3. research methods that have been used while

3. Introduction:

My area of research is a combination of three major topics: Migration; Social Networks, and
Emotions. In other words, I want to see
how migrants (especially from Indian sub-continent in Saskatoon) talk about
their post settlement emotion and how
they portray their lives on Facebook, and if there are any discrepancies
between what they portray and their actual life ? Hence, I try to research  “Emotion” at two levels: actual emotion and
portrayed emotion.

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 In my answer, I
will divide in few parts, I will begin by discussing the existing
research methods that have been used
while studying Migration and Emotion . Then, I
will try to present the theoretical backbone behind my research (Goffman’s Dramaturgy). Followed by this, I will cite some of the recent works done in
these fields and the methods they used. Finally, I will discuss the methods I want to use (mixed) Photo analysis and
Sentiment analysis and why I chose from these methods.  I will
borrow methodologies used by Knudson, Sarkar, and Ray (2016) and from another
working paper Sarkar, Knudson Ray.

 

Research
Methodologies in Migration and Emotion. 

Migration studies encompass broad areas such as
Transnationalism, home-making gendered practices, migration and employment market. Majority of the
researchers have used qualitative and/or
quantitative methods to answer their research questions. In qualitative research,
researcher have used face-to-face
in-depth interview, survey questions, and ethnography. It is believed that in-depth interview gives more
insight about the respondents than survey
questionnaire. For instance, DeSipio and colleagues (2007) trace immigrants
stories. In the second chapter titled,
“Of Puzzles and Serendipity: Doing Cross-National, Mixed Method Immigration”, they presented the case of a Vietnamese citizens, who had now applied for
her Canadian citizenship. The researchers felt that in this case in-depth interview gave them a major
advantage over the survey questionnaire as the researcher could investigate
more into the feeling state of the respondent. The researcher reports that
qualitative interview, gave him enough information 
about the feeling and emotions regarding her migration process. She spoke about the discrimination that she faced
upon arrival in the labor market, and she spoke about her journey of taking class, and finally becoming a successful entrepreneur.
She also expressed her happiness on becoming a Canadian citizen, as she loved
the country, but at the same time she maintained that she was an extremely proud
Vietnamese—her emotion of maintaining dual
identity (DeSipio, 2007). Similarly, Kara Somerville (2010; 2013) in her
in-depth analysis of Indian immigrants in Toronto researched Transnational
homemaking practices and immigrants in the job market. For these studies, she
collected data the qualitative data through in-depth interviews of the Indian
respondents. And, hence, her study
presents more detailed and one-on-one account of the respondents and their
migratory experiences.  In the document
titled, “Concepts and methods in
Migration”, Schittenhelm (2007) highlights the advantages of qualitative
methods over the standardized inquires methods. He adds that  in migration research,
qualitative methods, gives the researcher enough scope to investigate the
concepts slowly and researchers can redefine the concepts while carrying out
the research. Sarkar and Gagne (2016) used 
Blumer’s (1954) sensitizing concept to qualitative analyze Bollywood
films.  In
this technique, researchers go to the field with their prior knowledge as an
outline  and build a conceptual framework
that guides them of the themes that could emerge from their field work, but
they also keep an open mind to the new themes that may arise while conducting
the research (Ryan and Bernard, 2003). 
Thus, American sociologist, who contrasted
sensitizing concept with definitive concepts, defined sensitizing concepts as a
device that interprets and marks the starting point for a qualitative study
(Glaser 1978; Padgett 2004).  However,
standardized inquires, which have definitive set
of concepts often presents a wider range
of more data. The quantitative analysis in migration has also been used. Quantitative analysis has a wider range of data, unlike the qualitative data, but there is no
interaction between the researcher and their respondents. Hence, for instance, a researcher quantitatively
analysing deskilling of labor who enter Canada based on point system may be
able to present a macro-picture and exact numerical value of the individuals
who are undergoing deskilling  (for e.g
Hira-Friesen, 2015), but unlike the qualitative researcher (for e.g. Somerville
and Walsworth, 2010), who conducts
an in-depth interview, they will be unable to  give the biographical account for feeling
state or the labor market experience of the immigrants. This is not to say one form of research is
superior to other both these researches contribute to the macro and the
micro level of understanding of the concept, but both these methods have their own drawback. For instance, Schittenhelm (2007) 
the study of feeling and beliefs in quantitative studies loses its richness while trying to report
people’ emotions. Hence, after familiarizing myself
with the advantages and disadvantages of both these methods, I would employ sentiment analysis along with in-depth
interview to analyze my data.  According to
Knudson, Sarkar, and Ray (2016),  in their, “Connecting Data
Science and Qualitative Interview Insights through Sentiment Analysis to Assess
Migrants’ Emotion States Post-Settlement” report
that while the large-scale survey research is beneficial
considering that it can produce data on vast and statistically representative
populations and can be executed conveniently at a lower cost than other
research designs involving large-scale interaction with respondents, and is
higher in reliability than other social science research methods (namely
qualitative approaches such as interviews). It also has significant drawbacks. According to Knudson et al., (2016)
this consists of its overall
superficiality and lack of contextualization when seeking information or
opinions, and its tendency not to scrutinize respondents for more detailed
justification or implication behind responses to typically straightforward
questions. Survey research’s
disadvantages thus contribute to its lower validity as compared to qualitative
interpretive approaches (Babbie & Benaquisto, 2014).  Further, the execution of
large-scale surveys can be arduous and resource-intensive to coordinate—even if
done online (Osimo & Mureddu, 2012)

