U8D1-68 – Data Analysis Strategies Reviewed By Peers

U8D1-68 – Data Analysis Strategies Peer Review

Note: You are required to complete this discussion before submitting the unit assignment.

For this discussion, complete the following:

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  • Develop a step-by-step strategy for data analysis that is consistent with your question and methodology.
  • Describe the data analysis section you will use in your study.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the data analysis strategy, discussing its strengths and limitations.

Once you have received feedback from other learners, revise the discussion to include the feedback from your peers.

 

Data Analysis Strategies Scoring Guide

1. Describes data analysis methods clearly and in a well-documented manner that are appropriate to the design, allow the research question to be answered and are supported by appropriate references.

2. Creates interview questions that are relevant to the research question and are free from leading or biased language, and ensures that questions exemplify the skills of a qualitative researcher.

3. Describes the role of the researcher, and provides an insightful analysis of any pre-understandings, preconceptions, and biases about the topic, along with a detailed plan as to how to address them.

4. Writes each item in a manner that is sufficiently scholarly in tone and contains no editorial or mechanical (grammar, usage, typographical, etcetera) errors.

Readings

Use your Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods text to read pages 431‚Äď651 of Chapter 8, “Qualitative Analysis and Interpretation.” This chapter highlights the analysis and interpretation of data in qualitative research.

Use your Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design text to read Chapter 8, “Data Analysis and Representation,” pages 181‚Äď224. Focus on the following subsections:

1. “Three Analysis Strategies.”

2. “The Data Analysis Spiral.”

3. “Analysis Within Approaches to Inquiry.”

Read the transcript Qualitative Research Proposal.

INTRODUCTION – Unit 8 – Data Analysis

In qualitative research, data analysis can be one of the most difficult processes to clearly delineate. Regardless of the data that are collected, the analysis must be meticulously detailed. It is never enough to state that “themes will emerge from the data.” The researcher must go into considerable detail regarding the processes by which the themes will be discovered.

After the qualitative data have been collected and recorded, the next step in the research process is to analyze the data. While all of the analytical processes used in qualitative research essentially use an indicative approach, each of the

methodologies used for this course (that is, ethnography, case study, grounded theory, generic qualitative inquiry, and phenomenology) has its own specific methods and procedures for data analysis. The analytical approaches used to conduct the data analysis must be consistent with the research methodology employed.

Themes

Once themes, meaning units, and textures and structures in phenomenology have emerged that are representative of the data as a whole, the researcher develops thematic descriptions or depictions that capture each theme that has emerged

from the data.

Having developed the themes and thematic descriptions, the researcher returns to the data and identifies direct quotes and passages that represent and exemplify each of the themes.

To illustrate the process of extracting patterns and themes from the data collected from the interviews and journals, the researcher often presents a portion of a verbatim transcript of the interview or a passage from the participant’s journal to offer an example of the process by which the patterns and themes emerged from the data collected. This also serves as a

credibility check.

OBJECTIVES

To successfully complete this learning unit, you will be expected to:

1. Examine the application of the steps of data analysis.

2. Evaluate data analysis techniques appropriate within qualitative research.

3. List guiding interview questions that can be used in the qualitative interviews with the participants.

4. Develop a strategy for data analysis that is consistent with the question developed and the methodology chosen.

a.    To what extent, if at all, has the way you have approached new situations since the course been  a result of your Outward Bound experience?  8.   Have there been any ways in which the Outward Bound course affected you that we haven’t

discussed? If yes, how? Would you elaborate on that?

a.    What things that you experienced during that week carried over to your life since the  course?

b.    What plans have you made, if any, to change anything or do anything differently as a result  of the course?

9.   Suppose you were being asked by a government agency whether or not they should support a  course like this. What would you say?

a.    Who shouldn’t take a course like this?

10.   Okay, you’ve been very helpful. Any other thoughts or feelings you might share with us to  help us understand your reactions to the course and how it affected you?

a.    Anything at all you’d like to add?

EXHIBIT 7.20 Interview Case Study Example

The Experience of Youth Homelessness: Thmaris Tells His Story

The following case study is one of 14 done as part of a study of youth homelessness in Minnesota (Murphy, 2014).

