12th February 2013

Rather than produce a typology of conceptions of aspirations, as I did with conceptions of Wythenshawe, I’ve decided I will outline each young person’s individual conception of their aspirations. This is for two reasons:

  1. My thesis is ultimately about aspirations, and so I want my discussion of the ways in which young people talk about their aspirations to be as detailed and rich as possible; I want to minimise data reduction in this discussion by adopting more of a case study approach than a typology approach. It will still be phenomenographic analysis as I’m still in the business of identifying conceptions; I just won’t be aiming to categorise these conceptions into a typology.
  2. The way in which young people understand and speak about their aspirations in my interview data is less easy to map onto a typology; having coded and sifted through my interviews, a clear typology of conceptions of aspirations has not ’emerged’ in the same way as with conceptions of Wythenshawe.

Although I will not produce a typology of conceptions of aspirations, I will, nonetheless, describe each individual case with reference to a set number of overarching themes which feature in all of the interviews. So a common set of themes will be used to describe the way in which each young person talks about their aspirations, but the way in which these themes are addressed in each interview will be explored open-endedly rather than being mapped onto a typology. In order to describe the conception of aspirations present in each interview, I will consider:

  1. The content of the aspiration: what job/s do they want to do in the future?
  2. Are their aspirations based on material or immaterial considerations?
  3. Do they talk about their aspirations in specific or general terms?
  4. How do they talk about the role of structure and agency in forming their aspirations?

Consideration of themes 2, 3 and 4 will form the basis of the phenomenographic analysis.

2 thoughts on “12th February 2013

  1. Ditto.
    Remember too that your work that lead you to reason 2. above can form part of your write-up, i.e. that a phenomenographic typology of aspirations didn’t work out too well, so you went for a looser and more flexible set of themes.

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