I reached a way-point on my research project today. I finished transcribing the most recent team session audio file (it was 46 pages long). All of the emails, online comments, and transcripts are up-to-date and placed in NVivo. I will not have to transcribe audio files again until November when the team has its final two sessions. My task between now and then is to process through all the qualitative data to such a degree that I can enter into our final two sessions with informed and helpful questions for the group.
This post is an experiment in using the raw data from our Deep in the Burbs Research Team. This is a verbatim transcript of a conversation the team had at the end of our seventh team meeting. We spent at least 45 minutes in each session in a group spiritual practice called Dwelling in the Word. We spent three weeks on John 14:15-24, three weeks on John 15:1-17, and one week on John 16:5-15.
The names have been changed to protect the anonymity of the group. Mine is still labeled “Steve” so you can see how I interacted with the group.
I’m back from a seven-day digital fast. Yep, no Facebook, Twitter, email, YouTube, web surfing for seven days. It was good. I highly recommend it.
The plan was to be completely disconnected for seven days. That plan was changed when I received word from my thesis advisor–the day before the vacation was to start–that I had some major revisions to do on the dissertation. So, instead of completely disconnecting, my digital fast allowed me to become laser focused. I kept one digital pipeline open through my school email account. My advisor and I exchanged a flourish of emails containing rewritten excerpts of the paper, new ideas for reorganizing the information, and desperate sighs of overwhelmedness (is that word? it should be).
The RT consisted of eighteen people: four women from Calvary Lutheran, four men from Bethlehem Lutheran, and ten people from Ascension Lutheran—seven women and three men. The team members share several characteristics. First, they are all white, middle-class, and have at least some college education. Most of them are college graduates. The majority of the team started life in a rural context and moved to the suburban context; either in adolescence or early adulthood. Most of them report that they had a small town and small church experience as a child and have found the suburban context to be a big change. They are all either gainfully employed, a homemaker in an economically stable household, or are retired from a successful career and are financially stable in their retirement. Many of them have been Lutheran their entire life. Some of the group began life in either a different Christian tradition (Catholic, Baptist, and Methodist), or had no church upbringing. Each of them currently actively participate in one of the three congregations represented in the project.