Thmaris (the name he created for himself for this case study)

Thmaris¬†was¬†born¬†in¬†Chicago,¬†Illinois,¬†in¬†1990.¬†He¬†has¬†an¬†older¬†and¬†a¬†younger¬†brother,¬†and¬†was¬† raised¬†by¬†his¬†mother.¬†His¬†family¬†moved¬†to¬†Minnesota¬†in¬†1996¬†but¬†didn‚Äôt¬†have¬†housing¬†when¬† they¬†moved¬†here.¬†As¬†a¬†result,¬† they¬†moved¬†around¬†a¬† lot¬†between¬†extended¬†family¬†members‚Äô¬† homes¬† and¬† family¬† shelters,¬† never¬† staying¬† anywhere¬† for¬† more¬† than¬† a¬† year.¬† His¬† mother¬† was¬† addicted¬†to¬†alcohol¬†and¬†drugs,¬†and¬†it¬†often¬†fell¬†on¬†Thmaris¬†and¬†his¬†older¬†brother¬†to¬†take¬†care¬†of¬† their¬†younger¬†brother.¬†Consequently,¬†Thmaris¬†has¬†been¬†earning¬†money¬†for¬†the¬†family¬†since¬†he¬† turned¬†12.¬†Sometimes¬†this¬†was¬†through¬†a¬†job‚ÄĒlike¬†the¬†construction¬†apprenticeship¬†he¬†had¬†at¬† age¬†12‚ÄĒand¬†sometimes¬†this¬†was¬†through¬†stealing¬†or¬†dealing¬†weed.¬†Even¬†though¬†he¬†stole¬†and¬† dealt¬†when¬†he¬†had¬†to,¬†he¬†recognized¬†early¬†on¬†that¬†he¬†was¬†happiest¬†when¬†he¬†was¬†working¬†with¬† his¬†hands¬†and¬†providing¬†for¬†his¬†family¬†through¬†a¬†job.

When  Thmaris  was  13,  his  mother  entered  an  alcoholic  treatment  program,  and  he  and  his  brothers went to stay with his uncle. Thmaris remembers this as one of the lowest points in his  life. There were six kids in a three-bedroom house, with people coming and going. There was  never  enough  food  or  clothing,  and  it  didn’t  feel  safe.  When  his  mother  returned  from  the  treatment center to get them from the uncle’s home, Thmaris thought things would get better,  but they got much worse. His mother accused Thmaris’s older brother of molesting Thmaris  and  their  little  brother,  and  these  accusations  tore  his  family  apart.  To  this  day,  he  doesn’t  understand why she did this.

She really went above and beyond to try to prove it and try to accuse him. I know that made him feel like nothing. I know it made him feel like the worse kinds of person. It wasn’t true. There was

 

 

no truth to it. My bigger brother, he’s super protective and he’s not that type of dude. It just hurt me for her to do something like that and to accuse her own son of something like that. She just accused him of the worst crime type ever. That really stuck with us.

Not only was it painful to watch his mother accuse their brother of something he didn’t do, but  also as a result, they lost their older brother, their protector, and the closest thing to a father  figure that they had. This placed Thmaris in a tough position, where he felt that he had to align  his loyalties either with this older brother or with his mother. If he placed his loyalties with his  older brother, it would mean that he couldn’t have a relationship with his younger brother.

He had to place us to a distance. He stepped back from being in our lives a lot. When he went to Chicago to stay with my dad, it was like we never saw him, we never talked to him. It was confusing for me because I‚Äôm the middle child. So I have a little brother and I have an older brother. When she sent my brother away, I always felt like she abandoned him, just threw him out of our lives. . . . I would go up to Chicago to see my brother, I‚Äôd stay there for a couple of months, just to get that big brother/small brother bond again. Then, I would come back because I didn‚Äôt want my little brother growing up like, ‚ÄúDang. Both of my brothers left me.‚ÄĚ It was just always really hard and I just felt like [my mother] just put me in a position to choose, to choose whether I want to be around my little brother or my big brother.

Once again, Thmaris found himself having to grow up quickly. With his older brother gone, he  felt that he had become the sole provider for and protector of his younger brother.

His mother continued to cycle in and out of treatment programs, and Thmaris and his younger  brother likewise cycled in and out of foster care. Foster care was a time of relative peace and  stability for Thmaris and his brother as they developed a relationship with their foster mother  that  they  maintain  to  this  day.  He  was  always  drawn  back  to  family  though  and  ended  up  staying with his mother when he was 16. He remembers this year as the longest year of his life.  At this time, she wasn’t able to have the boys stay with her because she had Section 8 housing  and they weren’t named on her lease. He was angry at the world and fighting with anyone and  everyone. He started running with a gang and was getting into a lot of trouble. There were  many nights that his mother would lock him out as a consequence of this behavior.

