Beyond pomo

Mon, 6 Dec 1993 21:30:10 CDT

Seeker1 recently noted a belief that it is impossible to quantify interpretive
and postmodern (or subjective data).

I absolutely disagree. The basis of that disagreement come from having
operationalized through use of the semantic differential scale (developed
by Osgood for the measurement of meaning, cross culturally) a simple technique
that is capable of replicating otherwise subjective interpretations . . .
reliably. That technique was tested in the field (albeit North America)
and compared to subjective results derived from participant observation in
the same environment. The correspondence was remarkably high . . . and the
theory behind it explanatory of why that would be so.

As a result, I am personally convinced that the technique (if taken into
the field) could provide a valid link between interpretive subjective
approaches and the more positivistic types of observation. Were I
using a pomo approach in my own work, I think I would be more than happy
to have such a tool. It might well provide either a good check and balance
against creeping eticism on my own part, or a substantial positivistic
support for my own subjective interpretations.

John O'Brien
Indiana University