Thursday, March 6, 2008

For those who missed the class assignment, please attempt this now

I already have a list of those who attended the class assignment. However, for those who were not there, please attempt these questions here, as this serves as a reflective part of the diary/research process.

Class Assignment- Socl 301
Thursday 28 February 2008
This course has aimed to make us question our assumptions, and the things that we may take for granted. We have been brought to a point where we understand the imperative to look beyond the ‘obvious’. As sociologists and as individuals, understanding the social world about understandng the ‘self’, and embracing notions of culture and counter-culture becomes like a game of communication; a language, or a framework of discourse within which we act out our roles in the social world. We are just about halfway through this portion of the contemporary theory course. Walking with you on this journey, are two companions: theory, and your data from your interviews. And along the way, you will meet with opportunity to reflect on your own identity, beliefs, assumptions and ways of being. Let us unpack and define how the weekly themes relate and look at where we are going. In order to do this, I have a few questions which you should read over carefully for a few minutes and then jot down your responses. This is a participatory exercise and will allow both you (as students) and me (as the person facilitating the course) to situate where you are in the course and how it might be shaping your process as a budding social scientist. The challenge in this exercise is to make sure that you do not refer to course notes in any way. Remember, we said that this course is about you! Your answers to these questions need to reveal your own thoughts and reflections and not be weighted down by examples or rhetoric we might have discussed/read. You will need to hand in the answers at the end of class. Please put your name and student id number on your answer page.

Here are your ‘thought-provoking’ questions:
1. In the course, you have been tempted and challenged to question your notion of beliefs, and mostly your assumptions. What is your understanding of knowledge? Where does Your knowledge come from?
2. Has this changed in any way, if so, why and what has prompted this change?
3. How do you envisage/visualize your research project for this course? What are you ideas about going about this ‘diary’ project? What have you done so far?
4. In your interviews, what are the most intimidating thoughts, assumptions and experiences? Have these changed/altered in any way, positively or negatively?
5. How would you deal with an interview that turns into something of a ‘counselling’ session? Discuss what you think might be pro’s and cons of such a situation.
6. What do you think are the important features of a good interview? List at least five.
7. What problems have you had in trying to conduct your interviews? How have you tried to solve these?
8. Share some responses/ideas and detail that you may have encountered, or did not expect, and even some concerns (ethical and other) that you might have regards the research/diary project.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

T.D Moodley
206517628

1. Knowledge is learning from personal experience or through the understanding of another person’s experience. My knowledge comes from various experiences, through the media social activity and schooling.

2. Because knowledge comes from experience, it is constantly changing with it. New developments in society, technology etc, provide ever changing sources of knowledge.

3. The research project is still a bit confusing to me. I've done one interview and I'm still unsure as to how it will form the base of an academic essay.

4. The most challenging or intimidating aspect of the interview is the interview, asking friends for personal information while trying to maintain a comfortable atmosphere.

5. This is unlikely as I have chosen to interview people I know. The pros of this would be sincere responses. The cons would be dealing with an uncomfortable atmosphere when all I want is data.

6. Clear questions, eye contact, body language, being attentive, not influencing responses.

7. The problem I have encountered is not responding as I would normally respond in a conversation. This is difficult when interviewing someone you know.

8. My concerns are that my "friend" will not feel as comfortable and jovial around me because of the amount of personal information that was revealed.

Anonymous said...

Will Smyly
206501517

1.
unfortunately i've done a course on knowledge and belief systems previously so i wont be able to leave out the assumptions i brought forward after the courses' completion, as it had a profound impact on the way i think today. knowledge is true, justified belief and is largely socially constructed but for the things that are of themselves. knowledge comes from living, experiencing, and being taught by people with more experience than yourself.

2.
knowledge is constantly changing...you learn something new everyday, whether it ammounts to knowledge however is questionable. how do we know what real knowledge is? i think our supposed knowledge, or what we take for granted is just the arguments for some things that we find more appealing than the arguments for other things. for example it is easy to convince a five year old child of something completely wrong, but can you say that that child has gained knowledge? in some sense i think you can but it's only knowledge of a false story. it doesn't then ammount to true, justified, belief, but it does seem like it to the child.

