Conversation group. A device for the knowledge of common places.
It can be defined as a scene in which 6 or 7 participants, who don’t know each other, talk, guided by a professional person, about a topic that is relevant to their daily life.
They come from the same social macroset, which they represent.
The result is a consensus, the sense that unites them in a group.
It is a verbal replayer of the prototypical discourse, a text of the common places, of the word of the group.
The place: a plain in the woods where a human group reunites, with the same name, closed.
Kant talked about the rational conversation.
The qualitative method promised to listen a voice that was not know. In 1983 in Chile, where was the people? We had to start from listening. The liberal subject disappeared and the socialist, and the formalist, and the civilist. They were trying to build the neoliberal subject. There was no god, no polis, no class.
The group promised to know this new subject wherever it was, amongst peers, when they were capable of common word.
Take the group to arrive at their places, there where subjectivity appears weaved with the other, like a speech and its consent integrated.
The form of the group
A practice of qualitative observation, reproducing group conversation of social topics.
Compared to interview: it is a group speech, not talking to the other. Both reproduce a text of common sense. It’s a common place, not a self place. Internal coherence or consensus within the community that talks.
What is the norm of the group? The most sayable, listenable, consensual. A shared listening that looks for consensus. They rationalize to select the thinkfeel in community.
The subject in front of the group, in front of the other, talks appearing, showing their adjustment or maladjustment with the collective word.
The heart of the technique
Two articulated dynamics:
- Of seven individuals a group comes to be formed.
- Of multiple acts of individual speech a social text comes to be reproduced.
Roll in a set, unroll in a text. To group, to text. When talking, propose a possible place, weaving according to the sense of what was said before.
They talk developing knowledge and perception that is folded in their field of obviousness. They consider it significant in common.
Test of group consensus: the group becomes strong when the consensus is intensive and extensive. The group disappears when the conversations don’t flow.
The text is what remained. The thread vanishes and they return to their separation.
Procure that the map of common places is reproduced, that the entire discursive field that opens up is traveled.
It most happen from inside.
From what is heard, everything is pertinent.
From every element that appears, you can jump to the sides, as a metaphor, backwards of forwards, as storytelling. Following clues that the participants give as an answer to their previous stimuli.
The rhizomatic guidance, risk not having a map, asymmetric architecture, decentralized. Follow a trace, the group appears when it is followed. Incitements that lead to talking.
Representative information from a few meetings of few participants not randomly chosen. No one is an individual, they represent a version of their complete structure.
The qualitative sample is representative if its group has the same form and structural composition of its universe.