Week 44: 12th- 16th December 2016

In a philosophical conversation with Mo over the weekend – he made me aware of the philosophy of signs. On the basis that this research project is looking into physical traces in the built environment I’ve looked a bit further into it and found the following useful:

Culler, J. (2001). The Pursuit of Signs. Routledge, London and New York.

Foucault, M. (1966). Les Mots et le choses. Paris, Gallimard, p.15

Structuralist and semiotic thinking has been repeatedly labelled ‘antihumanistic’, and Michel Foucault has provided a target for such attacks in maintaining that ‘man is only a recent invention, a figure not yet two centuries old, a simple fold in our knowledge’ which will soon disappear. Michel Foucault, Les Mots et le choses, Paris, Gallimard, 1966, p.15 in P. 36 in Culler J. (2001) The Pursuit of Signs, Routledge, London and New York.

Indeed, we often think of the meaning of an expression as what the subject or speaker ‘has in mind’. But as meaning is explained in terms of systems of signs- systems which the subject does not control- the subject is deprived of his role as a source of meaning. P. 36-37 in Culler J. (2001) The Pursuit of Signs, Routledge, London and New York.

Meanings cannot be imposed unless they are understood, unless the conventions which make possible understanding are already in place. P. 44 in Culler J. (2001) The Pursuit of Signs, Routledge, London and New York.

Jacques Derrida calls the ‘logocentrism’ of Western culture: the rationality which treats meanings as concepts or logical representations that it is the function of signs to express. We speak, for example, of various ways of saying ‘the same thing’ p. 44 in Culler J. (2001) The Pursuit of Signs, Routledge, London and New York.

The pursuit of semiotics leads to an awareness of its limits, to an awareness that signification can never be mastered by a coherent and comprehensive theory, should not be reason for spurning its analytical programs as if there were some more valid or comprehensive perspective on signification. P.47-48. in Culler J. (2001) The Pursuit of Signs, Routledge, London and New York.

The institution of literature involves interpretive practices, techniques for making sense of literary works, which it ought to be possible to describe. Instead of attempting to legislate solutions to interpretive disagreements, one might attempt to analyse the interpretive operations that produce these disagreements- discord which is part of the literary activity of our culture. P. 52 in Culler J. (2001) The Pursuit of Signs, Routledge, London and New York.

–> aegis of semiotics that seeks to identify the conventions and operations by which any signifying practice (literature) produces its observable effect of meaning.

One should seek ways to analyse the work as an objective artefact. P. 53 in Culler J. (2001) The Pursuit of Signs, Routledge, London and New York.

Semiotic program may be better expressed by Karl Popper –> he talks about artifacts

 Why is Lefebvres “Right to the city” today relevant?

  • Back when he wrote about the concept at the end of the 1960’s the western world was dominated by a power imbalance. Government were heavily involved in top-down planning programs, which led to suppression of the option of the masses. Capital through developers rolled out mass housing projects. This neoliberal modernism was critiqued by him.
  • Today the landscape has changed, many government have insufficient funds in order to operate well. The private sector enjoy due to favorable political environments unprecedented power in decision making processes. One may argue we are living in an environment were the capital has gone on steroids- modernism reloaded. Within the city context large scale urban renewal projects being quickly rolled out and meaningful engagement often takes place on a tokenistic level. As a consequence people feel disempowered and overruled. The city vision is not shared resulting in conflicts.
  • I’d like to conclude that Lefebvres concept of “Right to the city” is today even more important than ever before.

 

Refining the play definition and categories

I’ve tried now to verify my classifications of play in relation to the definition by superimposing the findings from the pilot phase.

By doing so I came to the conclusion that not all activities observed are covered by all elements of play in the definition. Although I would classify them as playful as they are in line with Callouis classifications, there must be some level of what must be met and what is an option.

Point of origin

Play is an intrinsic induced activity, that constitutes freedom, based on the acceptance of risk in its temporary transformational nature. It includes attributes such as spontaneity, curiosity, voluntary and creative processes that occur outside of the ordinary. This purposeless activity is necessary to the human identity as an exploratory pursuit of pleasure and comfort outside of social purpose.

New amended version

Play is an voluntary intrinsic induced activity (or with a degree of extrinsic motivation), that constitutes freedom through enjoyment, based on the acceptance of risk in its temporary transformational nature. Associated attributes such as spontaneity, curiosity, creative processes and purposeless can support this activity as it situated outside of the ordinary. This activity is necessary to the human identity as an exploratory pursuit of enjoyment outside of social purpose.

