Human Organization Research: Field Relations and Techniques

By Richard N. Adams; Jack J. Preiss | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXVI
THE MODIFIED Q TECHNIQUE IN RURAL-URBAN FIELD RESEARCH*

Kenneth J. Cooper


INTRODUCTION

RESEARCH among populations with rural and urban components raises the problem of adapting a particular technique to different segments of the total sample. Can the same tool be used to elicit information among urbanites that is used when working with people in the rural countryside?

The object of this discussion is to provide an example of one approach to a comparative study in which both urban and rural populations were included. The study1 from which it is drawn was conducted by the writer in Mexico from December, 1957, to September, 1958, on "Leadership in Peasant and Industrial Environments." An essential aspect of the study was the development and use of a particular research tool2 -- a

____________________
*
A new contribution, prepared simultaneously for this volume and Human Organization, Vol. 18, No. 3 ( 1959), pp. 135-39. The present version is somewhat modified.
1
I am grateful to the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research for financial assistance during the field work. A brief report on a portion of this research was presented in a paper entitled "A Comparative Study of Leadership in Mexican Peasant and Industrial Environments" read at the 1958 Annual Meeting of the AAA in Washington, D.C.

While in the field I was rewarded with the personal friendships and professional associations of Rey Carranza and Elliott Danzig. Rey Carranza's unique sensitivity to both rural villagers and my own goals as an anthropologist made his volunteered cooperation an essential cornerstone of the study. The efficiency and effectiveness of the entire urban aspect of the study is due to the very kind cooperation of the industrial psychologist Elliott Danzig; his assistant, Howard Krakaur; and the staff of Dr. Danzig's organization, DANDO, in Mexico City.

2
For the original conception of the Q Technique see William Stephenson ( 1953). For applications of the technique see Carl Rogers ( 1951) and Carl Rogers and Rosalind Dymond ( 1954).

The Q Technique, as elaborated by Stephenson and others, is, of course, an extensive method involving considerably more than the use and sorting of cards. Nevertheless, the use in the present work was the intellectual offspring of the Q Technique, and therefore I have taken the liberty of referring to it as a modified form. See also n. 8 below.

-338-

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