Archive for August, 2008

Funding for CCCCs in San Francisco

By js, 5 August, 2008, No Comment

I have received the following two invitations:

I have been informed by our CCCC Convention Manager that you will be invited to be a presenter at the 2009 CCCC Annual Convention in San Francisco (an invitation from CCCC will be forthcoming in a few weeks). Congratulations on your accomplishment! I have also learned that you have expressed an interest in being a candidate for a CCCC Scholars for the Dream Award, and I am writing to provide you with further information about the award with hopes that you will take advantage of this opportunity.

and…

Congratulations on your accomplishment! I’m writing to provide you with some information about the CCCC Chairs’ Memorial Scholarship, which is available to graduate students, with hopes that you will take advantage of this opportunity.

Applications for both are due Oct. 10th.

 

Reactions to Massey

By js, 5 August, 2008, No Comment

I have finished reading my first complete book. Now I have to write my notes. I have chapter 1.

I will continue thinking about the book especially as I write my notes. One thing which disconcerted me, but which may be a function of the discipline out of which this book comes, is the focus on the problem and no discussion of the solutions. I guess that is what the rest of us are for.

I now feel I am at a loss. The information and compilation of data that he presents is so overwhelming. Futhermore, it seems to me that the book is not strong enough in tone denouncing those who are most responsible and with the most power to change things. Of course, that is probably the idealist in me speaking.

I have also read the essay published in the Harvard magazine and have ordered the book that focuses on inequality and education. I think that one may have at least one chapter in which possible solutions are discussed.

The main question that I now have is: how does technical communication help create stratification? I will continue pondering that question as I write my notes.

Now what do I think about the competence and warmth categories. The way that he discusses them make sense to me although I do think that how those categories are defined exactly are culturally determined. He seems to be operating on the tenet that stratification is caused by how we apply those categories but how we define the categories depends on culture, too, so I expect that there are more layers that need to be unraveled.

Also, I was thinking of what a friend said about Mexicanos being against Mexicanos and it fits exactly with the concept of emulation and adaptation which Massey discusses. In order to get ahead and be part of the in-group, some Mexicanos choose to disassociate from other Mexicanos and copy the behavior of the control group which includes exploitation and opportunity hoarding. This behavior seems to be very individualistic, but again it is more complex and what Massey argues seems to suggest that it is more a reorganization and balancing of who is in the in-group.

Now how does the postmodern idea of the shift away from the voice of a single-authority affect these ideas? Does it mean that we see the decentering of authority only in rhetoric but not in the actual material conditions? Or has the discourse not caught up with the material conditions yet and will eventually? When will it happen? What can each one of us do? or will it take a catastrophic series of events like war and depression which affects all our society for our society to become more egalitarian?

OR

Should we all move to Finland? :-)

Qualitative Research Design Notes

By js, 2 August, 2008, No Comment

I’m looking at the book, Qualitative Research Design by Joseph Maxwell.

Since I’m going to be looking at focusing my research question, I thought that it would be good for me to go back to Maxwell and to look at the memo writing he suggests as part of articulating the question and focusing in on what it is that I really want to study. listen

So Maxwell says, that one of the things that we need to think about are what our goals are for our study. Our goals include: our motives, desires and purposes. (page 16) We have to think about how they’re going to guide our other design decisions and they help to insure that our study is worth doing. They also help us to justify our study, especially if we’re seeking funding for a particular topic. listen

Maxwell says that there are three types of goals that we have to consider. There are the personal goals, the practical goals and the intellectual or scholarly goals. The personal goals are those that are going to motivate us and that are connected to the things that we’re really interested in personally. That’s going determine what the topic is, the question we select and it is also going to help us consider our validity threats. listen

So according to Maxwell, he says, what is necessary is for us to be aware of these goals and how they may be shaping our research and to think about them, how best to achieve them and deal with their influence. And of course they also help us to think about what our practical and intellectual goals are. listen

He says practical goals are focused on accomplishing something and in my case it’s going to be changing some situations and trying to affect what happens in that situation. The intellectual goals are focussed more on understanding something. That is, gaining an insight into what is going on, why it’s happening and asking some questions that previous research has not adequately addressed. listen

Maxwell does caution us about separating practical goals from the intellectual goals, so that the question that we are asking are actually intellectual goals. So, our research question could look more like “what effect has this new policy had on program equity” and not “how should this program be modified to make it equitable.” listen

So it’s important how we frame our research question because that’s going to help us to achieve our practical goal. But the particular goal does not necessarily need to be embedded in the research question. And of course, it’s going to be part of our justification but it doesn’t have to be part of the question itself. listen

So our goals also help us to decide what our approach is going to be. In my case, I’m doing qualitative research it makes sense for me to try and follow Maxwell and it also helps us to think about what the validity threat to our project is going to be. So our personal goals are gonna drive and influence our research and it is necessary, he says to be aware of these goals and how they influence our choices. listen

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CCCC Proposal 2009

By js, 1 August, 2008, No Comment

Playing with language and technology at http://www.Wordle.com

Here are two clouds. The first is one using the entire text of the proposal submitted for the CCCC 2009 conference in San Francisco. The second is the section that discusses the paper that I will be presenting.