3.
i've recently completed my interviews and discovered some amazing things about the people i interviewed. i'm looking forward to writing this assignment now because i'm still unsure of what i'll find when i sit down to analyse the data i've collected. i feel i could do with a bigger sample because there are so many different people and different cultures and experiences i think our projects could be biased by lack of information. at the same time i know that it would be an impoosible task to analyse data collected from more than 3 people in such a short time. i think my project is going to follow the differences i've experienced rather than the similarities in the people i've interviewed. i tihnk perhaps that will be interesting. i will come and talk to you on monday about this though.

4.
my interview with one girl in particular has changed my life. i left the interview emotionally drained after listening to her story. this girl has had the most amazing, difficult life and she is so upbeat and positive about the future. i have no excuse to ever be sad and my hardships don't count...they just aren't hardships compared to what other people have gone through. i am thankful for what she told me and how she told me...

5.
i'm not sure how i'd deal with it. it would depend if i knew the person or not. i'm not a consellor but i do feel for people and so i suppose i'd like to help in any way possible. i might try and lead the interview away from the seriously emotional stuff but at the same time you want to know the things that people are going through in order to acurately reflect their individual issues. it would really depend on the situation.

6.
listen, don't interupt if at all avoidable, be conversational as oposed to asking direct questions and being intimidating, be empathetic so as to gain the most from the interview process.

7.
nothing...people have said exactly the right stuff i think and i didn't have to lead. they spoke for around an hour each and told me of amazing experiences as well as all about their cultures and families without me telling them anything about the course.

8.
i don't yet feel comfortable writing about these experiences and ideas until i'm sure of how to put them so as to not to be biased. i want to reflect as acurately as possible when i write this assignment and i haven't though about how to do that yet. perhaps i could say that the women i interviewed are incredibly strong and have changed my assumtions about women in general which could very well be the point of the course:) i don't know

Anonymous said...

1)knowledge is information or beliefs that you learn from other people, from your family for example,or your society,through education and life experiences.2)it has changed somewhat over the years from gaining knowledge through the media.3)the research project is very interesting because it gives insight into other peoples life experiences and the differences in the lives of the interviewees and how that helped in creating their own different identities.4)some people are not willing to open up and express certain parts of their lives, however others are very opened to sharing personal and private experiences that may be painful to them,this is sometimes awkward if you do not know how to console the interviewee.5)i would listen and be as supportive as i could given the circumstances.such a situation maybe helpful in addressing past experiences and allowing the interviewee to get it off their chest and if possible move on.6)there needs to be a good atmosphere,the interviewee needs to be comfortable,a trusting relationship should be formed,you have to stay objective,you should be helpful or supportive if need be.7)some interviewees do not feel comfortable expressing all of the experiences that they have been through,be patient and do not press the issue,talk about other things and maybe later on when they feel more comfortable go back to the issue at hand.8)there were many responses and ideas that were not expected,one of those was from an interviewee who is not allowed to date people outside her religion and whos family is totally against that but who has,even though extremely close to her family and is very religious,been in a relationship with a person outside her religion for a few months now and would like to eventually marry this person despite her parents beliefs and even her own.it is sometimes hard to relate to the interviewees especially if you have never had those sort of experiences or restrictions that they may have.206519382

KimyaShafinaaz said...

there some brilliant reflections shared here.. i must say, that in terms of the purpose of this course, i am not able to put that into words right now, because my OWN assumptions have been wonderfully challenged!

Anonymous said...

Kimberly Hartslief 206505971

1) Knowledge can come from places of authority like books, lecturers etc or knowledge can come from common sense thinking. The term knowledge is very broad and can cover everything that a person thinks or understands

2) I agree with everyone else that knowledge is constantly changing but in the same sense some forms of knowledge have not changed in the last century. I will use a simple example to illustrate what I mean, in the 18oo's people knew not to put their hand into a fire because it would burn them and now in the 21st century there has been no change. People still know not to put their hands into fire because they will get burned.

3) Only now that I have finished all my interviews and have begun to collect outside refernces can I see (sort of) where the project is going. Before I had done the interviews I saw the finished essay in a completely different light as to now when I have finished my interviews and have the raw data. I am surprised how much data I found in my interviews that I can actually talk about, I thought that I would battle.

4)The first interview that I conducted I was very unsure and I think my insecurity reflected in the person that I was interviewing but once I had done it I then realised it was not a hard process. You just have to explain yourself very clearly in the beginning and remain calm yourself so that way the person you are interviewing will be comfortable enough to give out personall information which may be embarising to them.