After being locked out several times, Thmaris decided that he’d had it and told his mother that  he was moving out. This was the night Thmaris became homeless. When he first moved out, he  stayed with his girlfriend. When he couldn’t stay with her, he would couch hop or sleep outside  in  public  places.  Thmaris’s  girlfriend  at  the  time  introduced  him  to  the  drop-in  centers  in  Minneapolis and St. Paul. She had a baby and used to visit the drop-in centers to get pampers,  wipes, and other baby supplies. Thmaris gravitated toward the drop-in center, which he felt had  a smaller, more intimate feel to it. First and foremost, he used it as a place to get off of the  streets  and  be  safe.  He  also  appreciated  the  support  they  provided  for  doing  things  such  as  writing  resumes,  applying  for  jobs,  and  locating  apartments,  but  he  only  took  advantage  of  them sporadically.

When asked to recall his first impressions of the drop-in center, Thmaris describes a place that  had some clear rules and expectations. While at the drop-in center, Thmaris knew he couldn’t  use profanity, fight, smoke, bring in drugs, or be intoxicated. The expectation was that you try  your hardest to succeed in whatever you want to do.

They help you with a lot of stuff. I just feel like there’s nothing that you really need that you can’t really get from here. If you really need underwear and socks and t-shirts, they have closets full of

 

 

stuff like that. If you really need toothpaste and toothbrushes and deodorant and all that stuff, all the hygiene stuff, they have that here. If you have a whole lot of stuff but nowhere to go, they have lockers here where you can leave your stuff here and can’t nobody really get in them. They have showers here that you can use if you really need it. I just feel like they have so many resources for you it’s ridiculous.

During his first few years utilizing the drop-in center, Thmaris continued to be in a gang and  was frequently in and out of jail. Being a gang member was his primary source of income, and  he was loyal to his fellow gang members even when it got him in trouble. He recalls a time  when he got arrested for auto theft.

I was in jail a lot. I remember back in 2009 I was running with this group of guys and they was doing breaking and entering and stuff like that. I knew it could come with jail time or whatever, but I just seen these guys with a lot of money and I was very broke at the time. So I’m like, well, I’m doing it with these guys.

One time we go to this one house, and there‚Äôs a car there. The guy I‚Äôm with gets the car and he was driving it around. We get to the house, and he‚Äôs like, ‚ÄúWell, I forgot to go to the store to get some something.‚ÄĚ He‚Äôs like, ‚ÄúCould you go to the store?‚ÄĚ

I‚Äôm like, ‚ÄúYeah.‚ÄĚ So I get the car and I get the keys and I go to the store. And right away I was just surrounded by cops, and I got thrown in jail for auto theft. I could have easily just gave those guys up, but I had always been taught to be a man of responsibility. If I did something, then I should take responsibility for it. So I got thrown in jail; I got a year and a day of jail time over my head with five years‚Äô probation.

After  this  conviction,  Thmaris  was  starting  to  use  the  resources  at  the  drop-in  center  more  consistently and secured a job delivering newspapers. Because he had a job and was making  progress, he was accepted into a Transitional Living Program (TLP). Things were moving in a  direction that Thmaris felt good about, but he violated the probation related to the auto theft  and  lost  his  place  in  the  TLP  program.  He  describes  violating  his  probation  because  his  probation officer was in Washington County and Thmaris was staying in St. Paul. It was hard  to  report  to  a  parole  officer  in  St.  Cloud  when  Thmaris  didn’t  have  consistent  access  to  transportation, so Thmaris decided to serve his year and a day instead. He spent time in two  correctional facilities before being released after eight months. By the time he was released, he  had lost his job and his spot in the TLP.

Turning Point

Going to jail and losing his TLP was a turning point for Thmaris. When he got out of jail, he  recalls saying to himself,

I need to stop with the crimes and committing crimes and just try to find something different to do with my life. . . . So I got back in school. I went to school for welding technology, and that’s been my main focus ever since I got out at that time. It’s been rare that I would go back to jail. If I did, it would be for arguing with my girlfriend or not leaving the skyway when they wanted me to, so it was like trespassing and stuff like that. After I got out of Moose Lake, it just really dawned on me that I needed to change my life and that the life that I was living wasn’t the right path for me.

