The thing about seeking stories, in particular, is that it’s not just a simple matter of interview-based qualitative inquiry. The literature on interviews as a research method and qualititative inquiry in general that I have come across thus far is often missing a very human layer. It’s easy to describe an interview process, or outline ethical issues, or speak in academic terms about research design and so on. But for those people who, like me, didn’t get the memo about the nuances of human communication, going into the process with only half the story means you’ll only ever get half the story. It turns out there is a whole grounding layer of human work one needs to do in order to create a space for the whole story to emerge.

The below image is my first rudimentary adventure into trying to map the landscape of that groundwork, to capture all of the elements that shape that space and build a complex story to bring to the table. Over time it should evolve into something more sophisticated.

This is partially the work of Maxwell’s (2003) competency reconnaissance, and partially the work of my own refiguring as a human. It’s frameworking for research but it’s also frameworking for myself, a roadmap for shifting my own thinking and growing my own skills.

Maxwell, T.W. (2003). ‘Action Research for Bhutan?’, Rabsel III, 1-20.


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