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Theory, Method, and Software: political ecology, qualitative methods and NVivo7: 

Theory, Method, and Software: political ecology, qualitative methods and NVivo7 Strategies for Qualitative Research Conference, University of Durham, September 13th 2006 Theme 1: Theory, Method and Software: Exploring the impact of theoretical perspective and methodology on the applicability and use of QSR software

Work in progress: 

Work in progress Building my defence of: the philosophical paradigm being used (social constructionist) the qualitative and quantitative (spatial) methods applied and their combination and the use of CAQDAS (NVivo7) in the analytical and theory-building process how all fit together and produce valid results


Expedition From geospatial data collection and analysis for UP and NRM conflict resolution Journey through qualitative methodologies to identify one (s) appropriate to answer other research questions on conflict Looking for new ways in my thinking about conflicts, their dynamic, and the roles, relationships and knowledge/power dimension of claim-making process

Research Questions and Data Needs: 

Research Questions and Data Needs Questions derive from professional interest and from literature review and analytical framework Qualitative data needs identified from research questions and areas of interest, and these changed from pre-fieldwork period while in the field Questions written in London, but interpreted and reframed by local, national and international context of capital city- and rural-based claims of claim-makers

Claim-making in Socio-Environmental Conflicts: Contested Copper Mining in the Chocó-Andean Cloudforest of North-West Ecuador: 

Claim-making in Socio-Environmental Conflicts: Contested Copper Mining in the Chocó-Andean Cloudforest of North-West Ecuador Karen S Buchanan PhD Candidate Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning, UCL, UK

Purpose, Goal, Outcome: 

Purpose, Goal, Outcome Purpose - Inform development planning practice and theory on the claim-making process within socio-environmental conflicts surrounding natural resource extraction Goal - Investigate use (perception, selection, evolution and impact) of developmental and environmental discourses by claim-makers in socio-environmental conflict and dynamic of the power relations Outcome - Thesis which includes: Analysis of characteristics of claim-makers, of claim-making process, and of impacts of claim-making process on claim-makers and use of discourses Reflection on use of CAQDAS to assist data analysis Theoretical, empirical, intellectual contribution


Contributions Theoretical – lack of theorising of dialectic moments of (dis)empowerment of claim-makers in discourse use within socio-environmental conflicts Empirical – new large-scale mining industry under-investigated from political ecology and environmental justice perspective; no analysis of means of contention e.g. discourse and how transforms power relations of & between claim-makers Intellectual – demonstrate new ways of looking at discourse and power transformation in claim-making process of socio-environmental conflicts through use of discourse analysis

Focus of research: 

Focus of research Socio-environmental conflict Claim-makers Developmental and Environmental values, ideas, beliefs, and interests Environmental justice perspective Political ecology paradigm i.e. integrated approach to study of ecological and political dimensions of conflicts arising from nature and society interactions

Political and Market Context: 

Political and Market Context Increasing price of copper on world markets Fledgling Ecuadorian large-scale mining industry Climate of expropriation of concessions “Outside the energy sector, resource companies are increasingly concerned about the potential for radical natural resource policies in Latin America, a region that holds a quarter of the world's copper, as well as significant reserves of iron ore, gold and other minerals.” Source, FT 4th May 2006

Conflict in Intag zone: 

Conflict in Intag zone History of mining conflict 1997-2006… Ethnic characteristics Political process Economic activities in Intag Biophysical characteristics and Biodiversity Socio-economic characteristics Institutions and organisation involved

Pro-mining ‘discourse alliance’: 

Pro-mining ‘discourse alliance’ Ascendant Copper, Terrambiente, Syr-Whistler Consulting, Ministry of Energy and Mines (Ministerio de Energía y Minas – MEM), Ministry of the Environment (Ministerio del Ambiente – MEA), National Institute for Agrarian Development (INDA), Government of Canada (Canadian Embassy in Ecuador), Ecuadorian-Canadian Chamber of Commerce, World Bank, Toronto Stock Exchange, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), CODEGAM (Corporación de Desarrollo de García Moreno) Parish Council of García Moreno - divided

