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Nurs Inq. 1996 Sep;3(3):159-66.

Typists' influences on transcription: aspects of feminist nursing epistemic rigour.


This paper describes the process by which female typists became participants of sorts while transcribing audiotaped interviews. The primary data included sensitive and sexual subject matter about women's Pap smear (PS) experiences. Besides overcoming minor technical difficulties, the major discovery was that the typists had a tendency to interpolate and even normalize the data. A feminist post-structuralist perspective was extended to examine these interpolations as secondary data. This revealed that the typists were becoming unexpected participants as commentators, validators, analysts and normalizers of the data. From the subjective positions of both medical typists and recipients of PS, the typists provided data validation that included contradictions and transgressions from the cancer screening scheme propaganda. Furthermore, both typists were exposed to other women's PS stories and experienced vicarious consciousness raising. For one typist this included embodiment of other women's distress, raising questions about the occupational hazards associated with transcribing distressing data. Thus the social and relational aspects of those involved in the transcription process proved influential to both the data (and analysis), and to the practical aspects of data management. I argue that details of such influences need to be submitted for scrutiny as additional aspects of rigour.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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