Effects of COVID-19 pandemic on economic situations

Overview–Two Class Topics to Choose from For Projects 2 and 3 you must choose only ONE of the two class topics we collectively chose for our interview research this quarter: 1) How the COVID-19 pandemic has affected peoples economic situations and home lives 2) How distance learning has affected children and families For Project 2 you must recruit one person to interview who fits the criteria for whichever topic you have chosen. You will conduct a 45-60 minute virtual interview (via Skype or Google or Zoom) with that person that is audio-recorded. This assignment has three purposes: (1) to give you a chance to develop and practice your interviewing skills (2) to experience one of the major forms of research that sociologists use and (3) to give the class a data set that we can analyze to learn about the social effects of either the pandemic or distance learning. This assignment will be graded on a 100 point scale with each step worth a certain number of points toward that total. Step 1: Choosing a release form Consider whether you would like ask your respondent 1) to contribute their story to the 1500 Stories digital archive using the 1500 Stories release form or 2) just participate in our class research project which means that only the students in this class will read it and even then the respondent will remain anonymous using this more standard social science informed consent release form. 1500 Stories is a collaborative art and digital storytelling project about economic inequality in U.S. that I founded back in 2015. Volunteers and students in New Jersey Wisconsin and California have conducted over 700 interviews with people living in different economic situations about their lives. These stories get edited into individual narratives that live on the 1500 Stories website and this winter I am launching the 1500 Stories podcast which weaves together multiple stories about particular themes. Also the interviews will live on in the California History Center for historians and other social scientists to use as a kind of peoples history of the 2010s and 2020s. 🙂 The release form for the project is different than a standard social science informed consent release form because it allows the project to edit their stories and use them publicly (though respondents still have the right to choose a pseudonym if they absolutely do not wish to be identified by name). So this is a tougher ask than if you just ask them to be a subject in our research study. On the other hand they may perceive more benefits because their story will have a larger public benefit. If you decide to do this tougher ask I will attach 2 points of extra credit if your interviewee decides they would like to contribute their story to the project. But it is also perfectly fine just to ask them to participate in our class study. Have them download the pdf of the consent form print the form sign it and send you a scan or snap of it. You will do the same–print their signed copy sign and scan or snap it. Submit an electronic copy that is signed by both of you. If you or they have Adobe Acrobat and can sign electronically the form can be downloaded as a pdf and signed electronically. Step 2: Choosing a respondent. NAME OF RESPONDENT DATE/TIME OF INTERVIEW DUE ON JANUARY 21 A respondent is the person who agrees to talk with you and answer your questions. For this interview the person must agree to be audio-recorded and willing to give informed consent and THEY MUST MEET ONE OF THE CRITERIA FOR THE TOPIC YOU HAVE CHOSEN. Criteria for Topic #1 If you are choosing Topic #1: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on peoples economic situations and home lives then you must choose a respondent that fits into ONE or the other of the following two categories: Criteria for Topic #2 If you are choosing Topic #2: How distance learning has affected children and families then you must choose a respondent that fits into ONE or the other of the following two categories: Other considerations For both topics there are other kinds of diversity that it would be useful for our class dataset to have especially single parent versus two parent households gender and economic class. You should choose someone who is a good talker. As newbie interviewers I want you to have as positive an experience as possible and choosing a storyteller is one way to do that. 🙂 Some things to avoid How to recruit someone When you have a respondent who might be interested ask if s/he would be willing to talk with you for 45-60 minutes. Explain what the interview will be about and why you are doing it. If you are doing storygathering for the 1500 Stories project sharing the website with them is a good way to start the conversation about the release form. In general the release form is a good way to open discussion about what the interview will entail. Give them the release form and have them print it sign it and send it back to you (or electronically sign via Adobe Acrobat) BEFORE THE INTERVIEW BEGINS. Also make clear that the person can refuse to answer any question or stop the interview at any time. Be aware that sometimes respondents will stand you up or postpone or cancel. It can be a challenge to find someone willing to spend time talking with you. Please keep in mind that when someone says yes they are offering you a huge gift—the gift of their