But he didn’t know how to do this on his own, so when he got out of prison, he went straight to  the drop-in center to ask his case manager for help.

 

 

Thmaris’s case manager is supported by a Healthy Transitions grant  through the Minnesota  Department of Health. He works specifically with homeless, unaccompanied youth who spent  at least 30 days in foster care between the ages of 16 and 18. Each time a young person visits  the drop-in center for the first time, he or she is asked about his or her previous experience with  the foster care system. If they report being in foster care between the ages of 16 and18 for at  least 30 days, then they will typically be up on the case load of one of the workers supported by  the  Healthy  Transitions  grant.  Thmaris  had  two  case  workers  previous  to  Rahim  but  was  transferred to Rahim when Rahim began working with youth under Healthy Transitions. This  was  a  lucky  move  for  Thmaris  because  this  relationship  developed  into  one  that  has  been  deeply meaningful to him.

I just feel that ever since I turned 20 I realized that I’m an adult and that I have to make better choices, not just for me but the people around me. Didn’t nobody help me with that but Rahim. . . . the things that he was able to do, he made sure that he did them. I remember days that I’d come down to Safe Zone, and I’d be like, Rahim, I haven’t eaten in two days or, Rahim, I haven’t changed my underwear in like a week or whatever. He would give me bus cards to get to and from interviews. He would give me Target cards to go take care of my personal hygiene. He would give me Cub cards to go eat. It was like every problem or every obstacle I threw in front of him, he made sure that I would overcome it with him. He was like the greatest mentor I ever had. I’ve never had nobody like that.

Out of all the other caseworkers I had, nobody ever really sat me down and tried to work out a resolution for my problems. They always just gave me pamphlets like, ‚ÄúWell, go call these people and see if they can do something for you.‚ÄĚ Or, ‚ÄúYou should go to this building because this building has that, what you want.‚ÄĚ It was like every time I come to him I don‚Äôt have to worry about anything. He‚Äôs not going to send me to the next man, put me on to the next person‚Äôs caseload. He just always took care of me. If I would have never met Rahim, I would have been in a totally different situation, I would have went a totally different route.

Without the support of Rahim and the resources at the drop-in center, Thmaris is sure he would  still be in a gang and dealing weed and would eventually end up in jail again.

And¬†it¬†wasn‚Äôt¬†just¬†that¬†Rahim¬†was¬†there¬†for¬†him,¬†it‚Äôs¬†also¬†that¬†Rahim¬†has¬†been¬†with¬†the¬†drop-in¬† center¬†for¬†more¬†than¬†five¬†years.¬†This¬†consistency¬†has¬†meant¬†a¬†lot¬†to¬†Thmaris,¬†who¬†shared,¬†‚ÄúI¬† just¬† seen¬† a¬† lot¬† of¬† case¬† managers¬† come¬† and¬† go.¬† Rahim¬† is¬† the¬† only¬† one¬† that¬† has¬† never¬† went¬† anywhere.¬†So¬†many¬†years¬†have¬†gone¬†past,¬†and¬†Rahim¬†is¬†here.‚Ä̬†After¬†his¬†turning¬†point,¬†Rahim¬† recalls¬†Thmaris¬†coming¬†in¬†to¬†the¬†drop-in¬†center¬†with¬†an¬†intense¬†focus¬†on¬†changing¬†his¬†life.

He was here, pretty close to everyday, and he’d never been here that frequently before. He was here all the time, working on job searches. He started to take school really, really seriously, which has been a really positive and strong thing for him. And we kind of sat together and figured out a path that hopefully would help provide for him over time. He got his high school diploma, which was really huge. I think just being successful at something was helpful. He’s a smart kid. I think getting his high school diploma helped convince him of that.

Thmaris¬† recalls¬† this¬† time¬† similarly.¬† ‚ÄúEverything¬† I¬† was¬† doing¬† [with¬† Rahim]¬† was¬† productive.¬† When¬†you¬†get¬†that¬†feeling¬†like¬†you‚Äôre¬†accomplishing¬†something¬†and¬†you‚Äôre¬†doing¬†good,¬†it‚Äôs¬† like¬†a¬†feeling¬†that¬†you¬†can‚Äôt¬†describe.‚ÄĚ

Going Back to School

 

 

When Thmaris first thought about going back to school, he was planning to go just to get a  student loan check like many of the homeless youth around him. But Rahim helped him see a  different path. Knowing of Thmaris’s past positive experiences with construction and building,  Rahim urged Thmaris to consider careers that would allow him to work with his hands and to  focus on the big picture. He also made sure that Thmaris had the support of a learning specialist  from Saint Paul Public Schools, who helped Thmaris figure out what steps he would need to  take to get from where he was then to his dream career of welding.

