2 Identifying the main elements in your data according to some theoretical

2 identifying the main elements in your data

This preview shows page 143 - 146 out of 870 pages.

2. Identifying the main elements in your data according to some theoretical scheme should only be the first stage of your data analysis. Go on to examine how these elements are linked together (see Chapter 13 ). 3. As your data analysis proceeds, you should aim to give your chosen concept or issue a new twist, perhaps by pursuing a counter-intuitive idea or by noting an additional feature little addressed in the literature. Limit the claims you make about your research 1. It always helps to make limited claims about your own research. Grandiose claims about originality, scope or applicability to social problems are all hostages to fortune. Be careful in how you specify the claims of your approach. Show that you understand that it constitutes one way of ‘slicing the cake’ and that other approaches, using other forms of data, may not be directly competitive. Issues of relevance
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1. When you have finished, reflect upon thecontribution that your research makes tocontemporary scholarly debates. How does it add toknowledge or change our sense of the role ofparticular methods or concepts (seeChapter 22)? 2. Is your analytic position appropriate to any practicalconcerns you have? For instance, manycontemporary social theories look at the world quitedifferently from respondents, policy makers orpractitioners. If you use such an approach, you willneed to think carefully about what you can offersuch groups – although it may well turn out that youcan offer them more interesting findings than rathermore conventional research (seeChapter 27).
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1. These research ideas derive from presentations during graduate workshops I coordinated at Goldsmiths College and at Oulu University, Finland. In the Finnish material, I have been able to draw upon research abstracts written by the students prior to the workshop. I was dependent upon my contemporary notes for the Goldsmiths’ material and apologize for any inaccuracies present. In any event, it should be borne in mind that this is an account of the early stages of research studies which, no doubt, have developed and changed. For this reason, students’ names have been anonymized.
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