For orientation purpose

Playful interaction (definition in Tieben, R., Sturm, J., Bekker, T., Schouten, B. (2014). Playful persuasion: Designing for ambient playful interactions in public spaces. Journal of Ambient Intelligence and Smart Environments 6, 341-357, DOI 10.3233/AIS-140265, IOS Press.):
Interacting in a playful way in order to elicit explorative, social and enjoyable behaviour. (from Bekker, M.M., Sturm, J., Eggen, J.H. (2010) Designing playful interactions for social interactions and physical play. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 14(5), 285-296.

Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation: Intrinsic motivation refers to doing an activity for the inherent satisfaction of the activity itself, while extrinsic motivation refers to the performing of an activity in order to attain some separable outcome. (from Ryan, R.M., Deci, E.L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist. 55, 68-78.)

Theories such as self-determination theory are helpful in gaining a better understanding of the influences of such types.

Theoretical thought:

The more people play the higher the production function of a space!

Human rights and healthy environments paper (Kruger, T.M., Savage C.E., Newsham, P. (2015). Intergenerational Efforts to Develop a Healthy Environment for Everyone: Sustainability as a Human Rights Issue, The International Journal of Aging and Human Development, Vol 80(1), 27-40, DOI: 10.1177/0091415015591108

by using the framework of human rights to advocate for policies and practices that protect older adults and promote high quality of life in that segment of the population, efforts can and should include attention to the natural environment and sustainability effort. p.29-30.

Morgan and David’s work from 2002 has been referenced as a useful overview on human rights documents. Two articles were identified as relevant to promote quality of life for older adults (article 25.1, article 27.1)

‘Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for health and well-being of himself (sic) and of his (sic) family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or the lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his (sic) control.’ (Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR, 1948, article 25.1)

‘Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits’. (UDHR, 1948, article 27.1)

‘Older adults might have skills that younger generation lack (e.g. gardening).’ p. 36

‘Researchers should develop interventions that target multiple generations for sustainable behavior increases; these interventions should also be investigated using the lens of human rights.’ p. 36

 

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Week 41: 21st- 25th November 2016

After the comments of the assessor’s at the confirmation seminar last week, I took the opportunity to reflect and go through my own comments. Unpacking the session with my supervisors was helpful in order to contexcualise aspects. Valuable were the following:

  • keep narrowing down;
  • revisit research question and my aim as tools to narrow the scope further;
  • stick to my methodology and methods.
  • as it is not about existentialism or discourse analysis rather an observation of a phenomena providing insights into the dynamics and tension of the triad of spaces in light of the the affordance theory form Gibson and Flow. The tension can be made visible through the heuristic device of play explaining transformational change in time space of public urban spaces (streets environments)
  • This research is not traditional phenomenology (Merleau- Ponty) – environmental psychology based on Gibson and Kaplan
  • unpack further the meaning of play in the context of my research
  • justify further why the street (go back to Appleyard)
  • read again Lefebvre in order to explain the context of time when he wrote this and compare to the contemporary environments
  • the concept of “Right to the city” was seen from Andrew as an opportunity to dive further into as a basis to root this tension of space through play.

send email off the HDR waiting for feedback on the confirmation seminar that I can proceed.

Notes from literature work (23 Nov):

Henri Lefebvre “critique of Everyday Life” 1947 (translated 1991)

Since Marx and through the notion of making alienation a key concept in analysing the human situation Lefebvre was the first philosopher who connected philosophy to action. P. x

“Man must be everyday, or he will not be at all” p. xix

Own observation/ reflection

The tension in urban public spaces between the production of space and the regulation accompanied by the consumption of spaces is evident and even more prominent in the contemporary context of humans and the urban condition.

City governments around the world aim for the creation of equitable and just places, as it is supported by the New Urban Agenda. However, the current condition shows inconsistencies and tensions. Urban designers and architects aim to deliver under the promise of vibrancy and vitality quality urban spaces for all. Contemporary urban renewal processes focus strongly on objects in combination with land value capture propositions and increase liveability. Urban vibrancy is increasingly delivered under the paradigm of consumption and productivity. This not just reflects the neoliberal zeitgeist, but also raises questions around alienation and correlation to mental health issues in urban systems. These tensions can be made visual through play as a heuristic device.

