Sunday, September 27, 2015

Data gathering is complete!!

I think the term 'data-gathering' is odd. It sounds like the data is just sitting out there somewhere, waiting to be gathered and taken home. The reality is much more complicated. For me, the gathering of data took almost a year of ethics negotiations, two trips interstate, flying on tiny planes and sitting alone in rooms with prisoners who are household names for all the wrong reasons. The gathering was hard and sometimes frightening and always exciting. I have been to places that I never thought I would go and shaken hands with people I never thought I would meet.  I have the thoughts and words of these people in my sound files, waiting to be transcribed.

So, that brings me to the end of the gathering and the start of the next phase - the real work it seems. I feel like I haven't really done anything yet and the real work is about to begin. This is probably an inaccurate view as it has been a great deal of work to get this far. Maybe I feel that I haven't done anything yet as I haven't really done anything very intellectual yet in terms of analysis. Perhaps I am thinking that 'doing a Doctorate' is an intellectual exercise and the work hasn't begun until there is significant intellectual input.

The next stage is organising for my transcripts to be typed up. I have 35 interviews to transcribe and I have done 7 myself and I think that is enough. I spoke to my wonderful supervisors about this last week and they agreed. I have done some of them, so have experienced this and learnt some skills aroung this. Now I need to crack on and get moving. I am very slow in doing them as I don't have any specific equipment to speed up the process. I get some money from RMIT to pay for things like transcription, so I think I will just do it. I am really excited about the next phase of the research and I can't get there without the transcripts. So, I think it makes good sense.

Once I have the transcripts I can start analysing them. I need to work out how to do this. That is for another post!