Conducting Ethnographic Research in Low Literate, Economically Weak Underserved Spaces

An Introduction to Iconic Legisigns-Guided Interviewing (ILGI)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article introduces a methodology, “Iconic Legisigns-Guided Interviewing,” which aims at understanding and addressing communicative, cultural, and contextual gaps at the margins that have historically muted underserved populations. Grounded in the theories of visual and sensory research, this new method aims at overcoming the limitations of technology-dependent video-/photograph-elicitation research in geographically isolated regions and seeks to create an open and enabling dialogic environment for illiterate (and low-literate) politicoeconomically marginalized people. This method was developed with active participation of low-literate community members and iteratively tested in underserved spaces of rural Bengal. In this approach, organically cocreated images, more specifically iconic legisigns, were employed as prompts to make interview processes focused and inclusive and to complement conventional semistructured in-depth interviewing. This local-centric method helps research participants to cocreate knowledge, decide discussion pointers, and come up with respondent-generated questions/probes and also seeks to ensure inclusivity and discursive control of participants over the research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Methods
Volume18
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 7 2019

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video
participation
methodology
interview
community

Keywords

  • ethnography
  • iconic legisigns
  • underserved
  • visual
  • voices from the margins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Cite this

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title = "Conducting Ethnographic Research in Low Literate, Economically Weak Underserved Spaces: An Introduction to Iconic Legisigns-Guided Interviewing (ILGI)",
abstract = "This article introduces a methodology, “Iconic Legisigns-Guided Interviewing,” which aims at understanding and addressing communicative, cultural, and contextual gaps at the margins that have historically muted underserved populations. Grounded in the theories of visual and sensory research, this new method aims at overcoming the limitations of technology-dependent video-/photograph-elicitation research in geographically isolated regions and seeks to create an open and enabling dialogic environment for illiterate (and low-literate) politicoeconomically marginalized people. This method was developed with active participation of low-literate community members and iteratively tested in underserved spaces of rural Bengal. In this approach, organically cocreated images, more specifically iconic legisigns, were employed as prompts to make interview processes focused and inclusive and to complement conventional semistructured in-depth interviewing. This local-centric method helps research participants to cocreate knowledge, decide discussion pointers, and come up with respondent-generated questions/probes and also seeks to ensure inclusivity and discursive control of participants over the research.",
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