2 - Research Personal Journey

2 - Research Personal Journey - Aging With Grace What the...

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Aging With Grace: What the Nun Study Teaches Us About Leading Longer, Healthier, and More Meaningful Lives: David Snowdon PhD Nun Study Webpage…. www.nunstudy.org Snowdon in Three Parts Part I: Research: A Personal Journey Part II: Discovery and Serendipity Part III: From the Ethnographic to the Scientific Research: A Personal Journey Some Intimate Perspectives on Snowdon’s “Nuns Study” Research Beginnings The personal and situated context of the research process Ethnographic practice Study participants The research questions Early findings The Beginnings “It’s 1957, and none of the sisters has a driver’s licence, much less a car. Two sisters sit up front with my mother and three sit in the backseat, lined up that like fence posts in their full black-and-white wool serge habits. That leaves me, the little boy with the butch haircut, crammed into the rear luggage compartment, the space usually reserved for our fox terrier, Spot….” From a young age, he’s had a strong connection with nuns It was almost as if the project was introduced to him, instead of him looking for this project A lot of the research is very personal o Gives us a sense of his perception of research from a very young age We get the context up front (why he did this) Research Context The Nun’s Study begins with a very personalized context. His recollections of his mother chauffeuring five nuns to school one day. The image of him crammed in the back seat of that station wagon sets the stage for the study. Vantage Points and Perspectives All research originates from some view of reality Different ways of gaining an understanding of some aspects of the world Different ways of confirming our understanding – i.e. knowledge creation Snowdon’s vantage point He was able to use his background and connections, to allow him access to a very difficult group Locating Himself “From my perch in the back, I peer out at the people in passing cars… They turn with startled expressions to stare into our old green boat… It was then I realised that these brides of Christ… are as mysterious to most outsiders as they are to me. It is as though they were inhabitants of a different world….” Realizes that Nun’s are a very unusual sample, with not much known about them Why are they cloaked in this mystery? Participant Observer
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This note was uploaded on 12/26/2011 for the course FNR 100 taught by Professor D.mahoney during the Winter '10 term at Ryerson.

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2 - Research Personal Journey - Aging With Grace What the...

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