The first time I ever talked to him about school. I was like, ‚ÄúYeah, man. I just feel like I should go to school and get a loan.‚ÄĚ And he was like, ‚ÄúWell, it‚Äôs bigger than that. That loan money is going to be gone like that.‚ÄĚ

He didn‚Äôt tell me, no, you shouldn‚Äôt do that. He just said just think about the future. And I just thought about it. I was thinking and I was thinking. And then I was like, ‚ÄúWhat if I went to school for something that I want to get a job in?‚ÄĚ He was, ‚ÄúYeah, that‚Äôs the best way to go.‚ÄĚ

I talked to him about construction, and he told me you already basically have experience in that because he knows all the jobs I had. So he was like you should go into something that’s totally different but that pays a lot of money. Then I researched it and then just knew that I liked working with my hands. So I just put two and two together and was like, well, I want to go to school for welding. Ever since I learned how to weld it’s like . . . I love it!

Thmaris¬†loved¬†welding¬†but¬†was¬†intimidated¬†by¬†the¬†engineering¬†part¬†of¬†the¬†learning,¬†which¬†he¬† called¬†‚Äúbook¬†work.‚Ä̬†Again,¬†it¬†was¬†Rahim‚Äôs¬†belief¬†in¬†him¬†that¬†helped¬†him¬†persevere.

I started doing the book work, and I was getting overwhelmed. It was like every time I came down here‚ÄĒeven if I just came down here to use the phone‚ÄĒRahim would be like, ‚ÄúHow‚Äôs that welding class going?‚ÄĚ

He just kept me interested in it. I don‚Äôt know how to explain it. I was just thirsty‚ÄĒnot even to get a job in it‚ÄĒbut to show Rahim what I‚Äôd learned and what I accomplished.

He would tell me, ‚ÄúI‚Äôm proud of you.‚ÄĚ Then I‚Äôd show him my book work, and he‚Äôd be like, ‚ÄúMan, I don‚Äôt even know how to read this stuff.‚ÄĚ And it just made me feel like I was actually on the right path. It made me feel like I was doing what I was intended to do with my life. That‚Äôs just how he makes me feel. He makes me feel like when I‚Äôm doing the right thing, and he makes sure that I know it.

Thmaris finished his welding certificate with a 4.0 grade point average and the high positive  regard of his teachers, and he did this against great odds. He was homeless while completing  the program, meaning that he had no consistent place to sleep, to do homework, or to even keep  his books. Getting to campus was challenging because tokens were hard to come by. During  this time, he was also dealing with one of his greatest challenges, unhealthy relationships with  older women. In part, these relationships are a survival technique. Any time living with these  women  is  time  off  of  the  streets.  But  these  relationships  are  also,  in  part,  a  symptom  of  Thmaris’s desire to be loved, to have a family, and to take care of others.

I just super easily fall in love. I always look for the ones that have been through the most, the ones that have always had a rough time, and I try to make their life better. That’s the biggest thing for me, is trying to stay away from love. I don’t know. I’m just so into love. It’s probably because I wanted my mom and dad to be together so bad it killed me. Every time she brung a new man home it killed me inside. So I just want a family.

 

 

The¬†relationship¬†he¬†was¬†in¬†while¬†attending¬†his¬†first¬†semester¬†of¬†welding¬†classes¬†ended¬†badly.¬† She¬†threw¬†away¬†or¬†burned¬†everything¬†Thmaris¬†owned¬†and¬†paid¬†people¬†to¬†jump¬†him¬†and¬†‚Äúbeat¬† the¬†hell¬†out¬†of¬†him.‚Ä̬†They¬†broke¬†his¬†hand¬†and¬†wrist¬†so¬†badly¬†that¬†surgery¬†was¬†required,¬†and¬†the¬† healing¬†time¬†was¬†long¬†and¬†painful.¬†Despite¬†all¬†of¬†this,¬†Thmaris¬†persevered.¬†He¬†completed¬†his¬† welding¬†certificate¬†and¬†is¬†now¬†completing¬†his¬†general¬†education¬†requirements.

