Center for Interpretive and Qualitative Research
(CIQR -- "seeker")*

(E-mail memo: Nov. 15, 2005)
NEXT MEETING: Dec. 1 (Thurs.), 2005, 4:00-5:15PM, Berger Gallery, 207 College Hall, Duquesne University.

All interested faculty, graduate students, and other parties are invited. Refreshments will be served.

Agenda: Two-Person Panel on Comparative Qualitative methods: Participant Observation and Empirical Phenomenological Research

Professor Constance Fischer, Dept. of Psychology, Empirical Phenomenological Research.

Professor Norman Conti, Dept. of Sociology, Weak Links & Warrior Hearts: The Dialectical Recruitment of Police Selves.

Abstract: Prof. Conti will discuss his work, which involves participant observation, and Prof. Fischer will present some of her work, which involves empirical phenomenological research. Both Conti and Fischer will make some comments when the contrast between their methods are salient. Participants at the event will expand on these comments through observations and questions.
Prof. Conti has also provided this description of the work he will use to illustrate participant observation:

My article seeks to understand the social mechanisms that are employed towards the cultivation, and emergence, of professional selves within a major metropolitan police department. The analysis is accomplished through an ethnographic account of an early stage in the training of police recruits where individuals are processed into, and assimilated by, the organization. The focus of the research is the way in which the experience is structured to achieve the maximum impact upon the recruits. This is a description of a general process and it is not claimed that it will be fully effective on all of the recruits subjected to it. However, this attempt at resocialization does constitute an initial transition from the wider society into the world of policing. The project is informed by the theoretical work on the role of shame and degradation in the construction of self. However, it moves beyond this by examining also a process of anticipatory elevation. A dialectic of shame and honor is shown to be fundamental to the manufacture of police selves.

Minutes

The presentations at this meeting consisted of a two-person panel on "Comparative Qualitative methods: Participant Observation and Empirical Phenomenological Research." Professor Constance Fischer, Dept. of Psychology, spoke of "Empirical Phenomenological Research," and Professor Norman Conti, Dept. of Sociology, presented on "Weak Links & Warrior Hearts: The Dialectical Recruitment of Police Selves." Around 30 participants absorbed and then asked friendly but critical questions of the, respectively, phenomenological and participant observation techniques ably conveyed by the two presenters. The panel continued CIQR's endeavor to share and critically as well as imaginatively examine different qualitative research methods.