The Born Brave Experience Study is a mixed-methods project designed to help understand the factors that support youth empowerment and engagement. It also aims to develop effective youth empowerment interventions that will be disseminated through unique outlets that include a Web-based community and the Born Brave Bus. We’re especially interested in factors that help sustain empowerment and engagement over time, thereby cultivating a kinder and braver world.
One of our qualitative interviewers and analysts, Theresa McKinney, gave the first presentation from data collected in 2013 during the International Congress on Qualitative Inquiry in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois. Speaking in late May, McKinney presented “Like a Brick: Lessons Learned in Reflexivity, Data Management, Technology Use, and Team Analysis from a Study of Kindness and Bravery.”
The use of interdisciplinary analysis teams is a key characteristic of contemporary qualitative research practices. Though institutions and funders encourage researchers to collaborate, they often lack practical guidance about making decisions regarding data management, use of technology, and analysis within a team context.
This paper presents a discussion of how our coding team used reflexivity to ground research-process decisions in a study of kindness and bravery. We found that, like a brick, each team member was capable of both contributing to building a rigorous study and sinking the endeavor altogether. Grounding practical decisions in what we learned through self-reflection enhanced our ability to work together toward the common goals of coding and analysis; achieve consensus about research decisions; and use technology to further our research goals.
In this paper, we share lessons that may prove relevant to novice and experienced qualitative researchers alike. You can view the corresponding presentation below. (The right and left arrows advance and reverse the presentation, respectively. Clicking on a slide will zoom in and out, while clicking and dragging will move the slide.)