The Wheels on the Bus. . .
The sample qualitative research for this week is a feature article on transit workers in New York during the pandemic.
Here are the three things I would like you to read for:
Once you've read and considered these questions, post between 250 and 300 words that address them.
Additionally, what do you learn about your own final project by thinking about the last two bullets: why tell. this story and why tell this story this way? Write through your answer for your own project in 100 to 200 words.
11/25/2020 08:09:22 am
We learn additional information about the subject through the description of others or a situation he was involved in, rather than directly about him. For example when we read that most of Manhattan’s workers were staying home but Layne was not, we learn that Layne is determined and brave because he cares deeply about the work he performs and the people he helps. Similarly, when we hear that many of Layne’s colleagues were terrified of getting sick, we learn that Layne is thinking about how he could lift their spirits. Instead of simply saying that Layne is kind and caring, we find that out through a more unique description, and the reader is able to generate that impression on their own simply by reading an action he performed. We also get some information about how long he has been doing the job and how long he has been a New Yorker, which again serves to highlight his dedication and overall toughness given the environment in which he works. A direct quote is used when the author is relaying Layne’s exact message to his colleagues, and a direct quote is necessary in this scenario because the exact words are more powerful than a paraphrase. The readers benefit more from hearing specifically what Layne said rather than the author saying something like “he gave an uplifting speech.” While we would get some understanding of what happened, the emotional impact would have been lost and using a direct quote protects that. A quote was not used to describe how long Layne has been working and how he knew the job was thankless, because a quote would not reveal any additional character information that the paraphrase did not. In the previous scenario, the quote showed us more about who Layne is, but simply stating the second piece of info like the author did accomplishes the task more efficiently, and there is less of a need to attach an emotion to this information. I am not completely sure, but I think a secondary source example is the story of the 1941 bus boycotts that provide some historical context, and explain why African Americans are able to work at the MTA in such large numbers. In the article itself, the story helps to contextualize the importance of Layne’s work, and it helps to demonstrate why doing his job well no matter the circumstances is so important to him. I think the larger world that this piece reflects on has to do with the concept of essential workers not getting the respect or appreciation they deserve. Layne mentions how he and his colleagues were only appreciated for a brief period of time, when there was national support for front line workers. However, that soon faded, and he again was ridiculed and disrespected, and I think this piece speaks to the hypocrisy of man in that way. When people needed the drivers, they were treated well and appreciated, but as soon as the drivers were no longer seen as essential, people were perfectly comfortable to treat them like garbage again. I think that is why this story is told; it acts as a plea to treat others with respect at all times, because everyone is going through tough times under the surface. Layne loves his job more than anyone, but to passengers he is just a tool or a pawn, not a real person. This piece wants us to understand that everyone has a past and a reason to be where they are, so mistreating someone you do not even know makes no sense. The story was told in a more narrative form because the significance lies within the story. We needed to know who Layne was and what he was all about in order to derive some message from his story. If the piece was academic, it may not have had the emotional impact needed to deliver the message most effectively.
11/30/2020 06:38:29 am
12/2/2020 09:54:56 am
A lot of the information we learn about Layne comes from descriptions of the places he spent time in growing up, like his father’s grocery store, the apartment he grew up in, and even the public school he attended. The scene is described like we are walking through the streets of Harlem with Layne as he did with the interviewer, and he’s showing us all the different places that made him into the person he is today. Later in the descriptions, we learn a lot about Layne’s understanding of police brutality even from a young age as he recounts different moments like when a 10 year old boy was killed by an N.Y.P.D officer. We also learn that he had some run ins with the law, ending up in prison where he took advantage of the education program. It seems like there are direct quotes mixed in where paraphrasing wouldn’t do Layne justice, like when he’s talking about his parents and things that were said. While all the information in this piece came from the interview with Layne, there are only quotes that hold significance as to not take away from the power of the quote. It wouldn’t mean much if the interviewer only quoted Layne when he was talking about setting up a scene or things like that, it’s what can’t be summarized that stands alone in quotes.
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