Leaving the Gang

To choose this different path, Thmaris had to leave his gang. His case manager helped him with  this too by talking through what it was that the gang offered him. Certainly, it offered money  and friends, but as Thmaris got older, it also offered more opportunities to serve extended jail  time. While Thmaris was in jail for auto theft, no one from the gang came to see him, put  money in the book for him, or checked on his little brother. Thmaris identified this as one of  the greatest challenges he’s had to overcome.

I think the first biggest thing I had to do was leave a lot of friends that weren’t on the same level or the same type of mentality that I was on. I had to leave them alone, regardless of if I knew them my whole life or not.

Thmaris’s case manager thinks his commitment to school was critical in helping Thmaris leave  his gang. He described leaving a gang as follows.

Leaving a gang is almost like drug addiction. You have to replace it with something. And in Thmaris’s instance, he actually can replace it with this really furious effort towards getting his education, looking for jobs, and trying to do something different with himself. If he had just tried to quit the gang and replaced it with nothing and did nothing all day, it would’ve been a lot harder. But he replaced it with this welding certificate, and that was really good. He got very, very excited about welding. It’s nice because he is naturally good at it.

Becoming a Father

Thmaris has also recently become a father. He currently has a three-month-old son, named after  him,  who  is  his  pride  and  joy.  But  he  and  the  mother  have  a  rocky  relationship,  and  it’s  frustrating to Thmaris, who would like to raise his child with his child’s mother. He didn’t  grow up with his own father in the picture and would like something different for his own son.  He feels that his son would be happier in life waking up each day seeing both of his parents.

Man, I just have so many plans for him. I just . . . I don’t want to put him on a pedestal or anything because I don’t want him to go through having a dad that thinks so highly of him and then it’s so hard for him to meet my goals. I want him to make his goals. I want him to be happy. That’s all I care about. Regardless if he wants to work at Subway instead of going to school . . . if that’s your choice, that’s your choice.

Becoming a father has also helped him give up the gang life and weed. He realizes that if he  doesn’t stop selling drugs, then he might not live long enough to see his son grow up.

I don‚Äôt want to sell drugs all my life and then when I die and my son be like, ‚ÄúWow. Dad didn‚Äôt leave me nothing or he didn‚Äôt teach anything but how to sell drugs.‚ÄĚ No, that‚Äôs not what you would want for your son. You want your son to know what it is to work for his money. You want your son to know how it feels to come from a long day‚Äôs work, tired, like, ‚ÄúDamn. I earned my money though.‚ÄĚ

 

 

Couch Hopping

Throughout  his  time  visiting  drop-in  centers,  Thmaris  has  never  stayed  at  a  youth  or  adult  shelter. He typically couch hops or stays with women he is dating. Some nights, he walks the  skyway all night or sleeps in a stairwell. After staying in family shelters when he was younger,  he has vowed to himself that he would never stay in another shelter again.

When we first came to Minnesota that’s all we did. We stayed in shelter as a family. It was like traumatizing to me because [in shelters] you see like humans at their weakest point. You see them hungry, dirty. I didn’t like that. I don’t like being around a whole bunch of people that was . . . I’m not saying that I feel like I’m better than anybody because I definitely don’t. But I just felt like it was too much to take in. It was too stressful, and it just made me want to cry. It was crazy. I don’t want to go back to a shelter ever again.

Where He Is Now

Currently, Thmaris isn’t stably housed. He spends some nights at his baby’s mother’s house,  some nights with friends, other nights outside, and some nights at a hotel room. But despite  this, he feels very positive and hopeful about his life.

The fact that I have my certificate for welding and I’m certified for welding, that just blows me away. I would have never thought in a million years that I would have that. Even though I’ve still got to look for a job and I still got a long ways to go, I just feel proud of myself. . . . I know a lot of people that don’t even have high school diplomas or a GED and they’re struggling to get into college and people going to college just to go get a loan and stuff like that.

I just feel like I’m bettering myself. I’ve learned a lot over these past seven years. I’ve matured a great deal. I honestly feel that I’m bettering myself. I don’t feel like I’m taking any steps back, regardless or not if I have employment or if I have my own house. I just feel like each day I live more and I learn more and I just feel . . . I’m just grateful to be alive, grateful to even go through the things I’m going through.

