Saturday, September 06, 2014

What It Takes to Get a Doctorate, Part II

I forgot to mention another part of John's doctoral process.  As he transcribes the interviews he has had to figure out a way to keep track of his findings and to analyze what people have said.  There are computer programs one can buy to help with this, but we've heard mixed reviews on them.  John's conclusion is that it sounds like a lot of money to shell out for a program that may or may not be very useful.

So, John goes through each transcription and codes the interview with a note such as "griots" or "traditional views of music" or "worship music".  Each subject is given a code number.


 Some paragraphs may have more than one code applied to them.  So we have to print each page twice if the comment has to codes applied, three times if it has three codes, etc.  
He then prints out the interview and we cut them up and glue them on to 5x7 inch cards.  

Then we file them in a box under the code number..."griot" for example might be #5, so we file it under "5".  In this case, the code number is "25". 
He then has a code for the person interviewed which we note on the back of the card.  That way as he reads through his cards about griots he isn't prejudiced by knowing who made that comment.  It allows for more objectivity in his analysis.

This stage takes a lot of time, but it's much easier work than transcribing interviews!  John applies the codes and I'm doing the cutting and gluing for him.  It kind of takes me back to my days of teaching and class prep!

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