The would have changed the study accordingly, either

The
researcher also has a responsibility to take into account the gatekeepers’
interest (BSA 2017). In the case of one of the group, permission to conduct the
research was sent via email to the organisers of the knitting group as they,
being in a position of responsibility should be informed and allowed to accept
or decline on behalf of the group (Appendix 4). In the other group, the
gatekeeper was a member of the group that offered an invitation to the
researcher to join it. The gatekeeper was emailed mentioning the intention to
do an ethnography on the group (Appendix 5). Had the gatekeeper replied
negatively, the researcher would have changed the study accordingly, either on
site selection or design of the study. This is important as the researcher
needs to acknowledge the rights and well-being of the gatekeepers as well
(Faden et al. 1986, BSA 2017).

 

The
researcher also needs to take into account the ethical considerations of
staying safe. This includes adhering to general safety rules, from the mundane
of crossing roads in a responsible manner to the more specific of letting close
friends know where the researcher is going and the expected return time. The
researcher acknowledges that neglecting to do this may reflect negatively on
all the groups involved in this research, either directly or indirectly.

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Matching stitch patterns and
yarn (Suitability of this approach in
answering the research questions)

The areas
of interest are interactions between knitters in a knitting group and also the
content of the conversations of the two knitting groups being observed. These
two questions are quite broad in themselves and the while the field notes
certainly seems to have captured information for the latter, the researcher is
unsure if enough information was collected for the former.

 

The
questions were not given specific definitions based on approach used by other
ethnography research where the theory was only decided on during the data
collection stage (Ruland 2010, Patch 2007). In ethnography, this allows for
some for flexibility during the data collection stage to avoid the premature
definition of variables while still allowing for a general guideline on types
of observations to be recorded (Silverman, 2004). This also allowed the
researcher to cater for possible unexpected findings without having to
drastically change the study design.  

 

It was
difficult to record interactions and decipher them on the spot while
participating in the activity of knitting and listening to snippets of another
conversation which may be across the room while being involved in another
conversation. The researcher found being exposed to such a vast amount of
information was slightly overwhelming. Being a fully participating member and
observer in an ethnography requires a dab hand at being able to multi-task and
deciding on the information that would be included in the notes. Notes were, as
much as possible done in a descriptive way rather than as impressions (Silverman
2004) to preserve the originality of the information.

 

In
anticipation of this, the researcher used a few different strategies to help to
collect the information for the study. The strategies used were, a diagram of
the layout of the room to help visualise the table and sitting arrangement,
noting the main theme of the conversation and the context in which the theme
was discussed, types of interactions happening and also the use of audio
recording.