Alienation leads to impoverishment, to the ‘despoliation’ of everyday life. However, Lefebvres everyday life is not reduced to inauthenticity of Alltäglichkeit, as in Heidegger or Lukács. P. xxiv

Modernity which has despoiled the everyday life of former times, which never appeared save in its metamorphoses, as in festival, which embodied a genuine ‘auto-critique’ of the everyday; it is modernity which has caused everyday life to degenerate into ‘the everyday’ p. xxvi

Modernity is the movement towards the new, the deployment of technology and rationality (which Lefebvre calls ‘modernism’), but it is also the absence of any real transformation of social relations, and leads from the human towards the inhuman, towards barbarity. P. xxvii

–> play behaviour mobile phone in public space –> transformation of the mind?? Less ‘real’ social interaction –> interactions of the minds –> disconnected from the ‘real’ –> but there is Pokemon Go??

Habermas distinction between System and Lebenswelt informed the work and impacted the debate in the second half of the 20th century in Europe.

Naïve, physically adept but spiritually innocent – Charlie Chaplin

Visually comic moments when Chaplin when he cannot adept create laughter and assure that humor never becomes awkward or embarrassing. Like pleasure, like harmony in music, laughter is stimulated by a series of resolved tensions, in which moments of relaxation are followed by even higher tension. P.10

Strangeness –> alienation

Through deviation through disorientation and strangeness, Chaplin reconciles us on a higher level, with ourselves, with things and with the humanized world of things. P.11

Restricting access to these pressures urban spaces.

“there are plenty of reasons for thinking that descriptions and cross-sections of this kind, through they may well supply  inventories of what exist in space, or even generate a discourse on space, cannot ever give rise to  a knowledge of space. And, without such a knowledge, we are bound to transfer onto the level of mental space – a large portion of the attributes and ‘properties’ of what is actually social space.” p.7

the physical experience in cities occupied by sensory phenomena, including products of the imagination such as projects and projections, symbols and utopias. p.11

space of social practice

focus on dialectic rather codes –> highlighting contents inherent to the forms under consideration. p. 18

25 Nov.

After reading several papers on Lefebvre and the context of his work it became clearer why his work is relevant in the contemporary urban academic debates.

The social space development within the triad of spaces can reflect the state of development of societies. Therefore it serves not just as an instrument for space observation (play) but may explain certain transformation of social conditions in cities. –> concepts that are non instrumental, spatial separated and public.

Conflicts can be made visual through the heuristic device of play. Stevens rightly pointed our that there is to date very little empirical evidence and understanding in the “non-functional” use and design of public space. He references Lennard and Lennard (1984), Dargan and Zeitlin (1990) as well as Borden (2001). Also he indicated that Gehl and Whytes work are mostly space- centred investigating general categories of everyday behaviour.

Stevens draw on observations of a range of cities over a long period. Critique point from him is that urban design foundation is amenity, but this can draw some people away. another issue is that we thrive to figure out how  spatial characteristics  shape people’s experiences and behaviours. Amentity again is being seen as the solution to a desired outcome that share the physical environment. However people understanding, their actions is well understood and fixed.

–> play and the city –> discover of the potential of urban streets.

–> development of an tool or a play ‘lense’ that can be used to make this tension visible and help to find solutions for urban design interventions.

Revised research question:

  • What are the aspects of play that reveal and facilitate change in the urban social spaces?
  • What are the  health co-benefits of play?
  • How can this device be used to inform optimal urban experiences?

Finding a way how to look beyond some of the limits of urban design thinking and practice.

Week 40: 14th- 18th November 2016

After the earthquake I made it back to Canberra.

On my return flight I was able to read the following paper:

Manfredini & Ta (2016) Co-Creative Urbanism: The production of plural evolutionary spatialities throuhg conflicts and complicities between public and private in the streets of Hanoi, Vietnam.

Rehearsal of the ppt- presentation for the 17th November.

Attended the Research Bites Seminar on Cross Culture Studies (notes as followed):

also known as comparable studies

Testing in different cultures if a concept is right

Lead questions in my head:

Is play culturally grounded?

What is culture?

Determine how fine grain someone wants to get (with regards to play culture in each of the units)

 

Individuals should construct the notion of play? Literature –> perhaps include in unstructured interview as a last question to sum up!

 

Hofsted –> research into business culture on the broad scale

identified four categories:

  • Power distance
  • Individualism and collectivism
  • Uncertainty avoidance (risk management)
  • Masculinity and feminity of different cultures

 

Best advice:

  • Acknowledging the limitations
  • Reflexivity and note taking –> on my own thoughts and worries –> snapshots of my perception.
  • issue with survey (huge data sets)
  • A definition is the end result of a battle. In relation to play we are in the middle of a battle field.

