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■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ Appendix C Analysis: Working with the Data Although this study was not ethnographic in terms of data collection or setting, my organization and interpretation of the data were guided by assumptions associated with ethnographic analysis. That is, rather than testing specific hypotheses developed prior to data collection, I used an inductive method of analysis that allowed themes and analytic categories to emerge from the data (Patton, 1980). My approach to the data was further guided by Glazer and Strauss’s (1967) work on “grounded theory,” in which the generation of theory is grounded in continuing, systematic, and detailed analysis as patterns emerge through the research process. Like ethnographic analysis, grounded theory analysis moves from data toward the development of theory, rather than using data to test preestablished hypotheses. Such orientations are also consistent with feminist approaches to research, which tend to emphasize the diverse meanings participants make of their own experiences rather than attempting to structure their responses into previously defined categories (Farganis, 1989; Fine and Phillips, 1990; Gergen, 1988; Lather, 1986; 1991; Linton, 1989). As I noted in chapter 2, I entered into this study hoping that the participants would collaborate with me in the analysis of their own transcripts. Since (for a variety of reasons) participants resisted this idea, I was left to analyze the data on my own. The following is a description of the steps I took to analyze the findings. A. Immediately following each interview and group meeting (each of which was audiotaped), I took field notes regarding (a) prominent themes that emerged in the interview or group session; (b) tensions that were raised in/by me and/or the participant(s); (c) any modifications that should be incorporated into future interviews; and (d) general conditions under which the interview or group session was conducted. Tapes of all individual interviews were transcribed in their entirety; tapes of group sessions were partially transcribed (due to difficulty in distinguishing individual voices on the group tapes). B. Once the individual interviews were transcribed, I worked with the data in four phases: 1. I first read through each transcript individually and made summary notes, working with each interview as a complete unit. In their preliminary stage, these notes took the form of a four-paragraph summary for each interview , with one paragraph dedicated to summarizing the major issues for that participant in each of the following categories: (a) a general description of the participant, her life situation, her educational background, and the conditions of her family and childhood; (b) early messages and experiences regarding gender, relationships, sexuality, and male aggression; (c) romantic and sexual experiences that the participant and/or I considered abusive, exploitive, or empowering; (d) the participant’s general feelings and opinions regarding such issues as violence, domination, and consent, noting any contradictions among the woman’s thoughts on these matters. 2. I then combed through each transcript, searching for instances of tension or contradictions between abstract beliefs (“I would never stay with a man who dominated me”; “Women have a right to have sex or not, whenever they want to”) and personal experiences (“My boyfriend is very controlling, but I know it’s because he loves me”; “I don’t feel entitled to 222 ❙ Appendix C say no if it seems like I might have led him on”). I searched for further tensions or contradictions within women’s subjective experiences of any particular hetero-relational encounter (“I felt really scared, but also excited at the same time”; “I felt humiliated, but the attention was also flattering”). 3. I searched for themes running through the early messages young women received as well as their current thoughts and attributions about their negative encounters. From this analysis, four dominant sets of messages , each with two competing discourses, emerged (described in chapter 3). I then went back through the transcripts to note places where these discourses overlapped or sat in tension with one another in women’s experiences . This analysis revealed complex interactions of these cultural discourses in four general areas: (a) their construction of ideas about heterorelations through childhood and adolescence; (b) their current perceptions of the nature of hetero-relational encounters; (c) their decision making and construction of strategies for managing their hetero-relational encounters; and (d) their labels for and attributions about their own and other women’s encounters once abuse or exploitation had occurred. 4. Finally, I analyzed moments during the interviews when women shifted positions in their own narrations—that is...


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