CHAPTER 3- RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
This Chapter presents, outlines and examines the processes and procedures used by the researcher to carry out the study. The research methods used in this study will be discussed under research design, population, research instruments, data collection procedures, validity and reliability.
The research design adopted for this study was the descriptive survey. According to Isaac and Michael (1989:56) “Surveys are a means of gathering information that describes the nature and extent of a specified set of data ranging from physical counts to frequencies to attitudes and opinions”. Thus, the researcher goes out into the field to find facts, opinions and attitudes of people on a particular issue or topic.
Ethnographic and historical methods make up the survey. Ethnography mainly focuses on particular socio-cultural phenomena (way of life) through field observation. This research design examines what is happening as it is lived by the people, while historical design helps in arriving at conclusions about causes, trends and effects of past phenomena in order to explain the present. Gospel music virtually constitutes a sub-culture in Zimbabwe. Both the emic (insider) and etic (outsider) perspectives were considered in this study. Artkinson (1990: 34) explains,Ethnography is a particular method or set of methods which in its most characteristic form involves the ethnographer participating overtly or covertly in people’s daily lives for an extended period of time, watching what happens, listening to what is said, asking questions in fact, collecting whatever data are available to throw light on the issues that are the focus of research.
Thus, ethnography assumes the ability to identify the relevant community of interest and the ability of the researcher to understand the cultural norms and mores of the community under study. In this particular study, urban communities in Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare, Kadoma, Hwange, Victoria Falls, Chinhoyi, Bindura, Kwekwe, Gweru and Masvingo were studied in terms of gospel music during music concerts and in their homes.
The survey has several advantages. Information gathered in a survey can be used to answer the research questions, assess needs and goals for purposes other than those originally intended. Lastly, the survey gives room for observation and interviews resulting in first hand encounters, (Hall 1978, Bell1987).
The survey however has a few weaknesses in that it taps respondents who are accessible and cooperative. In some cases respondents are made to feel special or unnatural, leading them to provide responses that are artificial. Surveys may also be vulnerable to exaggerations and bias. In this investigation the researcher made an effort to minimize the weaknesses of the survey design through purposive sampling of respondents. Random sampling would have led to little or no knowledge on gospel music. Again, the research proposal went through university processes to ensure worthiness of the study.
In this study Zimbabwean citizens provided data on the evolution of gospel music in their country since 1980 when they attained independence. The process of carrying out this research was guided by the Afrocentric emphasis, through studying African art and culture using the worldview of the African people. P’Bitek is of the view that, It is only the participants in a culture who can pass judgement on it. It is only they who can evaluate how effective the song or dance is, how the decoration; the architecture, the plan of the village has contributed to the feast of life, how these have made life meaningful. (1993: 37)
There are some scholars who do not agree with euro centric approaches to research where informants are made to sign or agree to some ‘consent’ forms and yet in the end there is no way of checking against plagiarism. Nzewi points out that;
The ethical constructions and legalities concerning field research are couched to continue exploiting and deceiving the owners of knowledge and sources while protecting the self-centred interests of the privileged researcher and her/his institution, (2007: 21).
Thus, there is an urgent need for more informed and reliable ways of collecting data as far as African musical cultures are concerned. Historical approach can be directed toward an individual, an idea, a movement, or an institution. In order to understand a concept or object in its present state it is important to trace its history and development through a given time frame. Elements of culture such as language, music and religion are dynamic, hence the need to study how they originate, travel, adjust and evolve through a given time frame. The interaction of both Western and African religious and musical systems make it necessary to trace the development of music historically.
DATA COLLECTION INSTRUMENTS
Materials for this study were collected from both primary and secondary sources. The primary sources in this particular study comprise the information obtained in the field from selected individuals while secondary sources include written documents and recorded music. In this research data was gathered from interviews, song texts and observation from mainly the primary (first hand) sources of information. Gospel musicians, gospel music fans and church leaders were interviewed. Distributing a questionnaire that would be filled out by respondents was not necessary in view of the political realities in the country.
Some of the issues such as socio- economic and political themes in Zimbabwean gospel music may have been misconstrued for opposition politics by the current government. To be found issuing questionnaires that touch on political as much as social and religious issues that mark the topic would be dangerous especially with Zimbabwean presidential elections still pending. Interviews were safer to conduct with an interview schedule as guide that would enable eliciting the desired information from respondents. Three interview schedules were drawn up for three categories of respondents. Some of the questions overlapped but elicited answers according to the perceptual perspectives of each interviewee on issues concerning gospel music in Zimbabwe. Thus, the researcher went out into the field to find out facts, opinions and attitudes of people on a particular issue or topic which is gospel music in this case.