Question in relation to arrogance and history of western research (dictated doctrine globally with the nobel price as the ultimate goal). However, knowledge in non written form just as important –> indigenous lived culture for example

Plato originally implied limitations to research already in the process of writing things down. There is something pure lost while doing so.

My thought: also they were informed by their history and political circumstances at the time. Therefore it reinforces the spiral approach to knowledge with windows of opportunities to evolve and preserve aspects that can advance societies. However, by doing so through written language we are loosing some of the essence.

 

 

 

 

Week 20: 27th June – 1 July 2016

More thoughts

In reference to Lefebrve’s Production of Space:

“If reality is taken in the sense of materiality, social reality no longer has reality, nor is the reality.” p. 81

Thought: It may explain the increased level of depression and anxiety in western cultures.

Dwelling is as much a work as it is considered a product. However it remains a part of nature. It is an object intermediate between work and product, between nature and labour,between the realm of symbols and the realm of signs. p.83

The city may be understood as a work instead of a product. Example Venice, Italy.

If work is defined as a unique, original and primordial, as occupying a space yet associated with a particular time, a time of maturity between rise and decline –> under these circumstances Venice can be understood as a work.p. 73

What if one replaces the term/ word “work” with “play”. This would translate in relation to work in the context of unique act of creation rather production.

If play is defined as a unique, original and primordial, as occupying a space yet associated with a particular time, a time of maturity between rise and decline. –> spaces in cities can be understood as play spaces.

Case study rational

Based on Yin and after many ours of reflection I am testing  a single case study approach (phenomena play) and apply this on several units (precincts in cities). This will allow me to test certain methods and based on success rate to deploy them in an improved manner on other units.

However, while thinking about the approach further there is a part of me who still favours the multiple case study approach. Yin refers to the circumstances that 6-8 case studies are sufficient to prove a phenomenological point, but my project will investigate maximum 4 cases.

Multiple case approach:

  • Each on is a whole study in itself (lends itself to the book -> constructing a narrative behind the context)
  • Weakness might be that this distracts too much from the phenomena
  • It may be impossible to replicate environmental condition for play as their are time temporal and unique pending on outdoor condition.
  • analytical conclusions easier
  • if you do not seek direct replication it is good because of contrasting situation

general critique on single case studies:

  • fear about the uniqueness –> criticism turn into skepticism about the ability to undertake empirical work
  • requires careful investigation of the potential case to minimise the chances of misrepresentation and to maximise the access needed to collect the case study evidence.

critical test of a significant theory.

  • Revelatory case: investigator has an opportunity to observe and analyse a phenomenon previously inaccessible to the social science, Whytes “Street Corner Society” is an example.
  • Representative or typical case: capturing of circumstances or conditions of an everyday lay concept. Informative about experiences.

holistic case study problem: nature of the entire case study may shift, during the course of study. –> would need to make sure that the research questions still apply.

Conclusion

If I would do a single case study, then a embedded unit of analysis would be better. I would have to make sure that the single case- design (play) is eminently justifiable under certain conditions:

does it represents a testing of a theory? Unlikely.

is it a rare or unique circumstance? or representative or typical case? or where the case serves a revelatory case? In my case revelatory case.

Definition of the unit of analysis particular important: in my case precincts in cities (urban morphologies I am looking at). In can also include subunits.

  • Single revelatory case (play)
  • units (city/urban precinct)
  • subunits (urban tissues: public space, open space, park, street, edge)

Yin suggests that often too much attention goes into the subunits and the larger, holistic aspects of the case being ignored.

Multiple case studies: 2 or 3 cases can be undertaken on the basis of replication, but how clear can I define the parameters for replication (every city, every urban environment is unique)

The theoretical framework is particular important as it needs to state the condition under which a particular phenomenon (play) is likely to be found. –>  multiple case study might be better for comparison. Deployment of the same logic in every case.

Pilot case study -> worthwhile  in order to refine data collection plan with respect to content and procedure.

Selection criteria: convenience, access, geographical proximity

single case study embedded approach (revelatory)

image.jpg

or

multiple case study embedded  approach

image.jpg

Unit of analysis:

  • Definition very important. Unit would be a certain city and the subunits (open space, public space, parks, streets, edges)
  • The unit of analysis can be compared.

I will need to determine the scope of data collection (see methodology), how I distinguish data about the case (play) from external data (context–> cities, health and well-being in general).

Spatial, temporal and other concrete boundaries need to be defined as key to defining my case (play).

