9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN20 Qualitative Methods

2009-09-03 13:30:00 2009-09-03 15:00:00 Thursday, 3 September 13:30 - 15:00 Visual Methods and Video Building II, C2.01

Beyond Visualization: Qualitative Software, Spatially Integrated Social Science and Qualitative Mapping

This paper provides an overview of "Spatially Integrated Social Science" and includes discussion of motivations for pursuing this approach, its benefits and challenges and a discussion of the current role qualitative software plays in these efforts. The integration of geographic dimensions into qualitative analysis projects adds a contextual angle to study. The paper addresses issues to consider when incorporating analysis of spatial dimensions into the study. Spatially integrated social science allowed us to discover links between human emotions as culture, language, memory and its spatial dimensions with geographic references.
It will also address conceptual and methodological considerations related to qualitative mapping as an approach to data collection. Qualitative mapping is a discussion group technique designed to collect spatial data in the form of drawings and maps with supplemental textual data. Mapping activities have always sought to represent relationships between different levels and elements in space; however qualitative mapping also includes human emotions, culture, language, memory, and so on. Modeling these human relations and their multiple connections to space is not an easy task; the presentation focuses on how the visualization, coding, and annotating functions in qualitative software can be used to build a multifaceted representation of space and lived experience and link multiple types of data.
The presentation draws its examples from data collected on adolescent reproductive health behaviors in Asuncion, Paraguay in 2006 through small group discussions, qualitative mapping activities, and digital mapping activities. The presentation outlines the analytical tasks that were conducted using MAXqda software to develop a typology for adolescent romantic and sexual relationships that takes into account youths? perceptions of safety in the community and supervision by parents and other adults. The approach worked to visualize discussion group data (text) from the perspective of spatiality and view visual geographic data (drawings and digital maps) in terms of youth?s discussions of their lived experience.
Holistic visualization of complex phenomena is discussed as a new frontier for emergent and mixed method engaged to develop spatially integrated approaches in social science.