Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A comment turned into a post. Thank you Paul Longo!

This post reminded of something I came across a few years ago, something I’ll share, but first let me agree with your warnings and your call to become more courageous. 

Coding can all too easily become an “end” rather than the means to an end. It’s liable to dishonor the /sohbet/ between us as observers and who/what we’re observing. An overreliance on coding, out of fear or inexperience, can diminish our understanding of the multiple ways in which observed events are culturally embedded in their own contexts and the multiple ways in which their wholeness and integrity are individually and collectively represented. Even worse is when distracting and obstructive coding reduces observed events to static rather than dynamic phenomena. Yet we need some structure in our inquiry, at least a semi-structured approach in our coding, to nourish the connection between us and the objects of our studies and to promote a victorious rather than a vicious hermeneutic circle.

Your compelling image of the chocolate teapot conjured up for me an illustration marshaled by a discourse analyst by the name of Leo van Lier. To make his point that discourse, if nothing else, is “movement, change, and cumulative achievement,” van Lier recommended “an analysis of successive states, rather like examining a film frame by frame, or by regarding our transcript as similar to Duchamp’s painting Nude descending a staircase, where an illusion of movement is created by showing the body in a series of successive, overlapping postures. Whichever way we slow down the movement by artificial or artful means, the movement must not be lost or else we will no longer be studying discourse (van Lier 1984, I’d be glad to supply the citation).” 

Celia said it best, “Right on.”

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  1. hello very good article thanks for this.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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