Thmaris credits having someone believe in him as critically important in helping him learn how  to believe in himself. He says the following about his case manager:

He just saw more in me. I didn‚Äôt even see it at the time. He saw great potential, and he told me that all the time. ‚ÄúMan, I see great potential in you. I see that. You can just be way much more than what you are.‚ÄĚ Just to keep coming down here and having somebody have that much faith in you and believe in you that much, it‚Äôs a life changer.

My mom always used to tell me that I wasn‚Äôt shit, you know what I‚Äôm saying? She was a super alcoholic, and when she gets drunk she always say that. ‚ÄúYou ain‚Äôt shit, your daddy ain‚Äôt shit, you ain‚Äôt going to be shit.‚ÄĚ She was just always down on me. Just to hear somebody really have an interest in you or want you to better yourself, it just changed my life.

I honestly feel like if I didn’t have Rahim in my corner, I would have been doing a whole bunch of dumb shit. I would have been right back at square one. I probably would have spent more time in jail than I did. I just felt like if it wasn’t for him I probably wouldn’t be here right now talking to you.

Through this relationship, Thmaris was able to learn things that others may take for granted,  such as how to create an e-mail account, write a resume, apply for a job online, or use time  productively.

 

 

To be honest, I never knew what a resume was, I never knew how to create an e-mail account, I never knew how to send a resume online, I never knew how to do an application for a job online. He taught me everything there was about that. He taught me how to look for an apartment, he taught me how to look for a job, he taught me how to dress, he taught me how to talk to a boss, how to talk to a manager, how to get a job. There’s just a lot of stuff like that.

I also learned that there‚Äôs always something to do productively instead of wasting your time. So I just thought about making my resume better. And I just thought about sending e-mails to companies that I knew were hiring, and just doing productive stuff. I never knew what ‚Äúproductive‚ÄĚ was until Rahim. I just didn‚Äôt think about time that was being wasted.

Thmaris hopes to open his own shop someday doing car modifications. He wants to make his  son proud, and despite  their difficult history and relationship, he wants  to make his mother  proud. He knows it will take a lot of work to do this but feels motivated and determined to do  so.

That‚Äôs what I basically learned from being at [the drop-in center]. I understand now the value of doing what you need to do versus what you want. A lot of people say, ‚ÄúMen do what they want and boys do what they can.‚ÄĚ But that‚Äôs not it. It‚Äôs ‚ÄúMen do what they need to do and boys do what they want.‚ÄĚ I‚Äôm so glad I learned that for real. Because I was always just doing what I wanted to do.

He’s proud that he’s been able to overcome the challenges in his life in order to get a high  school  diploma  and  graduate  from  his  welding  program.  Feeling  successful  has  just  fueled  Thmaris’s ambition to experience more success.

You don‚Äôt know how it felt when I graduated high school. I was like, ‚ÄúWow, I did this on my own?‚ÄĚ And it just felt so good. I‚Äôm thirsty again to get another certificate or diploma or whatever just because it‚Äôs just the best feeling in the world. It‚Äôs better than any drug. It‚Äôs like, man, I don‚Äôt even know how to explain it. It just felt like you just climbed up to the top of the mountain and just like you made it.

Thmaris¬†feels¬†that¬†without¬†the¬†drop-in¬†center¬†and¬†his¬†case¬†manager¬†he¬†might¬†be¬†in¬†jail¬†right¬† now.¬†He¬†sees¬†other¬†young¬†people¬†‚Äúwasting¬†their¬†time‚Ä̬†at¬†the¬†drop-in¬†center¬†and¬†wishes¬†he¬†could¬† tell¬†them¬†what¬†he¬†now¬†knows.

If you’re still stuck in that stage where you don’t know what you want to do with your life, then come here and sit down with a case manager. Try to talk to somebody, and they’ll help you better your situation.

For  Thmaris,  the  drop-in  center  and  his  case  manager  were  key  to  helping  him  quit  his  addiction, leave his gang, get a high school diploma and welding certificate, and start to build a  life for himself that he’s proud of.

