OK, where's my script writer?
It's been a busy October thus far in dissertation research land. How do I know? My memo doc for October is already at 40 pages (single-spaced) in length, and it's only October 6th! The September and August memo docs are sparse by comparison!
Just as a "previously on AK's Dissertation Adventure", I am examining collaboration in Rhizo14 (and to some extent Rhizo15) using Narrative Inquiry as my method.
Memo documents are my interim texts, which are essentially my ongoing analysis, reflection, thoughts, and quarantining my own views as a researcher; but they sound cooler when using the Narrative Inquiry lingo of interim texts. I like the term because I feel like it denotes something on-going, reflective, iterative, and in the midst; whereas "data analysis" feels more sterile.
Anyway, my free time is spent looking at field texts (my "data"), making notes in the margin, jotting down names of actors, actions, plots, motivations, and thoughts. For my project I went really went above and beyond the "1 or 2" research participants that Creswell recommends for the Narrative Inquiry method. Even though I am swimming in information, one of the reasons I chose to expand to 4 people was to get some additional voices in the mix, which I thought were interesting to include, and hopefully insightful for the eventual readers. The initial problem I had with having 4 people was how to do a restory? The advice that I received was to funnel all 4 stories into one hypothetical persona. I guess this can work, but I also feel that it homogenized things a bit. Restorying 1 person into 1 persona doesn't have this problem. Then I thought of Rhizo14, and the metaphor of a dinner party, or a campfire telling stories (or singing songs). I think I can restory the 4 narratives by using the dinner party (or campfire) as a place where participants virtually interact and share their stories with others. Of course, since there were a countable number of people in the original story, and since participants need to be anonymous, I'll need to figure out different names for people (I am considering gender-neutral names and personal pronouns), and some really specific things will need to be tweaked to mark the identity of people. I think this would make my IRB/REB much more comfortable with this.
Now, I have 4 stories to tell. I am also keeping track of myself (to keep researcher bias at bay), so I could put myself in this dinner party. There will probably be cameos from people as well. I just need to figure out the creative writing component of this. The main question is how to write the story (once I get to it)? I'll need to do a little more research on this. In Narrative Inquiries that I've read, some people just restore in prose (and very much in APA fashion), others have made it into a poem, or a movie script, or song lyrics. It seems like the chosen form represented the people's stories being restoried, and the comfort of the researcher. So... my questions for anyone in the Rhizo community reading this: what sort of form should my restory take? Is it a physical location like a campfire? A virtual place like zoom or a VR simulation like "ready player one"? Does it live on facebook? Or does it take place in a faraway land a long time ago (or a long time in the future)? Who is part of that narrative for you?
Looking back at this, I really wish I could do a collaborative autoethnography for this. I'd love to bring people together to do a follow-up to our Rhizo14 autoethnography. Talking to people about this, going back through openly available blogs and re-reading people's words is making me reminisce about all the fun we had in Rhizo14 and Rhizo15 collaborating. Of course, that's not a way to earn a doctorate...I suppose that will have to wait until I graduate.