Revisiting the research question

Validation after amendments to case study approach and in order to be clearer, narrower  and less vague.

Led research question

Original: Why does play in cities matter?

New:

  • Why do people play in cities?
  • Why should cities be designed for play?
  • Why do people prefer certain environments for play in the cities?

Answering research questions (White, 2009, p.114 ff.)

data –> warrant –> conclusion (Gorard, 2002)

The conclusion needs to be linked to the evidence via the warrant. The warrant is a logical argument demonstrating why the conclusions follow from my evidence.

Claims need to be stated clear and precise.

Prepare to defend claims against alternative interpretation.

Warrant can be a principle

E.g. if a greater number of play incidents are observed at a particular point in time compared to another point in time, this may constitutes a rise or frequency in playful behaviour.

play at time A: 6

play at time B: 15

Warrant principle

claim: play activity increased

 

Case study definitions & Selection criteria

Case

The case will be the phenomena of play, in the context of human playful behaviour.  The definition of play:

Play is an intrinsic induced activity, that constitutes freedom, based on the acceptance of risk in its temporary transformational nature. It includes attributes such as spontaneity, curiosity, voluntary and creative processes that occur outside of the ordinary. This purposeless activity is necessary to the human identity as an exploratory pursuit of pleasure and comfort outside of social purpose.

Unit

Precincts in mid- size cities (see results week 19 blog).

Subunit

Public place:

 

Open space:

Open space refers to land that has been consciously or unconsciously reserved for the purpose of either formal or informal activity such as sport and recreation, preservation of natural environments, provision of green space and/or urban storm water management.

Park:

Street:

Why these four categories?

Week 12: 02nd May- 06 MAy 2016

(Source and copyright: Wanderlust 73)

 

“Shut up and write” session with Tim on Monday. -> grant application assignment submitted.

In order to view the grant application assignment please press here

 

DAAD grant session

  • Mission that Germany has many international linkages
  • enable research cooperation
  • greater collaboration around ECR’s (just in Aus?)
  • Looking for project for mutual advantage (skill and knowledge exchange on mutual pursuit)
  • clarity about one joined project –> important to come through
  • value and quality outcomes / is it feasible (internal capacity –> Design project)
  • team has to have good track record (impact,engagement, policy and publications)
  • strong level of involvement of PhD
  • bonus for knowledge transfer and lasting industry outcomes
  • builds on practitioners and policy makers –> advantage
  • collaborative product that can inform strategies in real life (policy ) is a big advantage

–> must have a research outcome

If you show less than five years (career interruption etc.)

teaching and research  must have a valid contract for the entire  funding period. Paul need to have a contract with us (adjunct)

Application closes on the 17 June 2016.

Get to know outcomes by November 2016.

10.000 dollar is our cab for UC (not 12.500)

 

Literature

Bachelard, G. (1958) The poetic of space.

Jean Hyppolite on the structure of denegation in the context of the myth of outside and inside: “you feel significance of this myth of outside and inside in alienation, which is founded on these two terms. Beyond what is expressed in their formal opposition lie alienation and hostility between the two.”

Words such as “this side” and “beyond” are faint repitions of the dialectic of inside and outside. –> we seek to determine being and by doing so we transcend all situations. dialectical words such “here” and  “there” are absolutism adverbs of place and therefore endow with unsupervised powers of ontological determination.p.212

Jean Hyppolite, spoken commentary on the Verneinung (negation) of Freud in La Psychanalyse, No. 1, 1956, p. 35 –> in Bachelard, G. (1958) The poetic of space. p. 212

Mais au-dedans, plus de frontières! (But within, no more boundaries) Jean Hyppolite in Bachelard (1958) p.214

Space is nothing but a horrible “outside-inside” –> horrible because it is radical. However if we are spiritually drifting the state of being makes space time ambiguous. In this space there is no geometrical reference point. –> Henri Michaux

Bachelard concludes that with space images, we are in a region where reduction is easy, a commonplace.

Benefit of phenomenology: it makes it a principle to examine and test the psychological being of an image, before any reduction is undertaken. (Bachelard (1958) p.219)

Rilke wrote in a letter to Clara Rilke: “Works of art always spring from those who have faced the danger, gone to the very end of an experience, to the point beyond which no human being can go. The further one dares to go, the more decent, the more personal, the more unique a life becomes.” (Bachelard (1958) p.220) Further he adds: “This  sort of derangement, which is peculiar to us, must go into our works.”