time and their vulnerability in letting you see a piece of their inner life. Be sure to convey your deep appreciation for this gift through your words and your actions. Remember anything that can go wrong will go wrong You must begin trying to find someone IMMEDIATELY because you will likely get rejected by some or have a hard time getting the person to respond to your calls and e-mails. Persistence is key. If the person you ask first expresses hesitation or puts you off move on to a new person and start again. Keep in mind that even after you have set up the interview you will sometimes find that they stand you up and you have to reschedule. So it is very important to start this process as soon as possible. Step 3: Internalizing the list of questions and topics in the interview schedule. While in-depth interviewers seldom memorize or restate interview questions verbatim they do find it helpful to have a sense of what they will want to ask their respondents. So we began this assignment through our discussion forum and in class brainstorming of questions and from this I compiled an interview schedule. You do not need to follow this list of questions and topics strictly and you should feel free to add your own; these topics are merely guidelines to ensure you get rich and detailed information about the respondent’s motivations understandings and experiences. However you DO need to internalize the questions you want to emphasize –the more time you spend getting the interview schedule into your brain the better the interview will go. Your questions must be OPEN-ENDED and designed to get STORIES from the respondent. Your goal is not to get information; it is to get stories. At the end of the interview you must also ask about the core demographic categories that the respondent belongs to. Interview schedule for Topic #1: How the COVID-19 pandemic has affected peoples economic situations and home lives (You are welcome to use the commenting function to suggest additional questions re-ordering for flow or any other ideas). Interview schedule for Topic #2: How distance learning has affected children and families (You are welcome to use the commenting function to suggest additional questions re-ordering for flow or any other ideas). Step 4: Recording and conducting the interview. ELECTRONIC COPY OF AUDIO RECORDING AND SIGNED COPY OF RELEASE FORM DUE ON FEBRUARY 1 (25 points) Recording the interview: Interviews could be conducted and recorded over Skype: https://support.skype.com/en/faq/FA12395/how-do-i-… Interviews can also be conducted or recorded over Google Voice: How to Record Calls on Google Voice (techjunkie.com) or see also Google Voice Call Recording and Import Audio Into Audacity. (fictiveuniverse.com) Or you could look into other ways of recording audio interviews over the phone–I havent done the research on that in a while. Before the interview do a test run of your platform and try saving the file to make sure it works. Make sure that for the interview your device is fully charged or plugged in that your devices has plenty of available storage and that your environment is as quiet as possible (i.e. turn off ringers radio tv etc). Make sure to ask your respondent also to turn off anything like a tv or radio and to try to be in as quiet a place as possible. It is helpful if you each are in a quiet place where you will not be interrupted. Record the interview—be sure that you are recording properly BEFORE you begin the interview. Check periodically during the interview to make sure it is still recording. Leave it recording literally until the person has logged off–often it is after the interview is “officially” over that people get most comfortable sharing. Conducting the interview: If you have not already done this in your recruitment process GO OVER THE CONSENT/RELEASE FORM WITH THE RESPONDENT BEFORE YOU START THE INTERVIEW AND MAKE SURE YOU BOTH SIGN IT BEFORE BEGINNING. Ask them to choose a pseudonym if they would like to remain anonymous. Try to build comfort and trust before the interview begins–make the person feel at ease. Thank them for their time and willingness to share. Remind the respondent that they can end the interview at any time or refuse to answer any question they do not feel comfortable with. Make clear that you would like to hear their stories. Remember that an interview is NOT the same as a conversation—your job is to ask questions and to listen without judgment not to respond or comment on what the respondent shares. You do not need to stick to the “script” of the questions you have chosen from the interview schedule–it is more powerful instead to probe more deeply on the stories people share with you once you have asked a couple of questions. Remember you must also ask all of the essential demographic information questions but you should save these until the very end. Some tips for conducting the interview: “Tell me the story of how you ….” “Can you paint a picture for me of how…” “Walk me through what happened when…” “Could you tell me a little more about….” “When you said …. what did you mean by that?” “Can you describe a specific instance where you ….?” “What did you think/feel about …? Uploading the interview: As soon as you have completed the interview make sure that you have saved the file to a hard drive and then immediately upload the audio file to a cloud drive (such as G drive Icloud Dropbox