The image above is Davenport's conception of the process from one's introduction to a topic, through going to a place and then returning to complete the project. From this, we crafted our instrument concerning intro, entry, development, quotidian/zenith experience, turns, nadir and project completion - not necessarily in that order.
This webpage is fundamentally about sharing stories behind the research that most inspires us. We invite social scientists to talk candidly about process and archive the stories.
Our Semi-Structured Interview Instrument:
- What is the topic you were interested in examining initially for the research project that you were going to collect data on? - Where were you trying to conduct research on and for what purpose (i.e., what theoretical/practical problem were you dealing with)? - How were you going to go about collecting relevant research material and from where? - What did you find upon arrival? - How did you proceed to collect information – really? - What troubles/opportunities did you encounter along the way? - What was the most comical thing you encountered? - What was the most tragic thing you encountered? - How (if at all) did the project change after you started collecting your data? - What did you end up investigating/understanding? - How (if at all) did your experience influence your understanding of the research process in general and data collection in particular? - What would you advise others who engage in data collection efforts?
Who Are These "Raiders"?
Most voices on this podcast series will be academic social scientists. For those who are not sure what this means: We are a community of careful readers and writers. We rely on original data to make arguments and try to change the world in small ways (though of course we have different theories about how to do this, do not always agree about what kinds of change are desirable, etc.). In this podcast, our goal is primarily entertainment for fellow-travelers. We want to facilitate informative conversations about processes of data collection. We also want to enliven the imagination of how things are actually done and to provide some food for the imagination about what could be. We want to know how our (s)heroes asked questions, where they got stuck, how they found their way to unexpected new kinds of synthesis, and what they remember.
To be engaged in the life of the mind is to be engaged in critical self-reflection about our own ethical and representational choices. We both remember watching the Indiana Jones movies as kids and noticing, even then, that certain scenes didn't sit quite right. Decades later, we are both tenured and both people who recognize that we benefit from immense privilege. The orientalist, gendered, imperialist stereotypes in these pulpy films are not everyone's cup of tea. Just as importantly, Dr. Jones is not a perfect role model for an aspiring academic. But let's not take ourselves too seriously, friends. It's a fun brand. We are trying to provide some useful information, highlight one of the lesser appreciated aspects of our craft, and have a good time.