Wednesday, December 4, 2013

You might think you know what you're doing - Meeting on methodology

It's great to have an idea of how things will work. Sometimes, even as a pro, you can miss important details though. Since our project is quite ambitious and our data collection via workshops a crutial part of it, we thought it might be a good idea to check with some experts on methodology. We invited four renown experts to Osnabrück where they met yesterday with the principle investigator from Heidelberg and the Osnabrück team wich includes the project leader. It was a very fruitful meeting with wonderful colleagues and lots of input. The idea to have a moderator moderating the focus groups instead of the principle investigators had already been in our minds, but it became more important when we discussed the possible impact on the focus groups.
Also the case stories to be discussed turned out to be even more important than we already asssumed. There were very different points of view regarding how they would have to be constructed. Also we will have to develop guidelines how to construct these case stories, in order to have comparable stories in each of the countries we are researching in, taking into account, that the details will have to differ from country to country (e.g. who is regarded a minority and what is to be considered a "typical" case?).

24 workshops might sound like a lot, which it is, regarding planning, organising and the material we will get. But this divides into six workshops a country, thus two workshop per country per form of violence. This does not allow for experiments with moderator or story, so we found there is a need to pre-test these workshops in advance.
This additional step adds further to our tight time schedule, but we think it is really necessary.

Bianca Grafe