Studies in social science fields have examined specific issues in (re)using archived records for qualitative research, though few have focused on the use of private archives in ethnographic research, especially when it comes to foregrounding participant perspectives. In this methodological dissertation I draw on two sets of archived records to demonstrate how an ethnographer can make visible insider knowledge and perspectives when conducting qualitative research with archived records. Utilizing an interactional ethnographic perspective, I construct a dataset for analysis, making my logic visible as I use mapping and transcription, domain and taxonomic analysis, and discourse analysis to foreground insider perspectives from the archived records using one insider as a tracer unit. The insider identified the people affected by her prep work as the technical mentors, the students on the InvenTeam, and herself. I uncovered her identification of the activities affected by prep work as mental preparation, working with the students, and problem solving. By following this insider as a tracer unit, and following a rich point through the archived records identified by the insider, I was able to identify how this rich point was important to the participant from her perspective. I also used ethnographic principles and multiple layers of analysis to (re)construct the context created by the participant in interviews. This methodological study demonstrates how an ethnographer can use archived records to make visible what insiders signal as important and how they communicate contextual information.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
Learning Sciences and Educational Research
Education; Method, Measurement and Analysis
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
Sullivan, Michelle, "Using an Interactional Ethnographic Perspective to Explore Insider Perspectives When Working with Previously Archived Records" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1676.
Restricted to the UCF community until May 2024; it will then be open access.