or One Drive). You must turn in an electronic copy of the audio recording by submitting a link on Canvas to the file either in Google Drive Icloud or Dropbox by. Your file the file should be named like this: yourlastnameyourfirstname_interviewwithfirstnameofinterviewee. Submit a jpg scan or electronically signed pdf of the release form. You are welcome to share the audio recording with your interviewee as well. ALL INTERVIEWS LESS THAN 20 MINUTES LONG WILL RECEIVE ZERO CREDIT. An interview under 20 minutes long is NOT an intensive interview. You will get points based on how long the interview is. Step 4: Transcribing the interview. TRANSCRIPT DUE FEBRUARY 16 (50 points) IN TWO PLACES—A GOOGLE DRIVE AND AN ASSIGNMENT This involves typing up everything that is said in interview with timecodes roughly every 30 seconds. The point of transcription is to allow researchers to search easily for key ideas and then be able to find them in the audio file based on the timecodes and to use qualitative data analysis software to code the interview. Also it is during the transcribing that you will learn from the mistakes you made during the interview—things you should have asked differently questions that worked or didn’t work things you wish you would have probed about. The transcripts become our data which we will “code” for key themes and patterns. It may be that whatever platform you use generates automated transcripts. If that is the case you will still need to go through them and listen and make corrections. Automated transcription is only about 75% accurate. If the platform you use doesnt do that the easiest way to transcribe is to upload the audio (or vide) recording from a computer to use this free website: http://otranscribe.com/. It will ask you to drag and drop the file and allow you to easily timestamp as well as go faster or slower through the file. The most important thing to remember is to then COPY AND PASTE the full transcript into your word processor because Otranscribe will not save it (I usually open up a Google doc in the tab right next to Otranscribe and then copy and paste as I go). At the top include the pseudonym of the interviewee your own name as interviewer and the date of the interview. Be sure to save as/export as/download as a Word document. Use the following file name: yourlastnameyourfirstname_transcriptofinterviewwithfirstnameofinterviewee. Then you will need to submit it to our Canvas site and to a shared Google drive you will find in the assignment prompt. Your interview transcript will be graded based on its completeness the extent to which you used open-ended questions and the extent to which you elicited stories from your respondent. Step 5: Reflecting on and writing about the interviewing process. DUE FEBRUARY 16 (20 points) Please answer each of the following questions in fully developed paragraphs (at least 150 words each) that are typed. Your written reflection will be graded based on its thoughtfulness and the degree to which you supported your insights with examples. Requirements: 2 someone who is an essential worker (meaning that they face ongoing exposure to COVID-19 in a public facing job) someone who works remotely (meaning that they are able to do their entire job from home) a parent who has at least one child in grades kindergarten through second grade a parent who has at least one child who is in high school You MAY use your personal networks—families churches mentors high school faculty community groups you belong to—if you want. Please do NOT ask De Anza faculty because they get asked for interviews over and over again because of assignments like this. 🙂 In general DO NOT interview someone you are very very close to (such as a sweetheart close sibling or parent). This is because they won’t want to repeat things that they think you know and you will be less likely to ask about things that you already take for granted. NEVER EVER INTERRUPT your interviewee. Wait at least 3-7 seconds after the respondent has finished talking before going on to the next question as well as after you have asked a question. Good follow-up probes are key to a good interview. Questions that ask for concrete descriptions or stories will provide better data than questions that ask for generalizations. I often probe with questions like LISTEN to what your respondent tells you. This is the most important interviewing skill. This means to a certain extent following what your respondent wants to talk about and asking follow-up questions to comments she/he/they have made. Listening will help you think of good follow-up questions to get further detail and a better understanding of what she/he/they have told you. You will get a better interview if you listen and follow-up on what your respondent has said than if you stick to the script of your questions. Follow the thread of one topic with questions until there is nothing else to be said about it before moving on to the next topic. Evaluate yourself as an interviewer. How do you think the interview went? If you could go back and do it again what would you do differently? Support your evaluation with specific examples from the interview. What did you learn about the process of in-depth interviewing as a social research method from this experience? Support your conclusions with specific examples from the interview.

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