Considering surveys concentrating on short
question-and-response exchanges unlike open-ended and more natural narration of
personal narratives or feelings, another
shortcoming lies in their lack of texture when analyzing emotions or
“feeling states” as compared to qualitative research methods.  For example, Wave 6 of the World Values
Survey (2010-2014) gauges self-reported happiness across various nations through a closed-ended survey question
offering the following response categories: Very happy; Rather happy; Not very
happy; Not at all happy; No answer (“World Values Survey, 2016). World Values
Survey Wave 6: 2010-2014.,” n.d.).

Usage of social media and social network sites
for communication purpose is nothing new (Mc
Gregor and Siegel, 2014). In their study, Elaine McGregor and Melissa Siegel
(2014) found out that how the use of social media facilitates migration in a
negative manner (human trafficking) and in a positive manner (networks). Even
though the duo claim to be first scholars in the field to review the area
systematically, they did not address the questions such as how migrants use
social media to portrary their lifestyle and emotion. My study seeks to address
that.  One of the seminal papers in the
field Hogan (2010) discusess how individuals presents themselves differently of
different social networking sites. For instance, an individual in most cases
would not present themselves differently on a dating website and a professional
job website. Taking this as a basic premise of my study, I situate it in
Goffaman’s Dramaturgy and Impression managnemet.  

 

 

Goffman’s Dramaturgy and Impression management:

Goffman is  famous for his social theory symbolic
interaction. His work “The Presentation
of Self in Everyday Life” (1959) discusses his concepts of dramaturgy and
impression management, will form the theoretical backbone of my research.

Goffman studied how humans presented an image of
themselves in front of the others. This image is motivated in a way, which is an  individual’s
 idea
of  how others wish to see them in
face-to-face interaction (Solomon et al.,
2013).  For Goffman, impression
management is a process where actors use their “expressiveness” to create
“impressions” on their “audience” because the audience
constantly decodes these expressions (Smith, 2006). This theory proposes that people are actors playing roles,  trying to deliver as convincing role
performances as possible, and using the social scenario to their advantage to
express their characters and social selves in a manner that will enable them to
leave a positive impression on their audience (Smith, 2006). Thus,
fear of embarrassment is the  motivational driver of Goffman’s impression
management (Smith, 2006).

Goffman
(1959) posits that actors develop a ‘front’—it is the image that they desire to
project in front of their ‘audience,’ by
restraining their expressiveness. Goffman (1967) explains the impression
management in theatrical terms, here ‘face’ equates
with the positive social value that an individual ask for themselves.
‘Line’ means the assumption of the audience regarding an individual has taken
during an interaction. Face is an image
that is presented by the actor to seek approval
making the actor look better in his job (Goffman, 1967).

