Field Research, Action Research, and Program Evaluation
According to Stangor (2015), the first step to systematic coding is to decide what to observe. Systematic observation entails specifying the words one wants to make about people and specific places and times ahead of time. Being particular about the behaviors of interest is said to help focus the observer’s attention on the particular behaviors and lessen the masses of data that one might collect if they recorded everything they observed (Stangor, 2015). In the field notes, I focused on keeping the impact of social media on the body image and dissatisfaction of young adults. An outward observation is not enough to tell this impact. Therefore, I made a set of questions to help determine how individuals felt about their body satisfaction after a certain amount of exposure to social media platforms like Facebook.
The second step in systematic coding is to record the observations (Stangor, 2015). Determining the frequency with which specific themes and words occur was one of the primary ways to assess the impact of social media use on body dissatisfaction among young adult women. In addition, this also meant recording the duration of time that these individuals spent on various social media platforms. Self-reporting was considered a more straightforward method of obtaining this information, given the vast number of participants expected in the study. However, problems with biasedness would be expected from self-reporting. Some of the recurring themes in the field notes include social media, body dissatisfaction, eating disorders, and low self-esteem. The familiar words linked to these themes include females, adolescents, and teens, beautiful, slim, fat, and unhappy.
Consequently, the potential relationship that can be extrapolated from these themes is that many women, particularly teens, and adolescents, are negatively affected by prolonged exposure to social media platforms. Most of these populations tend to attach their sense of identity and worth to social media platforms, and comparison with their peers on beauty standards causes them to feel dissatisfied with their bodies. This is particularly true for individuals who spend a long time on social media platforms, viewing and uploading other people’s photos, and waiting to validate their attractiveness based on the number of likes and positive comments they obtain for such images.
The last step to systematic coding is to choose the sampling strategies. According to Stangor (2015), among the significant obstacles experienced in coding an ongoing behavior is that there is just too much of it. Therefore, to lessen the amount of data that a researcher needs to record, it is recommended that one should use event sampling, where the researcher focuses on particular behaviors that are theoretically linked to social comparison. Next, individual pieces should be considered, where only a specific participant is randomly selected and observed. Lastly, time sampling is done, focusing on one participant for some time before moving to the next. This study showed that prolonged exposure to social media platforms positively linked to body dissatisfaction among young adult women below 30. Peer comparison was considered the primary cause for this dissatisfaction, mainly when one would unfairly compare themselves against beauty standards, commonly defined as thin and attractive. This would cause negative feelings about one’s own body and result in cases of eating disorders, anxiety and depression, and excessive workout regimes that only lessened the well-being, quality of life, and life satisfaction of participants.
Stangor, C. (2015). Research methods for the behavioral sciences (5th ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.
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Apply a grounded theory approach to the qualitative analysis of your field notes. Apply the three-step coding process we covered earlier in the module to your field notes to identify any existing patterns. In addition, you will be submitting your completed Field Notes/journal.
In your short write-up, be sure to include the following:
- Recurring themes identified.
- Keywords, phrases, and sentences fall within the articles.
- Since you do not have a specific research question or theoretical foundation to guide your analysis, identify any potential relationships you find.
- Write up a short narrative of your findings. Be sure to include any patterns you may have found.
Your qualitative analysis should be 1-2 pages, not including your completed Field Notes/journal, which you must upload as a separate document for this assignment.
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