There are a bunch of methods that I have used and several that I’d like to use at some point.
I’ve done secondary data and archival data management for projects where I was working to try to blend qualitative and quantitative data into a usable database. To read more about my approach to data management check out my article in the July Newletter from LASER PULSE titled “Secondary Data Management & Organization”!
I have two major framings that shape my metatheoretical foundation. The first I call a symbiotic synthesis and the second is Empathy. In considering the three major dimensions of metatheory (epistemology, ontology, and axiology), I am drawn to recall a common phrase I heard in response to questions I asked as a child: “Because I said so”.
Epistemologically, I can subjectively see this phrase as a guide for helping me understand the limits to free will that my mom and I had because of the interfamily systemic limits that we faced as surviving-victims of violence. Ontologically, I understand the socially constructed reality that this phrase communicated. Finally, I know that I shouldn’t try to eliminate my values when trying to investigate the realities of the world around through this phrase because it reminds me that caring about the reduction of systemic oppressions should always be a guide that informs my work and that my knowledge should be used to instigate change.
From this I come to define my metatheory as a symbiotic synthesis. Symbiotic being an expression of a positive interdependence between strategies for coming to know and the acts of not causing harm. Synthesis, in a metaphysical sense, being the production of newness (Deleuze, 1994). In practice, this means that I see myself as a scholar who strives to understand and be understood while recognizing—and trying to limit—the realities where I cause harm in the process of creating new realities. I want to be a sentient fungus that positively is fed by and feeds on her community with as little harm done in service of building a community that feels itself thriving.
Empathy plays a role in my work as a constant reinforcement and means by which I achieve my symbiotic and synthasizing aims. It is via approaching knowing what another is feeling, simulating feeling what another is feeling, and communicating compassionately at all stages of my work with a community that I am able to achieve forming a positive interdependence and aid in the production of newness with, by, and for communities mad eup of individuals.