Research Methods Module – Qualitative Assessment

Research Methods Module – Qualitative Assessment

Imagine you work for an International Airport, and you have been asked to conduct a small scale study looking at airport security measures. One of the things that you are investigating is how members of the general public feel about airport security when they travel. You have therefore conducted short interviews with members of the public, and the following are excerpts from the interview transcripts.
In order to analyse the results of your interviews, you need to conduct a thematic analysis of the transcripts provided (see Unit 6 for details of how to conduct this type of analysis). Your answer should include a list of themes that you have identified, and descriptions for each. You should write a brief summary (maximum 750 words) of the common and contrasting themes identified in the text.

Participant 1
“Air travel at one time was fun. The airlines treated the passengers with dignity and respect, the same way we are expected to treat our colleagues and subordinates at work. There was nothing they wouldn’t do for you.
But alas that has now changed. Passengers are treated with contempt. Security goons push you around the Airport. They’re excuse is they’re protecting you from “terrorists”. I did some flying last year, and I didn’t see one single sole solitary terrorist anywhere. What I did see was goons pushing people around including me. I had my luggage opened without my permission, without a search warrant and without probable cause. They rummage through your underwear not really to find any contraband, but to show you the contempt they have for you and the contempt they have for the constitution and for your rights.
Now the airlines say they’re losing money. They’re going out of business. I wonder why! Such a shame! I hope the government does not bail them out. I think its time those of us who have been abused by the airlines and by security goons should avoid travel by air. That will solve their terrorism problem. They won’t have any customers left at all. When you treat your customers that way you have to expect to not have any customers after a while.”

Participant 2
“I have to take an airplane soon and I hate flying. I’m absolutely terrified of it. I also hate how invasive airport security is. I am nervous about the amount of radiation you can get from those full body scanners. At the same time, though, if I refuse to go through the full body scanners, I don’t want my body groped. It’s a lose-lose situation.
I know that security is necessary to keep airplanes safe, but at the same time, I think the amount of security to go on an airplane is bordering on excessive. Despite all the security, every now and then you hear stories of an underwear bomber getting on a flight. If all of this heightened security still doesn’t stop people like that, what is next? Will they strip search everyone? Other methods of transportation are a lot less secure, and actually it is to a point where I would rather take a bus than an airplane, and it’s not just because I’m scared of flying. I have more freedom of what I am allowed to pack. I’m not forced to go through a contraption that could give me dangerous levels of radiation. If a terrorist really wants to carry out an attack, they will find a way to do it regardless of security.
The other thing that makes me mad is that airport people will go through bags and sometimes steal things of value, so you can’t put anything expensive in checked bags. You have to keep it all in your carry-on bag. What right have they to dig through your stuff and take things?”

Participant 3

“I’ve just recently went on a plane to visit my sister and her family in Oklahoma. Was it worth the 2 hour security line, a guy searching my bag, and me walking through a scanner? Absolutely!! I had an absolute blast and nothing would have stopped me, not even airport security.

I think airport security is understandable with how much violence there is these days. Of course I wouldn’t like to be touched while being searched, but if you follow the directions and do what they say the scanners work fine and you won’t have to get searched. Plus, I doubt the people doing the searching want to be in your personal space just as much as you don’t want them there. So it actually goes pretty fast and it’s done, over with, and you move on to enjoy your trip.

I had no problem going through security, except for when I forgot I had an unopened water bottle in my bag. They had me stand to the side while they searched my bag and took it out. I was quite embarrassed for forgetting that even after I told my sister to throw hers away.

All in all it’s a pretty painless easy going process given the rewards it could bring you. For me, seeing my family was all I needed to be able to get through anything the airport and security had thrown my way.”

Participant 4

“There is nothing about the current “security” regime with which I concur. I object to every aspect of the unreasonable searches and seizures being committed.
Nothing airport security does is making air travel safer. In every case where a would-be attack was stopped, it was someone aboard the airplane who was paying attention and interfered with the plot. Therefore, I propose removing all impediments to free movement within the airport.
No more strip-searches; no more removal of clothing; no more examination of carry-on baggage contents (although there’s a case for screening of checked luggage). Allow people with concealed-carry permits to bring aboard their sidearms; allow people to bring their 4 ounce tubes of sunblock. Allow people to accompany family members to the gate and say goodbye at boarding. Allow family members to watch as the airplanes taxi away from the gate. Aboard the flight, those who care about real security will be paying attention; and the law-abiding travellers will be spared unnecessary humiliation and delay.”

Participant 5
“I travel very frequently, both for business and pleasure. I don’t have any issues with airport security measures, and I feel a lot safer flying with the extra safety precautions in place. What I find more frustrating are the passengers who are not prepared for security checks, and then cause further delays in the long queues unnecessarily. So, it’s actually the passengers, rather than the security measures themselves, that stress me out when travelling.”

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