Must be TWO, 6 double spaced pages, with bibliographic information
7 references – from journal/ book on Google scholar
1. Situate the topic and research question
2. Describe the methods used and why they are appropriate to answer the research question (explicitly drawing on the methods literature);
3. Present an analysis of the data produced; and
4. Provide a reflection on the student’s positionality in the research process. Analysis will include reflections on the things that were difficult for you as a proto-researcher and what you wish you understood better.
Project Option 1: Semi-Structured Interview
Conduct a semi-structured interview (at least 30 minutes) with a friend, relative, classmate, or roommate about their residential experience and daily activities as a student in Atlanta. Using Smith and Fox’s Studentification Guide for North America as a starting point, brainstorm key themes; and design an interview script to explore consisting over 5-7 primary questions with associated secondary follow-up questions. The purpose of the interview is to explore the lived experience of students in the city, including (for example):
· Housing histories and the (social, geographic, economic) factors shaping residential decisions;
· Student perceptions of the neighborhoods surrounding campus (Summerhill, Downtown…);
· Satisfaction with housing options and cultural amenities surrounding campus and places of
· Places that are experienced as ‘student’ and ‘non-student’ environments (where students study,
work, socialize, live etc.);
· How socio-demographic characteristics impact the experience of space and place…
You may conduct you interview online or using an online platform like WebEx, Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom. Identify themes in your participant’s responses. Transcribe and code your interview and explain how you identified key themes and narratives from your interview.
Project Option 2: Focus Group
Georgia State University is developing a student housing and spurring development in the neighborhood of Summerhill, adjacent to Center Park Stadium – see: https://georgiastatesignal.com/georgia-states- summerhill-project-is-already-an-overwhelming-success/
Using Smith and Fox’s Studentification Guide for North America as a starting point, design and conduct a focus group with 4 people, lasting at least 45 minutes. Your focus group should explore what students think about the transformation of this development, how they have experienced the neighborhood in the past (if at all), their perception of the planned development, and what they think would be important to prompt an inclusive space for students and non-students. Devise questions/prompts to canvas the focus group’s views. In the write-up, identify the key findings from the discussion, and include your reflections on the process.
You may conduct you interview online or using an online platform like WebEx, Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom. You may also reflect on the strengths and limitations of conducting focus group online.
Project Option 3: Participant Observation Identify a key ‘student space’ in the city. Spend at least one hour as a participant observer and write up your field notes. Select a field site of your choosing in order to understand the spaces and geographies of student life in Atlanta. This can include spaces where they study, live, commute, socialize at night, shop, eat out, or communal spaces in which they spend time around campus.
Develop your observational skills by being attentive to who is there and how people are interacting. What define your site as a ‘student space’. How are social norms (re)produced? Are their tensions between student and non-students? How is social inclusion or exclusion manifested in the social and physical space? Reflect on your role as a participant observer in your chosen setting. Use this information to develop a thick description of your research site, including the social norms, behaviors, and practices necessary to become an ‘insider’. Pay attention to social distancing guidelines.
Project Option 4: Photo Elicitation
Ask a friend to think about the places in the Atlanta area where they feel they most strongly identify as a student. Then ask them to take a series of 15-20 photos (using a camera or smartphone) over a few days that capture these spaces. Encourage them to consider capturing a variety of spaces and places that cover their range of daily activities, including where they study, live, commute, socialize at night, shop, eat out, or communal spaces in which they spend time around campus.
After collecting your photos, sit down with you research participant and interview them with the help of the photos they have taken. While discussing the images, try to grasp their experiences and perceptions of place, and how space relates to their identity and feelings of belonging. This might also include spaces and places where they feel out of place compared to hegemonic student practices or norms. Reflect on the role that the photos played in your interview and how they managed to represent the area in which they were taken; what do they tell you about your participant’s distinct view of the student life in the city?
Project Option 5: A ‘Sense of Place’ Walking Interview
Drawing from Holton and Riley’s 2014 paper on walking interviews, arrange to walk with a friend to two or three locations in the city that they regularly visit as ‘student spaces’. This can include spaces where they study, live, commute, socialize at night, shop, eat out, or communal spaces in which they spend time around campus. Encourage your interviewee to think about a route that moves between campus (classroom, the Library etc.) and non-campus spaces, but keep the routes you take open in order to replicate as much as possible their ‘natural’ everyday journeys. During your ‘walk’ keep a series of questions and theme in mind regarding the significance and perceptions of the spaces you are moving through – prompt your friend to reflect on the environment they are moving through and practice more spontaneous questioning in light on your interviewee’s responses; what influences their everyday spatial routines? How do they feel about these places at different times of the day? Have the places they frequent shifted over they time (months? years?) at the University? What alternative routes or places are rarely visited, and why?