APPLICATION EXERCISES

 

 

1.¬†¬†¬†Construct¬†an¬†interview¬†that¬†includes¬†(a)¬†a¬†section¬†of¬†standardized¬†open-ended¬†questions¬†and¬†(b)¬† interview¬†guide¬†topics.¬†(See¬†Exhibit¬†7.4,¬†pp.¬†437‚Äď438.)¬†Interview¬†at¬†least¬†three¬†people.¬†As¬†part¬† of¬†the¬†interview,¬†look¬†for¬†opportunities¬†to¬†add¬†in¬†emergent,¬†conversational¬†questions¬†not¬† planned¬†in¬†advance.¬†After¬†doing¬†the¬†interviews,¬†discuss¬†the¬†differences¬†you¬†experienced¬†among¬† these¬†three¬†interview¬†format¬†approaches.¬†What¬†are¬†the¬†strengths¬†and¬†weaknesses¬†of¬†each?

2.   Discuss what in-depth interviewing can and cannot do. What are the strengths and weaknesses  of in-depth, open-ended interviewing? As part of your discussion, comment on the following  quotation by financial investment advisor Fred Schwed (2014):

Like all of life’s rich emotional experiences, the full flavor of losing important money cannot be  conveyed by literature. Art cannot convey to an inexperienced girl what it is truly like to be a wife  and mother. There are certain things that cannot be adequately explained to a virgin either by words  or pictures. Nor can any description I might offer here even approximate what it feels like to lose a  real chunk of money that you used to own.

3. Exhibit¬†7.7¬†(p.¬†445)¬†presents¬†a¬†matrix¬†of¬†question¬†options.¬†To¬†understand¬†how¬†these¬†options¬†are¬† applied¬†in¬†an¬†actual¬†study,¬†review¬†a¬†real¬†interview.¬†The¬†Outward¬†Bound¬†standardized¬†interview,¬† Exhibit¬†7.19¬†(pp.¬†508‚Äď511),¬†at¬†the¬†end¬†of¬†this¬†chapter,¬†can¬†be¬†used¬†for¬†this¬†purpose.¬†Identify¬† questions¬†that¬†fit¬†in¬†as¬†many¬†cells¬†as¬†you¬†can.¬†That¬†is,¬†which¬†cell¬†in¬†the¬†matrix¬†(Exhibit¬†7.7)¬†is¬† represented¬†by¬†each¬†question¬†in¬†the¬†Outward¬†Bound¬†interview¬†protocol?

4. Exhibit¬†7.12¬†(pp.¬†462‚Äď463)¬†presents¬†six¬†approaches¬†to¬†interactive, relationship-based interviewing.¬†What¬†do¬†these¬†approaches¬†have¬†in¬†common?¬†How¬†are¬†they¬†different¬†from¬†each¬† other?¬†Why¬†are¬†these¬†approaches¬†controversial¬†from¬†the¬†perspective¬†of¬†traditional¬†social¬†science¬† interviewing?¬†(see¬†Exhibit¬†7.3,¬†Item¬†2,¬†p.¬†433)

5. Exhibit¬†7.20¬†(pp.¬†511‚Äď516),¬†at¬†the¬†end¬†of¬†this¬†chapter,¬†presents¬†a¬†case¬†study¬†of¬†a¬†homeless¬† youth,¬†Thmaris,¬†based¬†on¬†an¬†in-depth¬†interview¬†with¬†him.¬†What¬†is¬†your¬†reaction¬†to¬†the¬†case¬† study?¬†What¬†purposes¬†does¬†it¬†serve?¬†How¬†would¬†you¬†expect¬†it¬†might¬†be¬†used?¬†What¬†makes¬†the¬† case¬†study¬†effective?

6.   Examine an oral history data set. Select and compare three oral histories from a collection. Here  are examples:

‚Äʬ†¬†¬†¬†The¬†Voices¬†of¬†Feminism¬†Oral¬†History¬†Project,¬†with¬†transcripts¬†available¬†through¬†Smith¬† College:¬†http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/ssc/vof/vof-intro.html

‚Äʬ†¬†¬†¬†Oral¬†history¬†project¬†transcripts¬†made¬†available¬†by¬†University¬†of¬†South¬†Florida:¬† http://guides.lib.usf.edu/ohp

7.   Locate a qualitative study in your area of interest, discipline, or profession that made extensive  use of interviewing as the primary method of data collection. What approach to interviewing  was used? Why? How was the study designed and conducted to ensure high-quality data? What  challenges, if any, are reported? How were they handled? What ethical issues, if any, are  reported and discussed? Overall, assess how well the study reports on the interviewing methods  used to allow you to make a judgment about the quality of the findings. What questions about  the interviewing approach and its implications are left unanswered?

 
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