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Narrative and Logic Synthesis

June 26, 2010

Just wanted to grab this text that I put on Suifaijohnmak’s blog in case I need to find it quickly later:

Hello John. I think organizations may find some use for research that ‘uncovers’ the narratives under which its employees function, and maybe a power-law 80-20 distribution would be observed, in that 20% of the narratives are the ones under which 80% of the employees function. An organization, knowing what those 20% narratives are could make some adjustments if they weren’t the narratives they wanted, and/or introduce new/better narratives to the organization.

My newly inspired thinking is about the linkage between logical analysis and narrative; I think both are intertwined with each other and required for proper sense-making. I guess that’s why I liked Snowden’s joining of qualitative and quantitative research methods; the synthesis appeals to my sense of unity from dichotomy.

I don’t know if children are necessary to get good stories; sure, some adult researchers may be overly biased but I would think that a good researcher would be able to work within their biases and obtain good narrative. I wonder that children/students have no biases? Is an absolute given that people will inflate their story to impress a researcher? I would like to see the proof of that. I don’t think there is any certainty involved in the interview process, one way or another. I think the researcher adds to the knowledge through their interpretation, and the one-dimensional interpretation by the interviewees (in the children scenario), while important, is enhanced by a second mind being involved.

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7 Comments
  1. Hi Ken there’s an interesting article on how incognito avatars might contribute to openness and honesty of opinions relative to an ‘authentic’ online persona. Is that your experience? I understand you have a love of writing,humour,rational discourse and this distributed participation has rich avenues for all of the above http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/newspaper_wants_readers_to_pay_to_comment.php

    You’ve helped me understand the pragmatics context as clarified in the Moodle recording friday follow up on Pragmatics in the course thanks! And I’m benefitting from having your voice/s as exemplary crit lit advocate in action. I have too much to digest to take on your views myself I am new to these learning research theories. And new to critical discourse in an open online learning environment.

    I am enjoying the course, tho way behind rhythm. I intend to continue readings catchup and still to listen to later recordings.I found your @Ulop posts on culture and values beaut but I never got back…

  2. deadvocate permalink

    Hi Ruth. It seems you have pegged me right! (love of writing, humour, rational discourse – the internet is a god-send to types such as I). And yes I tried to be a model crit-lit advocate especially in the early going in the moodle forum but it seemed there were few takers. Thanks for your kind words.

    As far as your question about openness and honesty of opinions, I can offer this:

    For me, using anonymity enabled me to voice opinions I might not otherwise voice. One reason would be shyness, lack of confidence in my voice, not wanting to look foolish etc.

    Another reason was professional; sometimes it is difficult to offer opinions that might be construed to run against the grain of the organization that one is employed by, and I was overly-cautious about this and hiding behind anonymity made me feel better. Now I don’t worry so much about these things, so anonymity has helped my growth in this area.

    I recognize there is a danger that trolls/flamers or whatever these things are can misuse anonymity; that was never my intention but I wonder if these labels are applied a little too liberally at times.

  3. I think that this particular discussion merits thinking about how offline we enact differently depending on the context, presenting different personas with different people. Existing social sites dont allow for this, I have chosen to be ‘an educator’ rather than say ‘a mother’ an ‘artist’, ‘healer’ or a ‘chef’. I choose to consciously mix these in as I feel to show my multidimensionality, especially because teaching is a newer role, possibly in the name of authenticity, possibly because I wish to be seen in context myself?

    A single profile does not help me to present to my friends as opposed to my peers or my students. Let alone prospective employers!

  4. deadvocate permalink

    Good points Ruth. We (I) wear different masks for different social settings, I think. Why would web-based social settings be any different?

  5. Hi Ken,
    You have got good points here: “Another reason was professional; sometimes it is difficult to offer opinions that might be construed to run against the grain of the organization that one is employed by, and I was overly-cautious about this and hiding behind anonymity made me feel better. Now I don’t worry so much about these things, so anonymity has helped my growth in this area.” That’s a concern not only for professionals, but educators, students as they may still have a long journey in their career paths, and don’t want their private and professional views be “mixed” and be exposed to their employer or potential employer. This is both rational and wise decision. Most of us would still need to have a “bright future”, but would like to establish our unique voice in the media. This also explains why some educators or “networkers” would prefer to be the “visitors” leaving with little or no trace in the digital media. This is a personal choice…
    We all wear different masks for different social settings. However, whether at work or in a personal setting, would this create a dilemma in ones persona, especially in the digital media? Are our digital persona reflective of our authentic self? Why would we need to disclose ourselves in open space where we could easily be “exploited” by others? How would we be able to “protect ourselves” without being accused of being untrue to what we say or do? Can we undo some of the voices we made in the digital space? Would avatar save us? Would this be the reason why many educators are not willing to have have social media presence? The reason for not having their own blogs, or their own voices…
    For me, as a Catholic, I have nothing to fear, as mentioned in my previous blog post. I have nothing to hide, nothing that prevent me from expressing my true sayings… May be I am lucky, or may be I am confident. Am I wearing my mask?
    John

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  1. Our authentic self or an avatar? « Suifaijohnmak's Weblog

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