5) I think that you shouldn't let it reach that point. In my one interview the person that I was interviewing was discussing a car crash that affected her life and she broke down and ran to the bathroom but I remembered what ther lecturer said and tried to be as detached ass possible. After the interview however I gave her a big hug. :)Pros can be that you can actually get good data to talk about as I did, a con may be that the person may then focus on the incident and will not answer your next questions fully as her mind is elsewhere-you need to give the person time to recover.

6) Create a conductive environment, explain fully what is required of them, listen very carefully and ask questions based on what they have told you, keep eye contact and don't sit in a 'negative' body position eg. crossing your arms as that can deter the person that you are interviewing.

7) The main problem I had was starting off the interview, once you have the person talking freely then the interview will go smoothly. I just explained thoroughly in the beginning what was required of them so that way from the beginning they knew how the interview was going to be conducted.

8) Right now Im not too sure. Im focusing on trying to do the essay to the best of my ability with the raw data that I have so that I will actually learn and fully understand what we are expected to learn in this process (Because obviously we are expected to be learning something by going through this process). Once I have my rough draft back then I may have questions and concerns if it turns out that I am doing this completely wrong.

Anonymous said...

i sometimes find it hard to interview people because they are different from me..i started to interview a man who was older enough to be my own father but the experience was so difficult that he wouldnt want to open up to just because iam a female and that iam still a 'child'. he said a as a child i shouldnt ask such personal questions and as a female i have no right to be so 'rude' that even his wife dont ask such questions, i was so hurt about his commett that i find my self withdrawing from the interview. 200308041 NS Maphanga

Anonymous said...

1. KNOWLEDGE IS WHAT MAKES ME WHO I AM. KNOWLEDGE IS A REFLECTION OF MY CHARACTER AND KNOWLEDGE IS ALSO A PART OF ME.MY KNOWLEDGE COME FROM MY FAMILY AND MOSTLY FROM MY FRIENDS AND THE EXPERIENCES I HAVE HAD.

2. YES IT HAS CHANGED ME BECAUSE NOW I TEND TO INCORPORATE AND APPLY KNOWLEDGE THAT I CAN USE EVERYDAY.WHEREAS BEFORE I JUST TRIED TO MAKE MY PARENTS HAPPY.THE KNOWLEDGE I HAVE MAKES ME MORE RESPONSIBLE AND FUNNY AT ENOUGH, AT TIMES A BIT IGNORANT.

3.I AM LOOKING AT AT AS A MEANS AND A FORM OF ENQUIRY ABOUT PEOPLE IN GENERAL.I ALSO LOOK AT IT AS BEING INQUISITIVE BUT INTERSTING BECAUSE I LIKE STORIES AND CARRYING "TALES" AND THIS TIME IT WILL BE FOR ACADEMIC PURPOSES.I AM JUST GOING TO USE MY FRIENDS FOR THE MOST PART AND MY PARENTS BECUASE I AM USED TO THEM AND THEY WILL WARM UP TO ME MORE QUICKLY THAN OTHER PEOPLE.AND I DO WANT TO KNOW BAOUT MY FRIENDS PASTS AND HISTORY BECAUSE MY CULTURE NEVER REALLY ALLOWS US MEN TO TALK ABOUT THESE THINGS MOST OF THE TIME.

4. THE FIRST ONE IS THAT PEOLE I AM INTERVIEWING WILL THINK I AM INQUISITIVE AND NOSY AND AM USING THE RESEARCH AS A WAY OF KNOWING MORE ABOUT THEM.MY THOUGHTS HAVE ACTUALLY CHANGED BECAUSE I HAVE FOUND THAT PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY MORE WILLING TO TALK THAN I THOUGHT THEY WOULD BE.

5.I WOULD TRY TO SEAPRATE MYSELF FROM THE PERSON AND THEY HISTORY AND IN A WAY BE MEAN.YET SHOW A BIT OF COMPASSION AND EMPATHY.BUT MY OBECTJIVE WOULD BE TO REMAIN AS OBJECTIVE AS POSSIBLE.THE PROS IS THAT THE PERSON WOULD ACTUALLY REVEAL MORE ABOUT THEMSELVES AND WOULD FIND MORE INDEPTH DATA.THE CON IS THAT THE PERSON MY CONTINUE TO COME UP TO ME EVEN AFTER THE INTERVIEW FOR ADVICE.

