The linguistic participation of women in the ‘new’ devolved assemblies of the UK: What can it tell us, and how can we measure it?

Shaw, Sylvia (2011) The linguistic participation of women in the ‘new’ devolved assemblies of the UK: What can it tell us, and how can we measure it? In: Representing Women: Images, Discourses and Realities in Irish Political Life, 15th September 2011, Dublin City University, Dublin..

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Abstract

This paper provides a critical appraisal of the methods used in a research project that investigates the linguistic participation of women in the Scottish Parliament, the Northern Ireland Assembly and the National Assembly for Wales.

The project adopted a mixed-method approach by firstly undertaking an ethnographic description of the linguistic norms and practices in each institution. This process included observations in the debating chambers and interviews with politicians. Secondly, discourse analytic techniques (drawing upon both CDA and CA) were used to analyse close transcripts of debates. Finally, a quantitative study was undertaken which involved classifying and counting speaking turns across as sample of debates in each institution.

Here I reflect on the use of this mixed method approach, both in terms of the practical applicability to the field, and in terms of the effects on the project results. I conclude that mixed-method research can be extremely useful in new research sites as ‘scoping’ studies because different methods can illuminate particular aspects of institutional practices. However, it is often difficult to integrate the different types of data made available by disparate methods into a unified interpretative framework.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Media > English Language and Literature
Item ID: 9899
Depositing User: Sylvia Shaw
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2013 11:05
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2017 14:12
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/9899

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