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Unobtrusive research methods

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How to do research when you cannot get access to people

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Unobtrusive research methods

  1. 1. ACS 301 October 23, 2008 Qual Methods IV: Unobtrusive Methods
  2. 2. Key themes <ul><li>Types of unobtrusive methods </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Content analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Quantitative </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Qualitative </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conversation analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Semiotics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hermeneutics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discourse analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The drawbacks </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is “unobtrusive”? I’d like to analyze this conversation. It just so happens to be on television! --- -------, ----, ? ----- ---- ! ---? --- ---.
  4. 4. What is “unobtrusive”? I’d like to analyze this conversation. It just so happens to be on television! --- -------, ----, ? ----- ---- ! ---? --- ---. Unobtrusive : adjective . 1. Not obtrusive. Not blatant, aggressive or arresting. 2. Inconspicuous Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary. 2008.
  5. 5. Why use unobtrusive methods?
  6. 6. Why use unobtrusive methods? <ul><li>Access </li></ul><ul><li>Unique opportunity </li></ul>
  7. 7. Physical traces of people The Garbage Project at the University of Arizona examines what people throw away (and what they don’t). Dr. William Rathje, Project Director
  8. 8. Content analysis Analyzing “content” in:  
  9. 9. An example of content analysis Are some crimes given more prominent placement in the newspaper than others?
  10. 10. Quantitative content analysis
  11. 11. Qualitative content analysis
  12. 12. Semiotics  Signifier “ allow other cars” Signified Sign + =
  13. 13. Hermeneutics Part I: analyze the content  The film
  14. 14. Hermeneutics Part II: analyze social, historical context The state of the film industry The people who make films Current ideas of the time  The film
  15. 15. Conversation analysis --- -------, ----, ? --- -------, ----. ---. 1 C Can I just briefly ask why: you thought about having 2 an HIV test done: 3 P . hh. We:ll I mean it’s something that you have these 4 I mean that you have to think about these
  16. 16. Discourse analysis “ Discourse”:    Analysis Understanding what “the problem” is
  17. 17. The drawbacks to unobtrusive

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