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.

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