Thursday, June 12, 2014

Research framework update

In an earlier post I was congratulating myself on having settled on a research methodology/framework - case studies.  I thought that this was a good fit with what I wanted to do.  I put this suggestion to my lovely supervisors and I thought they were happy and it was all systems go for case studies.  I was about to immerse myself in Yin's works to get myself thoroughly familiar with case studies.  Then came a meeting with my supervisors where it became clear that I had misinterpreted their support.  Bummer. They were of the opinion that case studies is not a research framework, but is nothing more than a data creation technique.  Big sigh.  In talking with another academic, she said that this view was old-fashioned and that plenty of PhDs were based on a case study method.

Anyway, mine can't be. Which (as usual!) turns out to be just fine as I now have settled on phenomenology as a framework, using case studies to gather my data.  This is actually a whole lot better and I have since heard from other people, whose opinions I trust, that case studies can be a method,  but are best left as a data gathering technique.  I had looked a phenomenology a bit before, thinking that it would fit quite well, but the philosophy and all those dead German men that wrote about it put me right off.  I was being intellectually lazy too.  Some of the writing about it is totally impenetrable twaddle designed to show off the author's brain power rather than to communicate anything useful.  But, having delved deeper, some of the writing about it is quite plain and practical and it is these writings that have made me feel comfortable with the framework and its concepts.

So, phenomenology it is!  I can almost spell it too, now.  In the interests of staying positive:

1 comment:

  1. Interested to hear how your phenomenological journey proceeds! My school is big on it, and has a prof. who is an expert, but I haven't seen it as a viable methodology because I won't be conducting interviews. Still, I enjoy the underlying philosophy quite a bit. Best of luck as your research commences!