reiterative data collection
With 17 families now enrolled in my study, and 3 more identified, i am doing fine with data collection in terms of numbers of families. However, i decided that i needed to understand in more depth several themes that have emerged across my grandmother interviews thus far. These themes related to the emotional dimension of women's experiences as caregivers/heads of household/mothers of migrant daughters/grandmothers of children left behind by mother migrants. In particular, my attention has been drawn to how women in my study talk about three themes: "pensar mucho" (thinking too much), "depresión" (depression), and "presión" (a gloss for high or low blood pressure). I am thinking about these themes as what we in medical anthropology might term "embodied idioms of distress", or ways that women somatically express the pain and hardship of their lives. In order to get a better understanding of these, I've developed another interview guide that I'm in the process of applying to a small subset of women from my study - I am thinking 6 women in total. This past week, I did two of these "third round" grandmother interviews, and some quite interesting ideas emerged, including what I am coming to see as (again what in medical anthropology we'd call) an "explanatory model" of the association: namely, that "pensar mucho" can lead to "depresión", which in turn can produce alterations in "presión". I have a lot more work to do on this - both in terms of data collection and in terms of thinking this through analytically. But for now, this is the direction my fieldwork is taking. Just a note: I will be out the next few weeks in Panamá at a Fulbright conference and then Mérida, México for the meetings of the Society for Applied Anthropology; so my blog posts may be infrequent until after Semana Santa (the last week of March/first week of April). paz y amor.