2008 Qualitative Methods in Psychology Section Inaugural Conference
Conference Venue: University of Leeds
Qualitative Methods in Psychology Section
From: 09 Feb 2008
To: 09 Apr 2008
Being dead and being there: Research interviews, sharing hand cream ans the preference for analysing 'naturally occuring data' (1) Professor Christine Griffin
University of Bath
Qualitative research in psychology has tended to draw on a relatively narrow range of research methods, and the recent shift towards the analysis of material involving ‘naturally occurring talk’ in some areas of psychology has reinforced this trend. This paper discusses the implications of a preference for the analysis of ‘naturally occurring talk’ or ‘naturalistic records’ across the full range of qualitative psychology research. In particular, I focus on how researchers are positioned in debates over the advantages and limitations of analysing ‘naturally occurring data’ and research interviews. Drawing on examples from recent projects concerned with the meanings of consumption for young people, I interrogate the assumptions associated with a preference for analysing ‘naturalistic records’ and consider some of the benefits as well as the problems involved in using research practices that involve a degree of direct engagement between the researcher and other participants. This paper is therefore discussing the origins as well as the implications of the preference for analysing ‘naturally occurring data’.
Christine Griffin is Professor of Social Psychology and Head of Department at the University of Bath. Much of her recent work explores the relationship between identities and consumption for young people, with a long-standing interest in representations of youth, femininity and young women’s lives. Recent projects include a study (with Andrew Bengry-Howell) of young people’s negotiation of branded leisure spaces at music festivals and free parties; a project (with Sarah Riley) on clubbing and dance cultures as forms of social and political participation; and a major study on the role of branding and marketing of drinks in relation to young adults’ everyday drinking practices. She has published widely in journals including Feminism and Psychology, Discourse Studies, the British Journal of Social Psychology, and the Journal of Youth Studies. Monographs include Standpoints and Differences: Essays in Practice of Feminist Psychology (with Karen Henwood and Ann Phoenix, Sage, 1998); and Representations of Youth (Polity Press, 1993).
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