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.
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.
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
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‚Äôt
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¬†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‚Äôt¬† feel¬† safe.¬† When¬† his¬† mother¬† returned¬† from¬† the¬† treatment¬†center¬†to¬†get¬†them¬†from¬†the¬†uncle‚Äôs¬†home,¬†Thmaris¬†thought¬†things¬†would¬†get¬†better,¬† but¬†they¬†got¬†much¬†worse.¬†His¬†mother¬†accused¬†Thmaris‚Äôs¬†older¬†brother¬†of¬†molesting¬†Thmaris¬† and¬† their¬† little¬† brother,¬† and¬† these¬† accusations¬† tore¬† his¬† family¬† apart.¬† To¬† this¬† day,¬† he¬† doesn‚Äôt¬† 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‚Äôt true. There was
no truth to it. My bigger brother, he‚Äôs super protective and he‚Äôs 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‚Äôt¬†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‚Äôt¬†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.
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‚Äôt¬†able¬†to¬†have¬†the¬†boys¬†stay¬†with¬†her¬†because¬†she¬†had¬†Section¬†8¬†housing¬† and¬†they¬†weren‚Äôt¬†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‚Äôd¬†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‚Äôt¬†stay¬†with¬†her,¬†he¬†would¬†couch¬†hop¬†or¬†sleep¬†outside¬† in¬† public¬† places.¬† Thmaris‚Äôs¬† 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‚Äôt¬† 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‚Äôs nothing that you really need that you can‚Äôt 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‚Äôt 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‚Äôs 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‚Äôm like, well, I‚Äôm 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‚Äôt¬† 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.
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‚Äôs been my main focus ever since I got out at that time. It‚Äôs 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‚Äôt the right path for me.
Thmaris‚Äôs¬†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‚Äôm an adult and that I have to make better choices, not just for me but the people around me. Didn‚Äôt 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‚Äôd come down to Safe Zone, and I‚Äôd be like, Rahim, I haven‚Äôt eaten in two days or, Rahim, I haven‚Äôt 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‚Äôve 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.
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.‚ÄĚ¬†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‚Äôd 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‚Äôs 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‚Äôs¬†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‚Äôs 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‚Äôs like . . . I love it!
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‚Äôs¬†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‚Äôs the biggest thing for me, is trying to stay away from love. I don‚Äôt know. I‚Äôm just so into love. It‚Äôs 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.‚ÄĚ¬†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‚Äôs¬†had¬†to¬†overcome.
I think the first biggest thing I had to do was leave a lot of friends that weren‚Äôt 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.
Leaving a gang is almost like drug addiction. You have to replace it with something. And in Thmaris‚Äôs 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‚Äôve 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‚Äôs 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‚Äôs¬† frustrating¬†to¬†Thmaris,¬†who¬†would¬†like¬†to¬†raise¬†his¬†child¬†with¬†his¬†child‚Äôs¬†mother.¬†He¬†didn‚Äôt¬† 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‚Äôt want to put him on a pedestal or anything because I don‚Äôt want him to go through having a dad that thinks so highly of him and then it‚Äôs so hard for him to meet my goals. I want him to make his goals. I want him to be happy. That‚Äôs all I care about. Regardless if he wants to work at Subway instead of going to school . . . if that‚Äôs your choice, that‚Äôs your choice.
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
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‚Äôs 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‚Äôt like that. I don‚Äôt like being around a whole bunch of people that was . . . I‚Äôm not saying that I feel like I‚Äôm better than anybody because I definitely don‚Äôt. 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‚Äôt want to go back to a shelter ever again.
Where He Is Now
Currently,¬†Thmaris¬†isn‚Äôt¬†stably¬†housed.¬†He¬†spends¬†some¬†nights¬†at¬†his¬†baby‚Äôs¬†mother‚Äôs¬†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‚Äôm 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‚Äôve 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‚Äôt even have high school diplomas or a GED and they‚Äôre 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‚Äôm bettering myself. I‚Äôve learned a lot over these past seven years. I‚Äôve matured a great deal. I honestly feel that I‚Äôm bettering myself. I don‚Äôt feel like I‚Äôm 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‚Äôm just grateful to be alive, grateful to even go through the things I‚Äôm going through.
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‚Äôt 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‚Äôt for him I probably wouldn‚Äôt 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‚Äôs 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‚Äôs¬†proud¬†that¬†he‚Äôs¬†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‚Äôs¬†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‚ÄĚ¬†at¬†the¬†drop-in¬†center¬†and¬†wishes¬†he¬†could¬† tell¬†them¬†what¬†he¬†now¬†knows.
If you‚Äôre still stuck in that stage where you don‚Äôt 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‚Äôll 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‚Äôs¬†proud¬†of.
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‚Äôs¬†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?
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?