that bind. - Interdependency can mean parties feeling constrained if it is set alongside dominant liberal humanist ideas of “freedom of choice”. - There are cultural temptations to over-idealise particular ideas of relationships e.g. over-simplified ideas about what it means to adopt ethical relationships of “care”.Two starter references for building a theoretical scaffold - both classics in social psychological theory .i) Rachel Hare Mustin (1997) “Discourse in the mirrored room: A Postmodern Analysis of Therapy “ii) Jane Flax Forgotten “Form of Close Combat: Mothers and Daughters Revisited”
  7. 7. Rachel Hare Mustin (1997) “Discourse in the mirrored room: A Postmodern Analysis of Therapy “• Taking a discursive perspective on relationships means posing questions about the challenges of arriving at ethical judgements when value conflicts are involved• Such value conflicts can relate to different gender, generational positionnings etc in respect of justice, fairness, & equality discourses
  8. 8. Jane Flax “Forgotten Forms of Close Combat: Mothers and Daughters Revisited”• Questions about gendered subjectivity necessarily complicate assumptions about the primacy of attachments or connections in relationships.• There are limits to such attachments as guiding principles in understanding how we experience the power and importance of relationships.
  9. 9. Images from Energy Biographies QLR research
  10. 10. Disconnected Futures: Primary analysis conducted 2012/13 in an extended (long lived) research teamA major research initiative is under way to study issues arising for people and communities as a result of efforts to promote low carbon transitions/reduce energy demand in everyday life.Energy Biographies is an ESRC/EPSRC project (Nov 2010-Sept 2014) taking an innovative methodological approach to investigate “openings for change” in people everyday energy practices. ”QLR interview (& multimodal) methods adapted to the new topic area – drawing on experiences from MaF.Is it possible to create new working relationships among members of an enlarged originating project (in the Cardiff University Understanding Risk Group); and the enlarged Energy Biographies team of researchers?
  11. 11. Methods • Follow up • These involve Phase 2a: interviews 5 AND interviews and Narrative 10 months with a informal meetings Interviews selected sample with case site from each case representatives December 2011- site. Participants and a wider range April 2012 are being asked to of stakeholders to • 18-30 initial engage in a range provide detailed narrative of other multi contextual interviews in modal methods information. each case site (e.g. photographs) area (n=68) Phase 1: Scoping Phase 2b: ExtendedStakeholder Interviews Biographies & July 2011-December Multimodal Method 2011 May 2012-February 2013
  12. 12. Phase 1: Developing Relationships• Case Site Representatives – initial meetings • Also full participants in longitudinal research• Advisory Panel• Community Volunteering• Sustaining Relationships(e.g. Christmas cards) This is a community newsletter developed by Karen Parkhill for Futurespace
  13. 13. Case SitesPeterston and ElyCaerau, Cardiff Royal Free Hospital, Lo ndonTir Y Gafel Eco-village, Pembrokeshire
  14. 14. Phase 3: Qualitative Longitudinal1. Initial interview – establishing energy biographies through a focus on three themes: • Community and context • Daily routine • Life transitions2. Second interview – a detailed focus on everyday energy use • Discussion of important life changes since interview 1 • Exploring everyday energy use through participant generated photographs • Following up emerging themes from interview 1: waste, frugality and guilt3. Life transitions • Discussion of important life changes since interview 2 • Exploring everyday routines through text-prompted photographs • Expanded talk about the future (both personal and social), facilitated through video clips
  15. 15. Biographical narrative interviews Daily Routine Time (past, presents Community & futures) Transitions
  16. 16. Phase 3: Imagined Futures (Multi-modal Methods)Monsanto house of the future 1957 Channel 4 home of the future 2012 3. Activity 3 – video clips • During interview 3 participants are shown clips from a 1950s and 2010s version of what a home of the future might look like • The clips facilitate talk about the future, which can otherwise be difficult to discuss
  17. 17. Disconnected futures - Data analysis (in press, Local Environment)• Could a new set of working relationships be formed, taking into account incoming specialist temporal knowledge? Which research practices would prove most useful?• Not EB’s data; energy localities (UR group, 2009) - 53 interviews of public perception of different energy production facilities and futures (2009, Aberthaw coal fired power station and Hinckley Point Nuclear Power Station)• Selected for investigation an issue of relevance across both projects (Maf/Eb’s) domains: intergenerational equity• With a well known problematic within the sustainable environment/social change/ futures arena) - Environmental justice literature suggests current generations have the moral duty to protect natural resources in the interests of future generations, - Yet (in the wider environmental practice literature) it is said to be difficult for people to see the consequences of their actions in remotely distant other times and places.
  18. 18. How the analysis was done…Familiarity with data (UR group) – it would be possible to explore people’s connections to other times and places using the public perceptions/energy locality dataWhole team: it was important (for Ebs study) to explore the implications of this for understanding their perspectives on equity, justice and ethical issues related to energy production & consumptionMaf strategy - initial inspection (FS) of relevant data revealed temporal pattern relating people’s lifecourse positioning to ethical extensions into the future and connections formed between their own practices and energy consumption.
  19. 19. Presentation of analysis/findings• Having structured analysis around life course positioning of family members, subsequent efforts thickened the interpretations of the basic pattern (interpretive contextualisation)• Analysis process revealed contentiousness (value differences) and refined interpretations : “living links to the future” via children not in themselves necessary to make empathic, ethical links to the future• What was established, though, was that, when there are completing pressures and moral demands with something having to give, in order to understand what this is likely to be means paying attention to the different time horizons associated with such pressures.• In the case of pressures associated with parenting , these are located in the immediate - but socially and formalised routines associates with raising children whereas, by contrast, moral pressures related to levels of energy consumption and concerns about future sustainability are located in the long term future.
  20. 20. Disconnected Futures Analysis ConclusionHence: our conclusion was that:“ the different temporalities go some way to explaining why certain actions take precedence and that, therefore, there are important questions to be asked (from an EB’s point of view) about how is it possible to keep these competing temporal pressures in mind?“
  21. 21. Review & Conclusion• QLR offers the promise of temporal insights that can be grasped when it crosses into new substantive arenas.• Reliance in QLR on the importance of analytical work generated through relationship-focussed research remains important; in that: i) it can be important to work with established team work practices and understand their practices for deepening and strengthening QLR researchers epistemic claims ii) It is possible to change established team boundaries, and produce enhanced analytical work with academic value• However, it is not always clear in what ways researcher relationships – even within such teams- are ‘sharing’ relationships : there are ways of building theoretical understanding of this.
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