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Ethnographic Interviews on the Digital Divide
Unformatted Document Text:  Ethnographic Interviews 7 me-downs” of somewhat limited capabilities, and the remaining four families had no computer in their home at all. Most members of the family groups were interviewed on two separate occasions: first collectively with all members of the family present, and a second time separately and individually. This two-tiered method of interviewing afforded opportunities to observe the family’s interaction concerning the issue of computers as well as more in-depth discussions of each member’s use of and beliefs about computer usage. Data collection took place between January 2001 and August 2002. Analysis of the data began immediately after the first family interview was conducted and continued concurrently with data-collection. A team of researchers reviewed and discussed each interview transcript, collectively deciding upon questions appropriate for the follow-up interviews with individual family members. Mentions of computers and success were coded and discussed using a constant comparative method (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). Discussions of possible patterns in the data began in November 2001 and continued through the final writing of this paper. Individualism Uncontested The first pattern that emerged in our analysis of narratives was not particularly surprising: the persons who hailed from households with relatively greater incomes were the most likely to offer narratives heavily infused with individualism. Parents in the relatively well-off households of the Muellers, Sallingers, Fishers, and Vincents all believed that the responsibility of developing computer competency among the population rested with each individual rather than with the government, social service agencies, or other institutions. Consistent with their views, parents in each of these

Authors: Clark, Lynn., Demont-Heinrich, Christof. and Webber, Scott.
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Ethnographic Interviews 7
me-downs” of somewhat limited capabilities, and the remaining four families had no
computer in their home at all.
Most members of the family groups were interviewed on two separate occasions:
first collectively with all members of the family present, and a second time separately and
individually. This two-tiered method of interviewing afforded opportunities to observe
the family’s interaction concerning the issue of computers as well as more in-depth
discussions of each member’s use of and beliefs about computer usage. Data collection
took place between January 2001 and August 2002.
Analysis of the data began immediately after the first family interview was
conducted and continued concurrently with data-collection. A team of researchers
reviewed and discussed each interview transcript, collectively deciding upon questions
appropriate for the follow-up interviews with individual family members. Mentions of
computers and success were coded and discussed using a constant comparative method
(Glaser & Strauss, 1967). Discussions of possible patterns in the data began in
November 2001 and continued through the final writing of this paper.
Individualism Uncontested
The first pattern that emerged in our analysis of narratives was not particularly
surprising: the persons who hailed from households with relatively greater incomes were
the most likely to offer narratives heavily infused with individualism. Parents in the
relatively well-off households of the Muellers, Sallingers, Fishers, and Vincents all
believed that the responsibility of developing computer competency among the
population rested with each individual rather than with the government, social service
agencies, or other institutions. Consistent with their views, parents in each of these


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