This post is in the Presentation category

There is not as much video included in the document as I had originally hoped, although I was aware of the ethical problems that video would raise. The primary reason for this is that several participants did not wish to be clearly identified, and most of the situational video recordings involved several participants. Interviews were less of a problem in this regard, but the value of the data was more closely tied to the words spoken rather than the complete interaction. The video serves differing functions for you as reader and for me as researcher.

Different techniques have been employed to deal with concerns of privacy, and they had some side benefits. One of these is the use of animation. By its nature, such an animation is vastly simplified in terms of non-verbal communication. What appeals to me in presenting the vision in this way however is that very simplicity. It does in fact present an understanding of the interaction that is indicative of my own. It is a distilled interaction, a reduction, an art-i-fact of that moment in time.

In keeping with my intention to provide the reader / viewer with some "way in" to my experience, the animation greatly reduces the information that can be derived visually. Any subtlety of the face is lost, and replaced by a "gross" measure of meaning. In constructing the animation, I have given the faces the over-riding expression of meaning that I have after the analysis process. As indicated in the posts, the non-verbal meaning in these interactions was generally not available to me while within them. On analysis, the gross meaning became apparent, and I was overwhelmed by the sense of a failed interaction. By providing the simplified expression, my intention is to point out the stark contrast between the "real" aspects of the interaction and my part in it at the time.

Emma and Eric

Emma and Eric

Other video excerpts and stills have been treated with an edge trace and poster filter over part of the frame. This technique also allows for the two aspects mentioned above to be dealt with. First it provides a means to partially anonymise the participant. While the disguise is not total, it does reduce the immediate recognition.

Interview with Mary

Interview with Mary - see Relaxation Music

Like the animation, this treatment reduces the degree of recognisable facial expression. This has the effect of presenting a stronger impression of my personal point of view when in conversation or face to face interaction. For me the face is hard to read, in fact it is distracting from the audio content of the message. In the process of analysing the video tapes, I found that I was able to pick up far more of the meaningful content because I was effectively doing a double transcription - firstly for the words, then going back and watching the face and body movement. I was frankly surprised at the breadth, depth and subtlety of the non-verbal language.

Related Posts

  1. Video Complexities: People are much more complex than I thought possible.
  2. Grunts: Revelations on my non-verbal communication skills.
  3. Self Observation: A brief explanation of the position of SSO within the methodology
  4. Eye Contact: On some occasions an unexpected emotional connection occurs, and can be overwhelming.
  5. Colours and Images: The images have been chosen very carefully to enhance the text that they are associated with. They each mean something quite particular to me - they carry "baggage".
  6. Theatrics: The theatre has been a school of meaning-making. Layer on layer of elements to the same end.
  7. Anonymity and Confidentiality: Keeping secrets.