Practice in the Making

Here we will showcase some of the processes we go through when analysing our data.

You will find examples of initial interpretations, discussions about our analysis and preliminary ideas presented in a variety of ways.

Here is an example.

Beginning the data coding process

When reading through the transcripts, we have identified issues we think are interesting and would like to explore further. Below is a data extract accompanied by our comments and initial thoughts.

Extract 1

Interviewer: And what happens when somebody comes to stay then I mean do you have to adjust the way you use the energy then or?

Participant: Oh no, well you’ve got to give and take you know if they want the lights on whatever you just let them do whatever they want to do you know let them carry on.I’m sure them people though nowadays are not foolish, I’m sure they bear in mind that they’re at somebody’s house and you know but whatever goes, you’ve got to let go haven’t you?  You can’t be going behind everybody can you?

Interviewer: I was going to ask actually because like you said you used to turn your wife’s lights off and computers do you do that with guests if they leave it on?

Participant:  Oh no good god no.  No, no let them do what they want to do.  We don’t very often have, my sister perhaps, my brother, people from Australia occasionally but no then you’ve got to say well they’re living in their own little place if they have the back bedroom and they’ve got the lights on or whatever you know they’ve got to have it on and that’s it so just let go.  Otherwise I’d be called a mean sod.  No I just let them do what they want to do, I’m sure they’d act responsibly.

Extract 1: Initial interpretations

This question is exploring how everyday energy use and related habits might change at atypical times and how ‘good practice’ may be disrupted.

In these comments, the participant suggests that guests should be allowed some freedom to use energy however they want.

However, here he indicates that there is some sense of what is acceptable energy use as a guest in someone else’s home and that people can be expected to use it responsibly without needing to be regulated or policed.

Here he hints at the possible repercussions of attempting to curtail guests’ energy use – being seen as ungenerous – this brings into view what is understood to ‘normal’ and helps us to see how particular forms of practice get reproduced (we behave in ways we think others expect of us). Through narrative like this we get insight into what kinds of expectations exist around energy usage.

One of the most perplexing features [of qualitative work] is how researchers move from early through to later stages, combining clear lines of analysis with a sufficiently complex interrogation of the data. Bringing analysis to fruition involves making explicit the initially implicit theoretical sensitivities at work.”

Professor Karen Henwood