Analysis and incendios

I write this blog post in the sticky heat of December in Iguazu, Argentina. Blogging is the last piece of my Monroe left, and it feels like both a pleasure and a shame to finish. This past August a housefire in my host family`s home in Argentina somewhat dramatically left  me without my computer and set back the last stages of my analysis. .–Luckily, the summer`s raw data was preserved on dropbox!

It was difficult to rework my Monroe analysis durng a semester abroad, but the Charles Center and my advisor Dr. David Aday were both incredibly understanding and helpful. With their input and my hindsight into past work, I was able to rebuild my research in a new direction that I believe is even stronger and more focused.

One of the major challenges to qualitative ethnographic research is the lack of an established analysis process. Dr. Aday and I discussed methods of grouping interview data, and he advised me to look at thematic topics as a whole, highlighting shared responses, and tracing the differeces within the community. We chose to split the project`s major themes into an exploration of how the community values education, the challenges community children face in achieving educational goals, and how the community understands and approaches adult education. The resulting summary outlined broad patterns and included specific details that provided a sketch of the community`s education system, actors, and understandings.

Although a part of me wants to continue working, I feel that I have composed our data into an approachable and useful format that I am very proud of. In my next Monroe post, I will discuss my findings, sustainablity, and further research into education in Cuje.


  1. David Aday says:

    Nice summary, Jackie. It’s good to hear that you feel a little conflicted. Qualitative research tends to leave the scholar anxious about having not quite finished. In my view, that’s a key purpose of ethnography: tracing the outlines of social realities so that more detailed analyses can build on top.