the main hallway outside of the principal’s office. The principal researcher did not interact with participants during observations and tried to remain as unobtrusive as possible. To appear unobtrusive, the principal researcher would make observations from an area farthest from students or the principal researcher would observe next to familiar adults in the school such as teachers, administration, counselors, or school security. The principal researcher did complete field notes during observations, but tried to make notes quickly and out of sight of the students. The attempt at concealing field notes from students was to limit the sense of being recorded and to encourage natural behaviors. Participant interviews.The principal researcher was responsible for conducting individual interviews to ensure continuity among participants. For interviews, the principal researcher used semi-structured interviews to represent each student’s unique experiences with classism. Semi-structured interviews relate to the study’s research question because it allows the participant to offer insights that might be overlooked by the interviewer. Moreover, a semi-structured interview offered a framework for the interviews without controlling the flow of the conversation. The semi-structured interview method provided uniqueness and insight into the world of classism from high school students’ perspectives. Prior to the interviews, the principal researcher developed a list of four question topics to help guide the interviews to understand better about the issues of classism and
12 social class at RIHS. The research team then discussed the topics, developed appropriate follow up questions for each topic, and structured the questions in a logical order. The principal researcher presented participants with a copy of the semi-structured interview guide, talked with participants about the structure of the guide, and made adjustments as necessary before the interviews began. See the Appendix for a copy of the interview guide. In March 2014 and April 2014, the researchers conducted 11 semi-structured interviews. The principal researcher completed each semi-structured interview during school hours, typically during the participants’ study hall hour. He conducted all interviews in the counseling office. During all of the interviews, the principal researcher individually debriefed each participant about the study and each agreed to participate. At that time, participants had the opportunity to agree to be audiotaped and quoted for the purposes of this study. All 11 participants agreed to be audiotaped and quoted. Data AnalysisEthnographic data analysis is a multiple step approach. After the principal researcher collected all participant observations and participant interview data, the researchers transcribed all observation notes and interviews to aid in the data analysis.