re: PCP .v. Multiple Sorting Techniques for Flexibility
Fri, 6 Dec 1996 21:27:17 +0100

Fionn Stevenson writes

>I'm doing a doctorate looking at multicultural views on the natural
>environment in relation to sustainable architectural design practice. In
>>particular I am trying to elicit deep constructs and
>value-systems from international students testing the hypothesis that
>some cultures are more ontologically engaged with nature than others.
>I have two supervisors.
>One has recommended straight forward PCP using a predefined set of
>elements and the binary pole system. The other has refuted this and
>suggested David Canter's approach using multiple sorting and allowing
>the interviewee to choose their own elements rather than prescribing
>them.( Whatever I do I intend to validate the data through use of
>intensive interviews based on the results obtained.)
>Who is right??

Well, it's clear that any constructive alternativist would naturally say
something along the lines of "both are right or both are wrong; there's no
such thing as a 'correct' set of elements; it all depends on what you're
setting out to do; etc." I see that Bob Green has done just that, and I
can't improve on his comments.

And speaking as a PhD supervisor myself.
If your two supervisors are giving you, as you construe it, such
contradictory advice, they need their dam' heads knocking together.
(Gently and purposively, of course....)

Howsabout you showing them this e-mail of mine and using it to stimulate a
sparkling 3-way tutorial between you and the two of them? Let each of you
seek to justify your stance to the others in the presence of the others.
Try an exchange exercise: let each of the supervisors take the role of the
other and present the _other's_ stance, as s/he construes it, to the other
two people in the room...

Kindest regards,

Devi Jankowicz