September: Getting in the Swing of Things

This month has been a whirlwind of getting back into school and classes as well as solidifying my plan for my research. As the analysis of my six transcripts has begun, I’ve finally been able to get into the specifics of the language that my participants use to describe their lifestyle. I have created Excel files for each individual which contain separate spreadsheets for tokens of affect, judgment, and appreciation. Additionally, each spreadsheet is organized around central themes of the conversation. Since I asked generally the same questions to my participants, these themes include such topics as family reactions to the participants’ transitions to veganism as well as opinions on animal rights activism or faux meats. These Excel files allow me to keep track of the different types of evaluation being used by each speaker for each theme, and I have even begun to use them to create some graphs and draw some quantitative conclusions about the strategies vegans are using.

My Excel files have also allowed me to explore some of the interesting dilemmas I have come across during my analysis, and which I mentioned in my last post. For example, the use of emphasis and tone to evaluate something. This strategy shows up again and again in certain interviews, and I am unsure as to where in the Appraisal Method this strategy fits. As a result, I’ve added a “notes” column to my spreadsheets to categorize methods such as emphasis, constructed dialogue, and self-talk. The interview that I am currently working through is my interview with Amy, who uses all of these methods a great amount. I suspect that these and other strategies may show up in my other interviews.

After presenting at the Summer Research Showcase on Thursday, I am feeling newly inspired and excited to continue work on my project. Now that I have clear coding criteria for my interviews and spreadsheets, the rest of my analysis should continue smoothly throughout the coming month.