Frame analysis was
developed to better understand the notion of impression management by Goffman
in 1974.  Frame Analysis (Goffman,
1974) explains understanding of roles
and performances first studied in the Presentation of Self, “…the
frequently suggestive appeals to the authority and example of theatrical
history, throughout Frame Analysis, have a curiously retrospective atmosphere …
striking one ultimately as the research notes from some immense and never
completed thesis on play-acting which was to have served as the philosophical
basis for the older book on ‘roles” (Jameson,
1976, p. 132).  For Goffman (1974)
defines the major crux of   Frame Analysis as, “…it seems
that we spend most our time not engaged in giving information but in giving
shows” (pp.
508).

Another aspect of Goffman’s framework in
concealment, which is another aspect of impression management (Goffman 1959). Goffman
(1959) explains concealment, where a performer
tends to de-emphasize or hide those facts, which are a contradiction to his perfect
image. Thus, in summary, there is a discrepancy between the appearance
presented by the actor and the actual activity, as the actor tries to portray
impecceable standards to construct
 a positive impression (Solomon et.al, 2013). In summary, individuals tend to
‘conceal’ their ‘true’ status, by  presenting
‘status symbols’ consistent with a status they do not possess (Goffman, 1959).  Hence, with this theoretical knowledge, I will
try to study how immigrants present themselves on social media. The methods, I
seek to employ are discussed below:

·        
In-depth Interview: Respondents will be
requested to participate in a semi-structured interviews, which be recorded
and later transcribed for coding (Martin & Quan-Haase, 2013). The qualitative content analysis will start with
open data coding, where a comprehensive list of themes will be constructed. The coding stage will focus on the most salient themes and pattern in
the data. For coding the qualitative interview, I will use NVivo. After determining
the dominant themes that justifies the
Research Question, I seek to have an all-inclusive understanding
of the immigrants’ emotions post-settlement or any other observation into their
feelings that might be constructed along certain socio-demographic lines; I want to use a quantitative technique
(Data Science technique/opinion mining tools). Opinion Mining tools enables
automated content analysis is a traditional
method in computer science. But, at present, this tool has gained
popularity in other majors given its applicability and flexibility (Neuendorf,
2016). Sentiment Analysis is a technique that categorizes bodies of text to
analyze feelings, emotions, and attitudes towards a particular situation (Liu,
2010). The main aim of sentiment analysis is to regulate
both the polarity of an individual’s feeling state (i.e., positive, negative)
and the strength of the polarity (i.e., strongly positive, mildly positive,
weakly positive, neutral, etc.); in sum, it analyzes the opinion of the
individual who produced the text (Osimo & Mureddu, 2012, p. 2). Sentiment
analysis is grounded in sociological, psychological and anthropological
theories positing that individuals’ emotional interpretations of situations provide
a general analysis of how they feel—both unconsciously
and consciously—about situations, and
how they might react to the given situations. 
As such, sentiment analysis has become an attractive device for
marketing research (Gaspar et al., 2016, p. 179; Rambocas & Gama, 2013, p.
3), and also addressing challenges 
related to governance. For instance, the U.S.
government used Sentiment Analysis  to discover
and supervise spikes in negative sentiments aimed at certain authorities or
governmental bodies in an online form (Rambocas & Gama, 2013,
p. 13). Thus, presenting an alternative to collect “early feedback” from
citizens about issues, events, or authority figures arousing strong emotional
responses (Osimo & Mureddu, 2012, p. 3). The most useful application of
sentiment analysis in social science is to analyze the human perception of an event by mining text (online or offline).
Sentiment analysis  can identify  and
detect the range of the emotion whether
it is positive, negative, or neutral or in other words, frustration, sadness,
anger (Strapparava & Mihalcea, 2008). In my
research, sentiment analysis and its capacity to rapidly assess a large body of
text with minimum human labor will be useful. At the same time, it will ensure higher
scalability, reliability, and greater analytical consistency compared to the qualitative
approach. It also assures the unobtrusive nature of the assessment of feeling states. The
strengths of in-depth, qualitative research methods (namely biographical
interviews) and sentiment analysis when used together in a research project, presents
a minute analysis of migrants’ emotions that are contextualized in a detailed
account.

