Monday, January 26, 2009

Connected Knowledge

1. How can qualitative researchers participate in creating ‘public spaces in which marginalized people’s narratives can be heard even those who normally do not want to hear them’ ?
2. How can researcher’s authoritative voice contribute to social change?

I am not sure about the creation of public spaces as in the sense build it and they will come but there sure are enough spaces all ready present to allow for the qualitative researcher to fully participate in a global dialogue today. What we need to keep in our heads the notion of a lived experience and that we need to participate if we want the social change aspect. In this chapter Chase reminds us that the lived experience is and event that has potential to be transformative in nature if we are open to transacting with the data we gather. Not just in its collection but in the interpretation and expression of our understanding of it. If it is going to be transformative then it is not a one shot deal, it takes place over time. The tools we have available to us today as researchers allow us to participate in collaborative collection, interpretation and expression of ideas and these tools are expanding daily. Individuals now have to the opportunity to articulate individual ideas, remix, and co-create with others. In a Web 2.0 read-write environment the tools for creativity and communication have now become very democratic. We now have more possibilities to participate and not have to actually be physically present. The notion of fixed knowledge is extinct.
If you are like me you first experienced society and school in broadcast fashion. You sat and you listened, you thought and you sometimes communicated your thinking, end of story. However I have become aware of a shift in our culture, on the radio and TV we moving away from direct broadcast news and understandings to a more ‘participatory’ newscast. Technology today gives people the potential to participate in a more creative, open sharing of ideas. Emails, Blogs, homemade video, social networking, text messages and yes YouTube all give us an opportunity to participate in our news and even the traffic reports, why not in our research.

As humans we are capable of many complexities. Traditional text while informative is still very limited in the ability to make connections and articulate complex thoughts and emotions. In our readings this week we no double were involved in a dialogue of a kind with the text but when we viewed the video the elements of sound and images that are included in this medium expand the author’s ability to articulate complexities of emotion. Because of this I think we need to think differently about data and knowledge. We can now think of a digital camera whether video or still as a tool to capture some of this complex data.
What impact does this have on our understanding of knowledge? In this case this kind of knowledge is not a something to find. Dewey would say knowledge is found in the happening of experience. However I think even Dewey would agree that our understanding of knowledge in a digital world needs to expand because of how we experience the world has become more networked and nebulous. This gives today’s qualitative researcher a different authoritative voice (and face) because it speaks from the wisdom of crowds and it is this wisdom that may contribute to social change. It is the blending of these voices that gives the message a new connected authority.

Personally I am excited about this. The world is indeed rich and in the world of web 2.0 is just got richer. The power of we!

No comments:

Post a Comment