The use of two or more instruments of data collection is known as triangulation. In this study, interviews, observation and document analysis were used. This was beneficial since information gathered through different methods was later contrasted to ensure validity of the findings. Testing information this way helps to counteract any bias that results from reliance on a single medium.
Cohen and Manion (1989) explain that interviews are instruments used for collecting data from several individuals so as to come up with a generalization on a specific issue. They also state that the research interview is a two person conversation initiated by the researcher for the purpose of obtaining research data through direct verbal interaction between two individuals. In this study the structured interview was preferred and the researcher had very little room to divert from the planned questions during the interview. The researcher conducted the interviews in English since all the targeted respondents could speak English.
Interviews were preferred because they were considered to be economical in that the researcher would just need pen and paper to record interview proceedings. Interviews have a better rate of return since some people are more willing to talk than to write as in the case of a questionnaire. Interviews proved to be time consuming but also turned out to be adaptable. “Similarly, do not go around asking people for things or knowledge that you do not need, just to impress them”, Rukuni (2007:103). This remark was taken care of and the researcher was quite alert not to probe for unwanted or irrelevant information during interviews.
Babbie (1991: 293) remarks, “What you ask is what you get”. It is thus, possible for the researcher to subtly bias the respondent’s answers due to the manner in which they phrase or ask questions. It also implies that the researcher should be able to think, talk and listen almost at the same time. In this study, the interviewer improved with time and experience such that the results of earlier interviews differ slightly from the interviews conducted later.
There are basically four types of interview: the structured; the unstructured; the non-directive and the focused interview. Interviews can also be described as formal, semi-formal and non-formal. Formal, structured interviews were held with the fifty (50) respondents made up of twenty (20) musicians, fifteen (15) church leaders and fifteen (15) church members. These figures were arrived at through the use of random sampling. The sample had to be manageable so a limited number of people were considered for interviews. In the structured interview, the researcher designs and plans questions well before the interview. The researcher does not divert much from the planned questions during the interview and this is what transpired in this particular study.
Wragg (1994) points out that there are two types of observation: the participatory and the passive observations. Observer as participant identifies self and interacts with participants and makes no pretence of being participant. Complete observer (non participant) observes without being part of the group and the participants may not even realize they are being observed at times. In this study, the researcher was mostly a participant observer during music concerts. The researcher was part of the audience during music concerts and few people, if any, noticed that they were being observed. During music sessions in churches, the researcher was not participating but simply observing and the subjects were not aware that they were being observed. This was an advantage because once people realize that they are being observed, they may alter their natural and intended behaviour.
The descriptive survey involves two major steps. The first step involves observing, with close scrutiny, the population which is bounded by the research parameters and the second step involves making a careful record of what was observed. According to Thomas and Nelson (2001) there are three methods of observation. These are the narrative, tallying and duration methods. The narrative method involves the researcher in describing the observations as they occur in a series of sentences. The researcher should be able to select the most important information rather than recording everything as it occurs. The second method called tallying is also known as frequency counting. Here, the researcher records each occurrence of a clearly defined behaviour within a certain time frame. The behaviour to be observed should be clearly defined. The third is the duration method where a stopwatch or any other timing device is used in recording how much time a participant spends engaged in a particular behaviour.
In this study both participant and passive observation of gospel music concerts and church service music sessions took place using mostly the narrative method. Bell (1987) points out that whether the researcher is observing as a participant or as a passive observer, the most important thing is to observe, record, analyze and interpret data in an objective way. Recorded video tapes were also analysed in this study. Observation notes included what was observed and also the researcher’s interpretation of the observations.
It should be noted that the effective use of observation requires much practice since some behaviours to be observed may be difficult to define or evaluate. By observing the actual behaviour during gospel music performances in their natural setting, the researcher got a deeper and richer understanding of the performers and the audience. By going out to gospel music concerts and observing things as they occurred, the researcher was able to obtain a more accurate picture of the subject under study.
Cohen and Manion (1989) say that secondary sources are as important as primary sources in providing research data. Books and other written records constitute secondary sources. In this study the researcher gained access to books and newspaper gospel columns from 1980- 2007. Independent newspapers such as the Standard and state owned newspapers such as Herald, Chronicle and Manica Post provided useful information covering this period. Each individual song was analysed independently. The electronic media (internet) also provided information on gospel music and gospel musicians in Zimbabwe. Songs, music and texts, of selected gospel musicians were analysed.
RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY
Roy (2000) points out that a major problem in qualitative data analysis is that of validity. Roy (2000:363) says, “In social research we deal with human beings and as such qualitative data can neither be valid nor reliable”. Bell (1987:51) in discussing validity says, “Validity is an altogether more complex concept. It tells us whether an item measures or describes what it is supposed to measure or describe.” Thus, the data collection instruments (interview guides) must collect only intended data and exclude that which is not relevant or necessary. It also implies that another researcher using the same interview guides that are used in this research should be able to come up with similar findings. Cohen and Manion (1985) stress the need for instruments to be able to elicit the information required for the study. Data collection instruments must collect only that data relevant to the study. Another researcher using the same instruments must be able to come up with the same research findings.
Hitchcock and Hughes (1994) identify four types of validity that need to be considered in research. These are descriptive validity, explanatory validity, instrument validity and criterion validity. According to Hitchcock and Hughes (1994:105), “Descriptive validity refers to the extent to which the researcher describes what … the study set out to do … and whether this description was accurate and authentic.” Borg and Gall (1979), Bell (1987:51) opine that validity is concerned with whether an item measures or describes what it is supposed to measure or describe.
Criterion validity ultimately looks at how, “… the findings of a study … compare with another accepted (valid) observation or explanation of the same thing.” Hitchcock and Hughes (1994:106). Chivore (1994) says reliability of a study depends on its ability to give similar results if a different test was to be carried out on that similar sample.
In this study the steps taken to achieve validity also apply to the reliability. The interview questions and research instruments were amended with the help of the research promoter before being administered. As Chivore (1994) aptly points out, it is a fallacious notion that validity is a statistical phenomenon. According to Chivore (1985:65), “to have valid and reliable research depends on meticulous steps and plans taken from the day the research is conceived to completion of such a study.”
Bell (1987) on the other hand says that reliability is the extent to which a test or procedure produces similar results under constant conditions on all occasions. Thus, an instrument that lacks validity also lacks reliability. In this study no re- testing was done due to financial and time constraints. The respondents were also not likely to commit themselves through the same interviews for the second time. Re- testing could have shown whether the findings were valid and reliable.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
DEFINITION OF OPERATIONAL TERMS
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
FOCUS OF THE STUDY
GOSPEL MUSIC INDUSTRY IN ZIMBABWE
ZIMABWEAN GOSPEL MUSIC AS POPULAR CULTURE
PIONEER ZIMBABWEAN MUSICIANS AND PREDECESSORS
MAIN RESEARCH QUESTION
OBSERVATIONS AND ASSUMPTIONS
LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
RELATED LITERATURE ON GOSPEL MUSIC
THE RISE OF GOSPEL MUSIC IN ZIMBABWE
COMMERCIALISATION OF GOSPEL MUSIC IN ZIMBABWE
ZIMBABWEAN GOSPEL MUSIC AND CONTROVERSY
CHAPTER THREE- RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
DATA COLLECTION INSTRUMENTS
RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY
DATA POPULATION AND SAMPLING PROCEDURES
DATA ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION PROCEDURES
CHAPTER FOUR- ZIMBABWEAN GOSPEL MUSIC AS AN EXPRESSION OF GENDER RELATIONS
GENDER AND ZIMBABWEAN GOSPEL MUSIC
HOW ZIMBABWEAN GOSPEL ARTISTS ARE VIEWED BY THE MEDIA AND PUBLIC
CHAPTER FIVE- THE POLITICAL AND SOCIO- ECONOMIC CLIMATE AND THE SHAPING OF CONTENT, FORM AND PERFORMANCE PRACTICE OF GOSPEL MUSIC IN ZIMBABWE
SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS IN ZIMBABWE 1980- 1999
THE DEVELOPMENT OF REFORMIST GOSPEL MUSIC IN ZIMBABWE 1980- 1999
SOCIO- ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS IN ZIMBABWE 2000- 2007
THE EMERGENCE AND DEVELOPMENT OF RADICAL GOSPEL MUSIC IN ZIMBABWE 2000- 2007
CHAPTER SIX- THE INFLUENCE OF INDIGENOUS AND FOREIGN TRADITIONS ON GOSPEL MUSIC IN ZIMBABWE
INFLUENCE OF FOREIGN TRADITIONS ON ZIMBABWEAN* GOSPEL MUSIC
INFLUENCE OF INDIGENOUS TRADITIONS ON ZIMBABWEAN GOSPEL MUSIC
RESEARCH FINDINGS ON INFLUENCES ON MUSIC
ANALYSIS OF SELECTED ZIMBABWEAN GOSPEL MUSIC
CHAPTER SEVEN- RESEARCH FINDINGS, SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
SUMMARY OF THE STUDY
CONCLUSIONS OF THE STUDY
RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE STUDY
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH