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6.2 Field methods

In order to study Roseau as a place I stayed in the city for approximately two months and conducted the field studies for the study. This was done between February 15th and April 16th, 1999. During this time I collected the material that I found necessary and suitable for pursuing the study.

The guidelines for collecting field material were established following two major theories used in this study. Data for the naturalistic analysis was collected in accord with Lynch's theory on 'performance dimensions' (1981, see Chapter 4.2), and data for existential analysis in accord with Di Méo's theory on 'sociospatial metastructure' (1991, 1998; see Chapter 5.4). Few other theories were used to a lesser extent: Alexander et alii (1977) for naturalistic analysis, Heidegger (1971) for existential analysis, and Urry (1990) for the section of visitor's perceptions in existential analysis. Entrikin's theory on the betweenness of place (1991; see Chapter 3.5) is used as a meta-theory that guides the use of other theories.

I walked every street in the study area at least twice, and visited every part of the area at least thrice (lower Kings Hill), most of them even more often. The visits were done on different days of week and at different times of day.

To study both the naturalistic and existential realms of Roseau, two kinds of methods are needed. Substantially, information about the naturalistic qualities was obtained by observing, and that of existential qualities was obtained by interviewing people.

I observed the naturalistic qualities of Roseau by comparing the physical features of the city to the city presented in maps (Dominica 1:2500; Lesser Antilles 1:25,000; Roseau insert in Dominica 1:50,000). I also drew a rough street map of Roseau in scale 1:2000 on which I marked all the shops, restaurants, hotels, churches and other kinds of services; types of land use (e.g.residential, commercial, recreational, unused); all the major buildings and streets that were missing from the maps I used; and other characteristics which I found interesting. Apart from marking the objects of observation on the maps I took some 800 photos covering the whole study area and wrote notes on the general characteristics of each area.

To study the existential qualities of Roseau I performed ten interviews with local inhabitants in which eleven interviewees were involved. All the interviews were unique in a way that there was no detailed questionnaire to be followed. Some of the interviewees preferred speaking about the past times, some spoke about the present situation, and some told to me what should be changed. I let them do that. However, I had some general outlines that I tried to follow in all the interviews: to cover all the study area and certain subject areas.

Every interviewee was asked to give an account of his or her image of each of the districts mentioned above. These accounts should include a description of the characteristics of the district, a portrayal of the people living there, and an evaluation of the general problems in the district concerned. Districts better known by the interviewee were discussed in a more detailed manner than districts with which the interviewee was not that acquainted. Emphasis was laid also on the personally significant elements of each district, or particular places inside the study area. All interviews were taped and their length varied from twenty minutes to one and half hours.

The interviewees were selected so that there were two interviewees from each district except Botanical Gardens and Lower Kings hill. David Philip and Frank Vigo are from Goodwill, Gairy Didier and an anonymous female from Potter's Ville, Gillian Grant and Makeda Warner from Newtown, Medina Bellot and Norman Gabriel from Bath Estate (interviewed together), and Francis St. Rose Williams and Joffre Green from Central Roseau. The interview of Green was different from the others since he was interviewed primarily as an architect. Nevertheless, some questions concerning living in Roseau were posed to him, too. Additionally, Arthur Alexander from Stock Farm--outside the study area--was interviewed.

Except for Green the interviewees were selected from the streets by asking if they were willing to participate. Seven men and four women of different ages were finally chosen to interview. The youngest of them is Warner (born 1982) and the oldest is Vigo (born 1942).

Information obtained from every interviewee was unique. Because my aim is not to make any statistical generalizations about them, every interview is also treated as unique. Therefore, all interviewees present their views with their own names except for one female who prefered to remain anonymous. Even though it seems to be a general practice in scientific papers that names of interviewees are not mentioned--except for the names of public officers, politicians, or other professional people--there are also some other kinds of examples. One of the most notables is Ronald Blythe's (1969) study of an English village of Akenfield. In his study, however, virtually all the inhabitants of the village were interviewed--such an enormous task that I could not even think performing anything comparable to it.

I made six supplementary interviews to illuminate the subjects in discussion from some other points of view. These include interviews of Program Director Henry Shillingford (1999), Architect Joffre Green (1999), Mayor Bernardine Williams (1999), City Clerk Oliver St. John (1999), Fine Artist Ellingworth Moses (1999), and of Senior Officer Raphael Francis (1999). The material also includes two personal communications on more detailed subjects (Etienne 1999; Liao 1999), and various short discussions on various subjects with people-in-the-street not mentioned in the reference section.

Furthermore, I have included the analysis of the visitor's view of Roseau which I have performed already for my Bachelor's Thesis (Lipsanen 1998). In that study I compared the answers of 32 visitors who had visited Dominica to the descriptions of Roseau in eleven guidebooks. The answers were obtained by an e-mail survey.

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