            Social Science Application of Sentiment
Analysis:

The
most common social science use of sentiment analysis has been limited to the analysis of public perceptions of an event by mining
online text (Hu et al., 2014).  Large-scale
analyses of texts  occurs without the permission or knowledge of
the creators of the text. This process can be unfamiliar to a social scientist who write ethics for informed
consent (Kennedy, 2012). But, text that are posted freely online and a password is not
required to view the content (for example email) is open for research analysis
without any consent as long as the identity of the person remains undisclosed (Wilkinson & Thelwall, 2011).

Sentiment Analysis in Social Media Usage:

Within the communication domain,
social media has gained a popular status.
On SNSs such as Facebook, twitter,
emotions play a very crucial role, but it remains unacknowledged. Therefore,
there is a need for investigating these emotions (Wilkinson & Thelwall,
2011).   Studies have shown that people
with similar emotional states or expression style on social media attract each
other (Thelwall, 2010).  Twitter reports Similar
trends (Bollen et al., 2011). But, this
approach has not been used in the context
of FB.  My main motivation as researcher
is to capture the depiction of emotion
and emotion contagion demonstrated
through FB post (Coviello et al., 2014).
For instance, in Saskatoon majority immigrants from India, associate the onset
of winter and snow with a negative feeling. Hence, a lot of them post picture/status messages about the cold weather.
Experts report that FB users tend to produce more
positive posts and lesser to none negative posts while talking about their personal lives (Kramer et al., 2014). 

Methods: Qualitative Content and Visual
Sociology in Social Media

The purpose of my research is to
study online behaviors. My
research question seeks to identify the impact of social networking sites on
the self-construction of the image of the
immigrant.  Visual Sociology/Visuality:
Pauwels (2010) as a qualitative method, provides
a framework for visuality in sociological research. This method is
popular in the digital media studies, as it enables researchers to gain a scientific
insight into people’s behavior and feelings through the analysis of images
found on Social Media. The duty of the researchers to conduct  an intense analysis of what a picture depicts
and how does it refer to a particular phenomenon (Pauwels, 2010). For
instance, if a researcher performs a direct analysis on a set of pictures on FB
of a rock concert. The researcher needs to be informed about the fan culture of
the particular singer. And then, they have to go through each video/picture
posted or shared by the artist and the audience to analyze what angle of the concert
do these pictures present, fans’ behavior, the interaction
between the performer and the fans. Once, the researcher has made notes by scrutinizing
every picture and videos of the concert,  they
are then ready to answer their research
question (Sloan and Quan Haase, 2017). However, the presentation of self on
social media may not be the most accurate (Rose, 2012). In this case, qualitative
approach of content analysis can solve the problem. The qualitative content analysis is capable of answering “why” and
the “motivation” behind posting a particular picture or status (Julien et al., 2011). For my research, I
will engage in an in-depth analysis of text
and pictures so that I can answer my
research question more efficiently. For instance, an immigrant may post happy pictures on FB, but in the interview, he may express his unhappy state or
explains his rationale behind posting a particular kind of pictures and status. According to Julien and colleagues (2011), a researcher may matter-of-factly spot
the most obvious objects in the photograph or status. But, a fine-grained
analysis of symbolic communication that can be consciously or unconsciously be represented in the image or text can be
achieved by employing the one-on-one interview text that will allow me to uncover the subtleties or the motivation
behind putting such pictures/status and behaving
in a certain manner on a public forum.

 

Conclusion:

 

Thus, I will use the methods discussed above will  that will be an addition to the migration
literature, as also connecting data science techniques to the emotions of
immigrants will be a novel contribution as far as methodology is concerned in
this area of migration, emotion, and social network analysis.