Refining the Occupation of Research Across Cultures
This chapter discusses an 8-year international collaboration involving research teams from three countries: New Zealand, Thailand and the United States. The purpose of the research was to explore and compare the meanings that the foodrelated occupations associated with potent cultural celebrations (Christmas and Songkran, the Thai New Year) hold for elder women. The researchers began with what seemed a straightforward multi-site study in three countries, and then found that the richness and complexity of the data and analysis required the development of methods to work across all three cultures. The team created and lived a lengthy and rigorous process as the methods were implemented and refined. This process was informed and enriched by growing understandings of our participants’ cultural uniqueness as well as our own cultural differences. We discuss our team process as we learned to communicate effectively and with integrity for our study. The team’s development will be illustrated with some of the data, methods and findings as they emerged. We conclude the chapter with a summary of what was helpful to this team of international researchers to look across cultures in a trustworthy way.
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