Verbal interactions with informants have always been among the most useful tools for qualitative field research. Each time researchers speak with their informants they re-open the endless issue of the relationship existing between language reality and truth. During such communicative events, different theories of language, different notions of “reality”, and different conceptions of “truth” are at stake. More or less folk and implicit, these theories and conceptions differ according to the different actors that participate to the research process. Contemporary researchers are quite aware of the difference among the epistemological and ontological frameworks belonging to their informants and those belonging to the researchers. Nonetheless, this difference is misleading in that it presumes that only two actors are on the stage. Actually, the scene is more complex. The notion of “researcher” is a short cut that conceals the different roles and identities that the researcher plays during the research process and in the research practices. Each time the researcher is committed to verbal interactions (as a participant in the field, as an analyst of a textualized interaction, as a writer of a final paper), he or her embodies different personae. Each of these personae refers to different theories of language, different notions of reality, and different conceptions of truth. The ones at stake when the researcher is involved as co-participant in some verbal interactions in the field, are rarely the same then those at stake when the researcher is the analyst of verbal data, the interpreter of “what went on in the field”, and the writer of the final text. While researchers are aware of the difference among the epistemological and ontological frameworks belonging to their informants and those belonging to themselves, they seem to be less aware of the extent to which they constantly move from one epistemological frame to another and change their conceptions about the relationship between language and world. This lack of awareness is more for researchers committed to the contemporary post-modern theory on “language, reality & truth”. Adopting a meta analytical approach, the paper focuses on the epistemic and ethical consequences of the researcher’s commitment to a contemporary post modern theory on “language, reality and truth”. It will take a particular (meta) analytical starting point: the meta-analysis of the narratives from the field. The analysis of the analysis of this kind of discursive data, is a useful starting point to figure out how many theories of language are at stake during verbal field interactions, their analysis and interpretation. The paper concludes with a discussion on the epistemical and ethical consequences of such a silent game.

Rethinking Post modernism: On some Epistemic and Ethical Consequences of the researcher’s commitment to post modern constructivism

CARONIA, LETIZIA
2007

Abstract

Verbal interactions with informants have always been among the most useful tools for qualitative field research. Each time researchers speak with their informants they re-open the endless issue of the relationship existing between language reality and truth. During such communicative events, different theories of language, different notions of “reality”, and different conceptions of “truth” are at stake. More or less folk and implicit, these theories and conceptions differ according to the different actors that participate to the research process. Contemporary researchers are quite aware of the difference among the epistemological and ontological frameworks belonging to their informants and those belonging to the researchers. Nonetheless, this difference is misleading in that it presumes that only two actors are on the stage. Actually, the scene is more complex. The notion of “researcher” is a short cut that conceals the different roles and identities that the researcher plays during the research process and in the research practices. Each time the researcher is committed to verbal interactions (as a participant in the field, as an analyst of a textualized interaction, as a writer of a final paper), he or her embodies different personae. Each of these personae refers to different theories of language, different notions of reality, and different conceptions of truth. The ones at stake when the researcher is involved as co-participant in some verbal interactions in the field, are rarely the same then those at stake when the researcher is the analyst of verbal data, the interpreter of “what went on in the field”, and the writer of the final text. While researchers are aware of the difference among the epistemological and ontological frameworks belonging to their informants and those belonging to themselves, they seem to be less aware of the extent to which they constantly move from one epistemological frame to another and change their conceptions about the relationship between language and world. This lack of awareness is more for researchers committed to the contemporary post-modern theory on “language, reality & truth”. Adopting a meta analytical approach, the paper focuses on the epistemic and ethical consequences of the researcher’s commitment to a contemporary post modern theory on “language, reality and truth”. It will take a particular (meta) analytical starting point: the meta-analysis of the narratives from the field. The analysis of the analysis of this kind of discursive data, is a useful starting point to figure out how many theories of language are at stake during verbal field interactions, their analysis and interpretation. The paper concludes with a discussion on the epistemical and ethical consequences of such a silent game.
Proceedings of the International Human Science Research Conference.
1
14
L. Caronia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/50734
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