Van Gogh wrote: “Life is probably round.”, Jöe Bousquet wrote: “He had been told that life was beautiful. No! Life is round. Karl Jesper wrote in (Von der Wahrheit, p. 50) “Jedes Dasein scheint in sich rund.” –> Bachelard observes that this roundness cannot appear in its direct truth otherwise than in the purest sort of phenomenological meditation. (Bachelard (1958) p.233)

Butler, C. (2012) Henri Lefebvre: Spatial politics, everyday life and the right to the city. GlassHouse book

Lefebvre on State power and the politics of space:

“The state uses space in such a way that it ensures its control of places, its strict hierarchy, the homogeneity of the whole, and the segregation of the parts. It is thus an administeratively controlled and even policed space.” (1979, p.288 and 2009, p. 188)

Post war planning rationality can be understood to an aesthetic formalisation that works best under the deployment of logic of visualisation. This limitation from a birds eye perspective lacks depth of social dimension. Brandon Gleeson as well as Nicholas Low  consider this as no more than a representation of images and visions. Gleeson, B. and Low, N. (2000) Australian Urban Planning: New Challenges, New Agendas, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, pp 190-191)

Yin (2009) Case study research- Design and Methods. 4th edition, ISBN 978-1-4129-6099-1

When to use case study? (p.13)

  • focus on the contemporary environment (how and why questions)
  • me as the investigator have little or no control.

Use of case study as a tool of inquiry:

  • copes with technical distinctive situation in which there will be many more variables of interest than data points, and as one result
  • relies on multiple sources of evidence, with data needing to converge in a triangulating fashion, and as another result.
  • benefits form the prior development of theoretical propositions to guide data collection and analysis. (p. 18)

Multiple case studies in a illustrative manner

Design approach based on literature review and findings:

Case study design approach

After loosing all my meta data input after browser update today -I’ve took now picture of the relevant tables that informed the development of the case study design approach.

img_0416-1img_0417-2img_0419-1img_0420-1img_0421-1img_0422-1

 

 

 

 

 

Week 10: 18th-22nd April

Monday:

work on draft grant proposal –> next meeting on Thursday to discuss key points
reading and analysis of four key papers for seminar presentation in week 11:

  • Trell E.-M., Hoven B.v. (2010) Making sense of place: exploring creative and (inter)active research methods with young people. Fennia 188:1, pp. 91-104. Helsinki. ISSN 0015-0010.
  • Ryan R.L. (2011) The social landscape of planning: Integrating social and perceptual research with spatial planning information. Landscape and Urban Planning, 100, pp. 361-363.
  • Barron, J. (2016) Community gardening: cultivating subjectivities, space, and justice, Local Environment, DOI: 10.1080/13549839.2016.1169518
  • Jackson, L.E. (2003) The relationship of urban design to human health and condition. Landscape and Urban Planning, 64, pp.191-200.

Tuesday:  

Preparation of ppt. for next week 30 min presentation.

Wednesday:

Meeting with Andrew to discuss grant application

Research, review and critical knowledge construction around approaches to my research endeavour:

  • Methods: body of techniques to investigate the phenomena.
    1. Questions
    2. Hypothesis
    3. Prediction
    4. Testing (observation),
    5. Analysis

 Research Strategy (source: Blaikie, 2007, Approaches to social enquiry)

  • Inductive strategy –> to answer a what question!
  • Deductive research –> only for why questions!
  • Retroductive strategy –> to answer a why question!
  • Abductive strategy –> to answer why and what question!

Folie1

Ontology: What is the nature of social reality?

Idealist: deny of doubt the existence of objects, independent of the mind.

Atheistic idealist: radical, denies the existence or relevance of external world.

Agnostic idealist: existence of the real world, but has no relevance as there is the existence of pure consciousness

Perspective idealist: external world exists, regards differing perspectives about the world

Constrained idealist: Perspective based on constrains and construction of social realities, acceptance of external reality

Subtle realist: believe in an external reality (ethnographers tend to use them),

Shallow realist & Depth realist: reality is a product of interpretation of social actors, and changes putting interpretation into practice.

Depth realist: three levels: empirical (experience through senses), actual (is someone observing it or not), real (processes that generate events). explain observable phenomena with reference to underlying structure and mechanism

Cautious realist: independent external reality, but people cannot perceive it accurately.

Conceptual realist: reality external of mind, but it can be known based on thought and reason. –> collective mind/ conciousness

Epistemology: How can social reality be known?