Anti-mining ‘discourse alliance’: 

Anti-mining ‘discourse alliance’ Committee of Communities Affected by the Mining Project, Eco-Junín, Assembly of County Unity (Asamblea de Unidad Cantonal Cotacachi), Municipality of Cantón Cotacachi (Municipio de Cotacachi Gobierno Local), Community and Parish Development Coordinator for Intag, DECOIN (Defensa y Conservacion Ecológica de Intag), INTAG newspaper (Intag Periodico), Intag’s Women’s Coordinating Committee (Mujeres de Intag), Ecological Action (Acción Ecológica), Asociación Agroartesanal de Caficultores Río Intag (AACRI), Consumer Solidarity Network (Xarxa de Consum Solidari), SODEPAU and SODEPAZ , Friends of the Earth Canada, Junín’s International Observer Program, Mine Watch Canada, Rainforest Concern, The Sloth Club, The Cotacachi Ecology Centre, and Corporación de Gestión y Derecho Ambiental (ECOLEX)

Research Issues : 

Research Issues Use of environmental & developmental discourses by claim-makers on all sides of a socio-environmental conflict Subjective experiences of claim-makers Relationship between discourse and use of knowledge within discourse and its impact Relational issues of empowerment and disempowerment within claim-making process

Topics of interest : 

Topics of interest Questions Contextual - land Conflict - power relations Developmental and Environmental Discourse Process - representation Impacts – on claim-makers and process Framework Discourse Power (knowledge) Beliefs Institution-building Material practices Social relations


Methodology Finding methodology (or combination of methods) appropriate to research questions, needs and way of thinking about, making (collection and recording) and analysing data Practical considerations include: Data sources, Data type, Research skills, Language acquisition, Accessibility, Establishing trust, Time, …


Methodology Research Design - issues and questions, context and process design, scope, operational definitions, data needs, exploratory fieldwork, case study, fieldwork proper (phase I and II) Qualitative Research Methodologies – ethnography, grounded theory, discourse analysis Qualitative Research Methods - research strategy, literature review, analytical framework, fieldwork (purposive sampling, qualitative interviewing methods, restitution), analysis and theory-building from data supported by CAQDAS


Ethnography In sense of strategy for data collection with certain claim-makers Appropriate method in conflict situation in rural areas Observation, participation, negotiation of entry through gatekeepers, relationships between claim-makers, more profound insights and understandings although always an outsider 7 month fieldwork in area Use data not just for description but analysis, focused ethnography

Grounded theory: 

Grounded theory Reality (of conflict and claim-making process) is socially constructed (congruent with social constructionist paradigm of political ecology) Reality is continually evolving, changing and being re-negotiated through interaction between people (claim-makers) Theory can be constructed through data analysis (to describe the conflict dynamic and claim-making process) using coding strategy, interpretation, modelling, synthesising, all tasks supported by NVivo7 software Need to move away from testing hypotheses imposed from lit review to what is on the ground

Discourse analysis: 

Discourse analysis Located in social constructionist worldview (congruent with research questions about claim-making process and discourse use and use in political ecology & discursive constructions of nature-society interactions) Deconstruction of origin, meaning, knowledge-base and orientation of environmental and developmental discourses Analysis in terms of meta-discourses – not detail Which claim-makers use particular discourses, why, how, impact on power Coding to Cases and tree nodes in NVivo7

Relationship analysis: 

Relationship analysis Testing relationship between bilingualism and (ab)use of power through access to international networks, funding sources, knowledge and political influence Relationship between discourse chosen and the use of forms of knowledge in the discourse and its consequences for power relations between claim-makers Use NVivo7 modeller to visualise and test ideas

Multiple methods: 

Multiple methods In addition to qualitative some geospatial data added as attributes to the Cases in NVIvo7 spatial dimension of this dynamic where the conflict is played out, where the impacts are felt, where the rural communities and the other claim-makers see that impacts are and will be felt using participatory mapping techniques and ESRI ArcGIS software to support this analysis.

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