6. -OBJECTIVITY
-SOME EMPATHY
-PATIENCE
-INTERESTING QUESTION THAT ARE
BROAD
-NO DISRUPTIONS

7. PEOLE DO NOT WANT TO SPEND TWO HOURS ON THE INTERVIEWS.I HAVE LESSENED IT TO AN HOUR.

8. THERE IS NOT MUCH REALLY EXCEPT FOR I WOULD HAVE LIKED TO STRUCTURE MINE LIKE A REAL REPORT BUT WITH A FEW ADDITIONS.

Anonymous said...

SORRY.....

THE ABOVE POSTED COMMENT IN CAPITAL LETTERS IS MINE, I FORGOT TO INCLUDE MY NAME AND STUDENT NUMBER.

NAME: IRVIN MAPHUMULO
STUDENT NUMBER: 205517503

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone

206512066

1.Knowlege is smomething that acquire daily from other people, or by reading books, watching TV and even listening to lectures since I'm a student. It has something to do with what one learns when he or she is going around.

2. Knowledge is not constant is something which changes in some context, but on some context it is static. For example the fact that previously women we seen as having poor leadership skills, now they have gained enough knowledge that nobody is born to be a leader they can be leaders too. Ther are some of the things that will remain static that if you shoot a person with a gun is either you kill them or leave them injured

3. Actually I have done the interviews I haven't manage to transcribe them due to soem other commitments. It was a bit hard especially in my last interview, because the person I was interviewing he would keep on talking and we ended up taking too much time that what weshould have spend together

4. When I interview the first person It took some few minutes to start interviewing him, because is one of those guyz who is strict and he wanted a personn to be straight foward. But I managed to soften him up I was very nuch happy after the interview and he liked it as well, because he told me that I must come back again whenever I have to do other interviews in future. In the last two it was amoth and perfect

5.Some other guyz talk about things that can really touch your heart and is too personal, especial the one whom told me about how he grew up. It was very hard for me to deal with that peron but we manged to finish the interview and after that I suggested that he should go and see the psychologist on campus and he appreciated that
6. Body posture and eye cointact are very inportant in an interview.Its like I'm doing Social Work and they adviced us that sit squarely, open body posture,lean a little bit forward, eye contact and whatever so used those skills are useful at this kind of circumstances where need attention of person

7. It is important again to explain to a person before the interview why are you doing this interview and how is that going to help him or her as an individual. To some it sounds a bit weird

8.I think I have collected enough data to help write as many as I can for an essay. And I have learnt a lot from those guyz and how people actually perceive the world differently

Anonymous said...

206525054
1. i think most of what i know is through communication, observations and experience. But mostly it is trhough learning from the authority.
2. As i am from the deeply rural areas i was tought that if you are female you should always respect males never question what they tell you. And i was told to respect the white man since tey provide employmnet to the people from around my area. But coming to university this has changed in a way because most of my lectrures are white. I can now joke with a white person in class, ive leant that i have equal power with males.
3. I think the diary project has tought me a lot when it comes to culture, tradition and religion. the three people i have interviewed either strongly belive in tradition or religion they think that these three clash, they should not be mnixed
what was significant about the males was the fact that the ideas they have about the culture they are going to transrfere them to the future generations which is the typical example of ideology. their children are not allowed to question or alter these ideas.

Anonymous said...

205514424 motilal

1. knowledge comes from a lot of sources school,parents,freinds,books and every day expierences that we have with other people.
may own personel knowledge comes from different forms of the media and may expierence as a student social work and the theory around this.
2. it changes every as every day i have different expierences with different individuals from all forms of soceity.
3. have interviewed 3 people from the agency i am working at and see how they relate to contemopray theorist theory on identities.
4. the most intimidating thoughts and assumptions was that i hoped people will open up and give me relavant information because in social work this takes lots of sessions to get to.
5. let the person tell they story and let find they own solution's to their problems.
6.1. do not give advice.
2. all ways maintain eye contact.
3.to not take notes when the person is talking because they may feel you a not interested in what they are saying.
4. let them tell their story.
5. be on time for the interview.
7. problem i had was lack of time to carry out my interview.
8. that people were concerned i was going to ask very personel question.

205514424 motilal