Iscourse Analysis or Ethnographic Research

Discourse Analysis or Ethnographic Research

1. State your Research Question in a way that draws attention to the context surrounding the issue that you wish to study. Remember that interpretivist work aims to clarify how a certain discourse, social process, cultural practice, identity, etc. has been constructed and reproduced and how it affects or is affected by the social world (this is very different than the cause-effect type questions we have studied to date!). Re-work your introduction and statement of your question to fit this type of researcha remember to provide some background for your topic and explain the significance of your question.

2-3 paragraphs

2. Broader Scholarly Discussion: Please explain which bodies of literature you would bring together for your literature review for this particular approach. Would you include any additional literature, sources, etc.? Would you eliminate or add any discussions, themes, etc.? Remember to justify everythinga why would you make these choices? How would it work better for the intepretivist research you are proposing here? Do NOT forget to explain how your research project will be contributing to the broader scholarly discussion you outline here (what gap in that conversation is your research project filling).

3-4 paragraphs

3. Scope of analysis: For your interpetivist research sketch, please address each of the following in as much depth as possible:
a. Object of Study: Here, explain which discourse(s), social practices, identities, representations, processes, etc. you are seeking to understand. Be specific and explain in depth.

b. Historical Context: What is the broader historical context of your object of study (you can address whatever political, social, cultural, or economic aspects that may be relevant to this context here)?

c. Actors: who are the actors relevant to or affected by the issue you are studying? Can you identify any implicit or explicit hierarchy among these actors? Explain

2-3 paragraphs

4. Methodology for data collection and analysis: Here, please address where you will look for manifestations of your object of study:
a. If you are proposing to conduct discourse analysis, explain which texts you would make a part of your study (give concrete examples)? Are they written, spoken, practiced, or some combination thereof? If you are proposing to conduct ethnographic research, explain what your ethnographic site(s) would be and which groups of actors would be participants in your study. Be as specific as possible and justify your decisions.
b. Techniques:
i. Which techniques for collection and analysis do you propose for your study? Be specific and explain how these techniques will help you address your question.
ii. Here, you should also address how you will pursue a more in-depth, holistic study of your topic (think about the question of inter-textuality or triangulation here).
2-3 paragraphs

5. Concluding thoughts

a. Did you have to modify your research questions to develop this research design? If so, how / why? What did you learn?

b. Reflexivity and positionality: how much distance do you have from the discourse(s) or practices, or in the case of ethnography, from the social groups you propose to research? Is this helpful or an obstacle? How will your own positions as a researcher affect the proposed research?

c. Any other comments, observations, or remaining questions?

1-2 paragraphs