Saturday, 8 December 2012

Finding Patterns & Some Final Thoughts

It’s my final post for Research Methods! Where did the time go? Not sure if anyone will be reading the blog at this point, but I still wanted to add some final thoughts. Hopefully everyone was able to successfully submit their research proposals. Now that we’ve completed the course, does this mean we no longer have to call ourselves “amateur” social researchers?  As I thought about what I could write in my final post, I reflected on what worked really well this term. The readings were all generally interesting, with some being more relevant than others, just based on our individual research interests and selected methods. I must say though that I gravitated more towards Luker’s book and really enjoyed her writing style. Throughout her book she makes good use of analogies and metaphors, which really made learning about research methods a lot more fun! For example, in this week’s readings, she refers to herself as a “Julia Child junkie.” (Luker, 2008, 198) She uses the “syrupy reduction sauce” which is a mixture of sautéed juices and some alcoholic addition as a metaphor for social researchers. She explains how social researchers are also given the task of reducing the data they have gathered into something they can “manage” and analyze in “meaningful ways.” (Luker, 2008, 199) I learned that the process of analysis and reduction is an ongoing one, which begins as soon as you come home from gathering data or even the first day you start your project. One meaningful and relevant suggestion that Luker makes is that our important job is to find “pattern recognition” in our data. (Luker, 2008, 199)

But beyond the readings, I also enjoyed attending the lectures and the learning that occurred during class participation. It was a pleasure meeting and speaking to you all about your research ideas. Best of luck and hopefully we’ll be seeing each other again very soon.

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