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The Impact of Community Severance on Underprivileged Vicinities by Focusing on the Perception of the People Residing Within the Affected Area

Essay by   •  November 28, 2018  •  Dissertation  •  4,053 Words (17 Pages)  •  41 Views

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Community Severance

Name

Institution

Author Note


Chapter 3: Research Method

Introduction

Despite a multitude of studies quantifying the effects that a lack of access to transportation creates (Anciaes, Jones, & Mindell, 2016; Grisolia, Lopez, & Ortuzar, 2015; Handy, 2003) current research has not adequately captured the perspectives of individuals living within poor neighborhoods impacted by community severance and its exclusionary effects. This qualitative study seeks to contribute to the understanding of the impact that transportation-related infrastructure has on individuals living within the impoverished neighborhood impacted, filling a gap identified in previous research (Anciaes, Jones & Mindell, 2016).

In the following chapter, I will discuss the research design and rationale, my role as a researcher, the population of study, and procedures for data collection and analysis.

Purpose of Study

        The objective of this qualitative review is to comprehend the impact of community severance on underprivileged vicinities by focusing on the perception of the people residing within the affected area.

Research Questions

The following research questions will be used to guide this study:  

  1. What is the lived experience of those individuals living in South Cape Neighborhood impacted by community severance?
  1. What emotions and thoughts do individuals living in South Cape Neighborhood, South of Highway 74, have about living in the neighborhood?
  2. Based on their experience and perceptions, what do individuals living in South Cape Neighborhood, South of Highway 74, believe are the factors that result in social exclusion?  

Research Design and Rationale

Underpinning my research is a combination of a social constructivist or an interpretivist worldview which holds the belief that the meaning people give to things are subjectively formed through their lived experiences, and an advocacy worldview which seeks to create action, particularly for marginalized groups (Creswell, 2009). Both worldviews lend themselves to qualitative inquiry. An interpretivist-based study relies on observation, interpretation, and contextualization. Its foundation is in both hermeneutics and phenomenology, which attempts to make sense of the complexities of people within a social construct. Phenomenological research is consistent with the essence of a social constructivist worldview in seeking to understand the lived experiences of a person or group.

Described by Creswell (2009) as strategies of inquiry, this study will employ a combination of case study and phenomenological research. A case study will pull information from multiple sources and perspectives which is essential for analyzing complex issues. This research project will specifically utilize an interpretive single-case qualitative study in which the analysis will aim to "shed light" (Rudestam & Newton, 2015, p. 55) on community severance by exploring the phenomenon within the context of Missouri Highway 74, running through Cape Girardeau, Missouri, the single case site selected. I am most interested in the perspective of the people directly affected by the existence of Highway 74, particularly those individuals living south of the transportation infrastructure in the southern neighborhood of Cape Girardeau referred to as ‘South Cape.' This type of perspective is better revealed through qualitative analysis rather than a quantitative analysis which often seeks to explain rather than understand, to give meaning rather than measure.

The Context of the Case

Cape Girardeau, Missouri is in the southeastern region of Missouri, approximately 90 miles south of St. Louis, along the Mississippi River. Population estimates are 39,100 people living in the city limits of Cape Girardeau with nearly 25% of the population living below the federal poverty rate (U.S. Census Bureau, 2017). The South Cape neighborhood of Cape Girardeau, Missouri is the southern residential area of the city, with the Mississippi River to the East, Missouri Highway 74 to its North, Kingshighway to its West, and county land to its South. Stretching 9 miles, Missouri Highway 74 runs east to west, from Dutchtown, Missouri to the Illinois-Missouri state line at the Mississippi River. The original stretch of Highway 74 was built in the 1920's; however, the Highway was rerouted in the early 2000s to connect with the newly constructed Bill Emerson Bridge opened in 2003 (University of Missouri-Rolla & Missouri Department of Transportation, 2007).

Role of the Researcher

My task in this study will be as a participant observer, as I engage with participants and attempt to discover meaning through a qualitative analysis process.  

Methodology

Focus Group interviews will be conducted among two groups of people, with 5-6 participants in each group. The first group of people, those currently living in the adjacent South Cape community, will detail the perspective of those impacted by community severance. This group will be an integral part of this study, as the perspective of those affected has been identified as part of the gap in existing literature on the topic. The second group will consist of other people with external knowledge and perspective on the issue. These may be social service providers, city officials, and other community leaders. This group has the potential to provide maximum variation and vastly different perspectives (Marshal, 1996). Utilizing a focus group interview versus individual interviews will reveal a collective view of community severance rather than a single perspective.

Participants will be recruited, primarily using purposeful sampling (Marshal, 1996; Patton, 1990), from random people and recommendations from other identified participants, using snowball sampling (Patton, 1990). Participants must be age 18 or over and meet the target population group criteria mentioned above.  I will make initial contact with a small number of people known to me, via phone or in-person, to recruit them into the study. I will then ask those individuals to identify additional potential participants until I have an adequate number. Patton (1990) recommends a focus group size of 5 to 8 participants, described as a homogenous sample. I anticipate interviewing approximately 10-12 people in total among the two focus groups, providing an adequate amount of rich data to produce the in-depth understanding necessary for both a case study and phenomenological analysis (Patton, 1990; Rudestam & Newton, 2015).

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