Monday, September 9, 2013

Diving Into Analysis

My sixth and apparently final participant has finally found time for the interview part of my data collection.  Last week, I finally completed viewing about 40 of his online videos regarding teaching English in Japan and/or adjusting to living and working in Japan.  The remaining 1000 videos were more about current events in Japan or general information about Japanese culture.

As the interviews take place over the course of the week, I hope, I will start the more in-depth phase of analysis of all of my participants' data.  At the same time, I will begin writing my first draft of Chapter 4.  Actually, I already wrote the first paragraph giving a general introduction to the participants.  Besides the final interview, I perceive much time of this week spent on organizing my approach to analysis as I write Chapter 4.

Coincidentally, as I am diving into analysis of my data, I am also beginning my new weekly routine of swimming.  Since I have started my full-time job, there are two things that I want to continue that abruptly stopped back in April: 1) using the university's facilities that I'm paying for, 2) getting some good exercise.  Although this seems like aside to the rest of this blog, I believe that physical exercise may enhance my mental exercise for data analysis.

As I mentioned earlier, my preliminary analysis took part during data collection of the blog data.  I created two very broad themes: 1) teaching English and 2) cultural adjustment.  The golden ticket is when these themes overlap, which seems to happen often for some participants and not much for others.  This is where I will look to develop a grounded theory.  Although this seems easy, I'm dealing with the murky nature of my participants' beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions which are made more complex with own beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions.  My dissertation chairs and committee will demonstrate how this gets even more complicated when my interpretation is interpreted by them.  This is not science.

Another matter I need to consider is condensing my analysis into a limited number of pages for Chapter 4.  My first 3 chapters are already longer than most other dissertations I have seen.  I've been considering a page limit when describing the context and adjustment process for each participant.  I have arbitrarily chosen 4 pages, thus 24 pages for all 6 participants.  This does not include the general introduction or the cross-case analysis or the establishment of any grounded theory.  I am the type of person who can write a lot and does not mind writing a lot, so I need to exert some type of self-control.  I'd like to thank all of my writing teachers who brought me to this point.  However, I didn't mention the quality of my writing.  Perhaps you can take a guess by the mostly informal prose you see here.

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