Empiricism (associated with shallow realist or idealism):  knowledge is produced by using senses, knowledge from observation objectively, external observer trying to understand an object by eliminating ‘inaccuracy’ –> observation come from theory. Knowledge is true cause it reflects what is out there. Language is best description of external reality. Rely on observation and experiments.

Rationalism (conceptual realist): evidence of an unobservable reality, as consequence on people’s lives, processes and structures of the mind. Use of logic, mathematics to judge knowledge.

Falsificationism (cautious realist): hypothetico-deductive method – search for truth can just be done by eliminating the false truth. Theories are invented come from observation. Testing of theories in order to reject false theories and not the development of a theory.

Neo-realism (depth realist): begin with process, seeking underlying reality through structure or mechanism.

Constructionism (idealist): knowledge is neither discovered from external reality nor produced by reason independently from reality. –> outcome of making sense of the world with other people.

Social constructionism: collective generation and transmission of meaning, product of meaning-giving activities of human beings as part of everyday life. Cultures have different constructions.

Conventionalism: knowledge generation is pragmatically to overcome a problem à theories are convenient tools to explain the world.

 

Theoretical position: the philosophical attempt to understand the social world and its conduct.

Positivism (empiricism): general worldview, based on naturalism. Reality, consisting of discrete events that can be observed by our senses. There is order and regularity across time and space.

Critical rationalism (cautious realist/ falsificationism): the natural and social science differ from content, but not in the logic behind methods.

Classical hermeneutics: Schleiermacher – study of understanding itself, dialogue between historical periods –> hermeneutic circle (community of meaning shared by author and reader) –> construct a shared understanding.

Dilthey – study based on method of understanding (verstehen) to grasp the subjective consciousness of participants, study of natural phenomena should seek causal explanation.

Phenomenology: Husserl- underlying consciousness to grasp true meaning; no interest in the real world –> everyday life accept the world as is

Heidegger- understanding the mode of being rather knowledge –> understanding is temporal, humans cannot step outside of history and social world

Interpretivism: study of social phenomena requires an understanding of the social world that people constructed and keep reproducing. Social worlds are already interpreted before social scientist arrive – test a hypothesis. Weber – meaningful interpretation as plausible hypothesis that needs to be tested. Schütz- how understanding is not subjective as it aims to discover what social actors mean; Language just a means; insider perspective

Critical theory: interest is fundamental; human social existence is seen to be based on power, self-reflection and emancipatory interest. – Habermas; natural science is bound to observation, but social science can use communication.

Ethnomethodology: includes concepts such: accounts, accountable, reflexivity, glossing practice, indexicality –> rational study of the ways ordinary members of society achieve and maintain a sense of order in their everyday practical activities.

Social realism: dominates contemporary philosophy of science and replaces positivism and critical rationalism; reality consists not only consists of events that can be experienced, but includes events that occur, whether experienced or not –> structures and mechanisms produce these events. But there is disagreement regading the state of being of social structures (structuralist and constructionist).

Contemporary hermeneutic: third stage of hermeneutic: concern not with individuals subjective meaning, but with the meaning of the reader. –> Dadamer

Structuration Theory (idealist/ aspects of subtle realist): adopted constructionism; an attempt to reconstruct a basic premises of social analysis, particular based on the state of being, –> Giddens

Feminism: rejects traditional norm and practice,

 

Methodology: theoretical analysis of the body of methods and principles associated with a branch of knowledge

Heuristic inqury: inquiry that brings to the fore the personal experience and insights of the researcher. Heuristics emphasizes connectedness and relationship.

Action research: either research initiated to solve an immediate problem or a reflective process of progressive problem solving led by individuals working with others in teams or as part of a “community of practice” to improve the way they address issues and solve problems.

Discourse analysis (DA): or discourse studies, is a general term for a number of approaches to analyze written, vocal, or sign language use

Grounded theory: involving the construction of theory through the analysis of data. Likely to begin with a question, or even just with the collection of qualitative data, As researchers review the data collected, repeated ideas, concepts or elements become apparent, and are tagged with codes, which have been extracted from the data. As more data are collected, and as data are re-reviewed, codes can be grouped into concepts, and then into categories. These categories may become the basis for new theory.

Phenomenological research: phenomenology encourages more detachment in analysing experience, describes a phenomena of consciousness and show how its constituted. –> brings to the fore the personal experience and insights of the researcher. With regard to some phenomenon of interest, the inquirer asks, “What is my experience of this phenomenon and the essential experience of others

 Conclusion (my research stand)

Ontological

Constrained idealist: Perspective based on constrains and construction of social realities, acceptance of external reality

or

Cautious realist: independent external reality, but people cannot perceive it accurately.

