Today I have been wondering about the themes that I have identified so far in the data. These are three main themes of Place, Memory and Being which appeared to dominate as topics with three subthemes for each of Self, Family and Community. It strikes me that I might have this backwards, since Self/Family/Community seem far more accessible topics. This has made me wonder about how I analysed the data – as though somehow I overlooked the ‘peopleness’ of the data from the participants and instead focused on the ‘parkness’. I question whether a couple of things in particular were influential here.
First of all, I used data analysis software QDA Miner and in so doing perhaps the narratives became separated from their origin (i.e. people) which meant that the subthemes of self, family and community somehow took a backseat rather than being the main aspects of the data.
Secondly, perhaps I have been too romantically focused on the data and secretly hoping to develop some interesting themes, to make an impact of some sort. On some level, I think that I felt a pressure to identify esoteric, deep and intelligent sounding themes. Place/Memory/Being sound reasonably philosophical and academic.
Now I’m looking at the themes and thinking how inaccessible those initial three are, not just to my participants, but to everybody. This represents a step away from my grounded-theory-based aims. With this in mind, I am fairly sure that I will change the main themes to the more relatable self/family/community. It’s just a good thing that my digital approach so far will not make this switch difficult…