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Hemmed in and Hacking it -
Methodologies, References and Appendices

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Text: Ruth Moore and Marie Smyth ... Page Design: Fionnuala McKenna

Methodologies and Techniques

These interviews were conducted at an early stage of the research, and the themes emerging from them were used to inform our design of a questionnaire, which was then used in a field survey in both areas. The findings of this survey are documented in a separate publication.

The technique used to arrive at the texts published here was developed from the work of Richardson, who interviewed, transcribed the interview and then condensed the text of the transcript, - using the interviewees own words and phasing - into a "poem" or condensed text. As such, the "poem" is a time-ordered display of data. Of time-ordered displays, and specifically of the transcript as a poem, Miles and Huberman (1994) say:

The display is striking. It brings the reader very close to a condensed set of data, has a compelling flow, and forbids superficial attention by the analyst. You have to treat the data set-and the person it came from-seriously because a "poem" is something you engage with at a deep level. It is not just a figurative transposition, but an emotional statement as well.
As Richardson notes, such a display "breaches sociological norms" by ignoring defined variables, by emphasising the "lived experience," illuminating the "core" of the case involved, engaging the reader (and the researcher) emotionally, and shifting the concept of authorship.
The time taken was substantial...Two points: (a) the selection, organization, and presentation of data in a display are decisive analytic actions, and (as in this case) they need to be done in a thoughtful, lucid way; (b) displays owe as much to art and craft as they do to "science".
Richardson wrote very little separate "analytic text" in our terms, but there is nothing in the method to discourage that. p110.

This technique allowed us to present our "findings' in the two communities, using the words which people themselves had used to us in interviews. After transcription, the full transcript was shown to interviewees and agreed. After this, the transcript was condensed, and the "poem" was shown to the interviewee, alterations agreed and the "poem" finalised. Like Richardson, very little analytic text will be presented here. Some of the themes that emerged will be drawn together , and then the people we interviewed can speak - and have spoken here - for themselves

Reading and rereading the text reproduced here, and the full transcripts of the interviews on which these texts are based, a number of themes emerge. The main themes which we identified were those of the experience of violence and threat, of danger and fear, of anxiety for children, especially boys, of anger at injustice, at misrepresentation, of the felt need to "manage" the identity that living in the area gives residents, of being surrounded, isolated and being different from one's own community outside the area. The significance of killings of people from the area to the residents in both areas is clear, and the tight-knit nature of the community, which can mean conflict within the community as well as cooperation. The importance of the bonds within the community for the community's survival, and the decision to stay or go, the importance of economic as well as safety factors in that decision, the social problems and lack of amenities in both areas are all issues which were explored further in the survey of both areas. Yet, it is in these interviews, not in the survey results, that the message comes across most forcefully and movingly.


Miles, M.B. and Huberman, A.M. (1994) Qualitative Data Analysis: An Expanded Sourcebook. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.(see Chapter 5: Within-Case Displays: Exploring and Describing: see pp102-110 on partially ordered displays.)

Richardson, L. (1992) The consequences of poetic representation: Writing the other, rewriting the self. In C. Ellis and M.G. Flaherty (eds.), Investigating subjectivity: Research on lived experience. pp 125-140). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Appendix 1 - Glossary

DMSUs: Divisional Mobile Support Units, uniformed special units of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (first Fountain man interviewed)

Gowling: Shouting (Third Gobnascale man interviewed)

Appendix 2 - List of other publications
produced by the project

Sectarian Division and Area Planning: a commentary on "The Derry Area Plan 2011: Preliminary Proposals." prepared by Marie Smyth. Derry Londonderry, Templegrove Action Research Limited, May, 1995.

A Report of a Public Hearing on the Experiences of Minorities in Derry Londonderry. Marie Smyth, (ed). Derry Londonderry, Templegrove Action Research Limited, April, 1996.

A Report of a Series of Public Discussions on Aspects of Sectarian Division in Derry Londonderry held in the period December 1994 - June 1995. Marie Smyth (ed) Derry Londonderry, Templegrove Action Research Limited. March 1996.

Two Policy Papers: Policing and Sectarian Division, and Urban Regeneration and Sectarian Division, Ruth Moore and Marie Smyth. April 1996.

Three Conference Papers on Aspects of Segregation and Sectarian Division: Researching Sectarianism (Ruth Moore and Marie Smyth); Borders Within Borders: material and idoleogical aspects of segregation (Marie Smyth); and Limitations on the Capacity for Citizenship in Post-Cease-fires Northern Ireland (Marie Smyth). Derry Londonderry, Templegrove Action Research, May 1996.

Life in Two Enclave Areas in Northern Ireland. A Field Survey in Derry Londonderry after the Ceasefires. Marie Smyth. Derry Londonderry, Templegrove Action Research Limited, June 1996.

First published 1996 by Guildhall Press Ltd,
Great James Street,
Derry Londonderrry, Northern Ireland.

© Templegrove Action Research Limited
Printed by Coleraine Printing Company

All Rights Reserved

ISBN 0 946451 33 8


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