Loving those comments - thank you! Keep them coming folks, otherwise it's just little nerdo Denise doing my web(mono)log :).
So, in response to the comments that I received on my last post about transcribing interviews, I need to be a bit more specific about what I mean when I write about how to handle interview recordings in ethnographic research. Somedays I would love to "outsource" my interview recordings and have them professionally transcribed. My first and most obvious response to that is that I cannot afford to. But more importantly, not transcribing them myself would make me feel even more out of touch with my research. Like Anthony mentioned in his comments, I need to use my interviews as springboards to various topics and themes that I might want to explore in the near future. Ideas, issues, and information comes up in interviews that I was not aware of before conducting the interview. Listening to the recording, indexing, and transcribing it will help me to redirect my research where it needs to go based on new found knowledge and understanding.
And to Anthony, thank you for that excellent description of how to deal with interview recordings. Please read his comments about conducting interviews, and indexing and transcribing them. I actually have been doing a bit of indexing with the few interviews that I have dealt with so far. And when I say that I need to "transcribe" an interview, I don't mean that I am going to transcribe it word for word. I agree, that would not be useful and would be excruciatingly time consuming. The bits of conversation that stand out as particularly useful for future writing are the types of segments that I choose to transcribe. Still, I'm struggling with this aspect of field research.