Epistemological

Constructionism (idealist): knowledge is neither discovered from external reality nor produced by reason independently from reality. –> outcome of making sense of the world with other people.

or

Social constructionism: collective generation and transmission of meaning, product of meaning-giving activities of human beings as part of everyday life. Cultures have different constructions.

Theoretical position

Interpretivism: study of social phenomena requires an understanding of the social world that people constructed and keep reproducing. Social worlds are already interpreted before social scientist arrive – test a hypothesis. Weber – meaningful interpretation as plausible hypothesis that needs to be tested. Schütz- how understanding is not subjective as it aims to discover what social actors mean; Language just a means; insider perspective

and/or

Contemporary hermeneutic: third stage of hermeneutic: concern not with individuals subjective meaning, but with the meaning of the reader. –> Dadamer

and/or

Post-modernism: rejection of grand theories, rejection of absolute truth, knowledge is a social construct, and negotiated through dialog, result there are many truths, language is no longer a mirror of reality, centrality of discourse, the person is seen as a collection of separate identities, rather than individuals, adopts cultural relativism as all social constructions are valid.

Methodology

Phenomenology: Husserl- underlying consciousness to grasp true meaning; no interest in the real world –> everyday life accept the world as is (seeing, hearing, tasting) from a first had observation.

Heidegger- understanding the mode of being rather knowledge –> understanding is temporal, humans cannot step outside of history and social world

Although I doubt that there is a universal consciousness, rather than a shared consciousness based on a collection of identities.

or

Discourse analysis (DA): or discourse studies, is a general term for a number of approaches to analyze written, vocal, or sign language use

and/or

Grounded theory: involving the construction of theory through the analysis of data. Likely to begin with a question, or even just with the collection of qualitative data, As researchers review the data collected, repeated ideas, concepts or elements become apparent, and are tagged with codes, which have been extracted from the data. As more data are collected, and as data are re-reviewed, codes can be grouped into concepts, and then into categories. These categories may become the basis for new theory.

Week 9: 11th-15th April 2016

Over the weekend I have been able to engage in several meaningful debates informing my philosophical stand regarding my research topic. Most interestingly I came to the conclusion/ actualisation that language in any form is limited in capturing feelings and thoughts. Even more though the written word may last it may never be able to document and capture the full sensory experience of a certain space at a certain time. In order to provide the highest level of validation mixed methods are required to generate a comprehensive narrative of an experience. Therefore constructed reality must be based on methods that capture as many stimulus at a certain time. The interpretation of perceived truth/reality can is always limited as long as have not found a way to capture experiences before they form words of any language. Strong narratives can generate an impact beyond the spoken word and leave a lasting impression. Therefore they contain the highest chance of  opportunity to alter perception and therefore change the environment around us.

Throughout today I have been working on my proposal in a cyclic/ spiral manner, adding information in different section, revisiting concepts and altering sections according to emerging thoughts.

Note: I am also finding myself looking back into my earlier post revisiting ideas and reflecting on previous established questions in light of emerging thought patterns.

 

Work with GIS Mapping in order to create a narrative around a story or case study:

Seminar content: https://github.com/wragge/teaching/blob/master/modules/Making%20simple%20maps.md

Work with Cartodb: https://cartodb.com

Direct access to me: https://greghmews.cartodb.com/me
Map Box:  is good for basic mapping

Exercise Playgrounds in the ACT:

Philosophical conflict

I believe that as long as we have not reached a higher form of collective consciousness social research will fail to find an objective truth. Based on my earlier thoughts that most of our knowledge is routed, replicated and generated through language (including writing)- language is a limited tool in order to generate meaning evolving around truth. So far we have been caught in a spiral that rotates around an elusive vision of truth. If there would be one truth out there, we must first evolve beyond- individually as well as a collective. Only by working with our five senses we will be always limited to understand the connection between objects and subjects. If we reach a higher level of being (connection) or consciousness that breaks the barrier between object and subject we may get closer to a truth. Sadly there are no research methods out there that offer a solution from a social research perspective just yet. Therefore I choose to work with an constructivist epistemological approach that takes advantage of the hermeneutic spiral in order to reveal correlation and narratives in this interdependent world.

The only way to reach the higher level of consciousness is through detachment of attachment, senses and clearance of thought- similar to the buddhist approach.

Development of research approach/ design

Design structure download as pdf here