The Community Researcher project continued with a second workshop, this time focusing on research methods and interviews.
The group was asked about what we wanted to learn in the session, which had a feeling of togetherness, and non-judgement. All participants were able to contribute freely, and the session had clear explanation and leadership throughout
We learned more about interviews – their forms, purpose and what information they can gather, and also about triangulation – confirming findings and using different types of research methods to find out other things.
We were then given an activity based around asking the right questions to elicit information. We found that conciseness, asking specific questions to get information, and using politeness to work around the topic were useful strategies to understand things like experience and personal qualities.
We learnt important lessons around interviewing, but also around using different methods to find out important information. Spaces, people, and objects can all be research prompts, and that uses and association of everyday things can lead into areas not otherwise usually accessible. The materiality of social life is a fascinating area, and things can prompt storytelling – photos, household items, anything. Objects are our teachers – and we rounded out the session with a fascinating discussion around objects we had with us, in me and my partner’s case things as simple as a photo and a rucksack.
Gideon Thomas, Community Researcher