SOCRMx – Starting to Think About Research Methods
So, as part of the course I am taking, I have a few questions I need to address:
- What kind of topics are you interested in researching?
- I am interested in researching lived life experiences of members of the LGBTQ+ communities.
- What initial research questions might be starting to emerge for you?
- I can see a need to ask questions which can measure the “delta” in life experiences, that meaning a way to evaluate how much people’s life differ yet are considered part of the same “community”.
- What are you interested in researching – people, groups, communities, documents, images, organisations?
- I am interested in researching people within certain groups of the communities.
- Do you have an initial ideas for the kinds of methods that might help you to gather useful knowledge in your area of interest?
- ‘interview’ or ‘focus group’ methods, as well as the ‘ethnographic’ approach. The former would involve direct conversation with people, and the chance to elicit in-depth responses from people that develop the understanding of perspectives, experiences, and contexts.
- What initial questions do you have about those methods? What don’t you understand yet?
- My biggest question is to how to capture the differences in the life experiences. Even if one were to choose a specific aspect of people’s lives, there is no “gold standard” to measure against.
- Do you perceive any potential challenges in your initial ideas: either practical challenges, such as gaining access to the area you want to research, or the time it might take to gather data; or conceptual challenges; such as how the method you are interested in can produce ‘facts’, ‘truths’, or ‘valuable knowledge’ in your chosen area?
- I see a big challenge being getting individuals to open up about their life experiences, which for some could be like opening up old wounds.
- The other challenge I foresee is researching areas where there is no consistency in the definitions used due to the fact that the LGBTQ+ community is non-homogeneous.