[Air-l] Question re Size of Data Set...
C.L.Adams at kent.ac.uk
Fri Jan 26 00:29:22 PST 2007
Caveat: these are suggestions from an anthropologist, follow at your
own risk ;0)
I think the answer to your question is really dependant on your focus.
If the bulk of your work is on what has happened in the past, you will
have to really dig into the 4000 pages as would a historian. It only
amounts to about 20 books if each page averages to paper page length
which I speculate don't. I would then use the questionnaire to test
whether your findings seem to hold. In this case I'd use a closed
answer survey type device (binary fixed-response, likert scale, etc.)If
you are more interested in what they say about your question, you can
be a bit easier on your archives and just look for themes and issues to
put into a more open ended type of questionnaire and spend a lot of
time analysing and interpreting that material. Of course, if you want
to compare what they did to what they think about it (or think they do)
you have to really hit both sources of data.
Also, in terms of careerist motivation, collecting and at least
categorising more data than you use in the dissertation is good because
it gives you lots to publish from.
Department of Anthropology
University of Kent
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