INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT TO COPY AND PASTE INTO PORTFOLIO This practical involves the coding of an interview transcript. You should read through the full transcript carefully at first to begin to get a sense of what it contains. Then, you should pick out topics and apply initial codes to sections of text surrounding whatever themes you think you can find. Initial codes can be applied to individual words, whole sentences or larger sections as you see fit. Having done this, you should then go through and develop these codes. You might thus begin with: Code A = Learning And develop this code so that you end up with: A1 = Learning in childhood A2 = Learning from books A3 = Learning from other people A4 = Learning from experience etc. Attached is a transcript from an interview conducted to a owner of a VW caravan. The interview is part of a PhD project and focuses on the motivations for owning one and the complex relations the owner has established with the caravan. Use coloured pencils or an equivalent word processor tool to highlight sections of text in order to pull out the themes – remember to look back over your notes on qualitative methodologies and analysis. You should produce a coded transcript and a key explaining your codes (you may like to represent these using a “codemap” or “brainstorming diagram”) ***********Original Transcript******************* NOTES: Michael Archer- 45 minute Interview discussing VW Campervan ownership. Researcher (Bold) Respondent (Regular) What attracted you to the idea of owning a VW campervan? Michael: Well for me it was more like a holiday home, a portable camp and chill with the family. The VW aspect was more to talk Amanda into it. My partner just for the record.(Laughs) Basically she thought it was cool and they are cool and all of those things, but it was more a vehicle to go on holiday in so like looking at caravans well didn’t appeal, and I could see it as a second vehicle. So what you’re saying is you wouldn’t have liked a different type of vehicle? No it would have to be something that could be used as a car as well. So not the big American retirement van? No well the VW’s my mate had one and it’s a car and a van and its cool and exciting isn’t it. It’s that whole thing, there’s a buzz about it. People talk about it, so that would be the initial reason. Does the idea come from research, or just off the top of your head to get it? Well we went on a caravan holiday and we sat in this caravan and we thought this is cool; we will just have barbeques and just drink beer. Just chill out George (Their son) was only 7 weeks old and everything was dead easy going and slow the pace reminded us of when we went travelling to Asia and this was the life, but on the doorstep. Somewhere we could go on a weekend, every weekend just to get away from the city. Then Amanda wanted something mobile and then the VW was a compromise. Did you give it a name? It didn’t have a name when we got it. Our initial idea in the July 2009 and we didn’t get it for 10 months of waiting, painstaking waiting and it didn’t have a name we thought Ulysses or, the registration was UCU34l. It was a TV program, Ulysses (Pronounced dramatically). Most of them are girls names so we decided in the end to call it Jenny because that’s what Forrest Gump (the movie) calls his boat. Does that represent travelling or something? Just liked the name. Did giving it a name help with attachment to it? Well they are mostly girls and it’s like naming a ship. I thought there was a slight cultural difference of the people who got them; the Dubbers who had names were different from those who hadn’t. In what way? I don’t know. You’re allowed to say what you think? It seems that if you really knew VW then you didn’t name it. So at first we didn’t name it, we haven’t had anything and called it a name. Even George’s teddies, his rabbit are rabbit. Not a sentimental old fool then? (researcher laughs) So where you brought up with camping? Yes well we had definitely camped, with cubs and stuff like that and school camp at the lakes which was cool. Err then with the lads trying to get in campsites when we were 16, sleeping in fields. Walking through fields of bulls and swampland and stuff and waking up in the morning with this guy on his quad going get off my field and we were like oh no. We went camping then, we went walking then. We had a break then returned to it with mates and realised that you could just sit and eat and drink as much as you wanted and it was great, you could just get as drunk as you wanted and that was fine. We didn’t really go camping me and Amanda but then when we had a kid; it really seemed to make sense and still does. That is the lifestyle that I want my family to have. Do you think that’s more a boy thing or just general? What with camping, I guess stereotypically yes. Like its roughing it and Amanda doesn’t want to rough it, whereas maybe when she was younger she would of, but she’s 30. I liked mucking in, getting wet, getting dirty whereas Amanda didn’t like that about the camping. There will be girls that don’t enjoy it and girls who do, but as a general rule boys like getting in a mess and most girls don’t. The idea of getting wet and sitting in a leaky tent brings out survival instincts in me. My cousin and his wife goes camping, well glam ping actually they put a carpet in their tent. I suppose you’re forced to make you own entertainment in a way. You’re forced as a couple to be together, well not forced but you’re on a campsite and it’s a relaxed ‘holiday’ atmosphere. So do you think it’s a relaxing experience? Relaxing? Well it’s an idea that you go camping to relax and people do. Yes but it’s full of tasks to get to the relaxing bit. Like relaxing is over there but you have to do a lot to get to it. Like the whole alphabet. To get to the z. Then when you sit down it’s like right what do I do now. So everything’s done, all you need to do is just do the dishes. But there’s actually nothing to do. Not like at home. Is it trying to get away from that? Yes for me it is actually. That’s still why I would like a static caravan as well. Somewhere to go, to chill out and get drunk (laughs) In terms of feelings about the van, can you describe that? Over the massive and ridiculous 10 months it took to procure the van and we even got a loan to get it. Then when it did arrive we were like this is a mistake because we had been so long waiting and we had to find extra money too. At first I was a bit negative about it, although Manda was excited and I was oh I don’t know what this is going to be like. That was my feeling all the way up to getting it, but then when I got it I did fall in love with it. Very much fell in love with it. It only took sitting in it, driving in it and having a glass of wine in it to think this is brilliant. This is cool you know it belonged to us and I had never owned anything quite like it, that was worth that much. I don’t own a house I just have a mortgage. Yeah it was mine and I fell in love with it. We would obsess about buying things for it. It was like a person. Strange that. But it had its own character which is probably why people name them. If a name had come to us we probably would have named it but it was like what does it need? George our son had a lot of needs and so did it. Things you could get for it like accessories. We bought everything, the curtains, the pans and the electrics. I thought about it, went and looked at it on the street when I woke up in the morning. Go and just sit in it, it’s yours you can be possessive over it. Is ownership part of it or could you have just hired one? No, when it’s yours you look in other peoples vans and go how practical is it, where would you sleep all of these questions. As soon as you had your own it was like this is brilliant, I don’t care where I am going to sleep. It was more look at this I am in my van. There’s an excitement and something I really enjoyed. Did this feeling stay with you for the duration of having the van? Yeah definitely, just very attached to it. Do you think it’s an aesthetic thing? I mean I know there’s more to it than that but…. Yes it’s the age of it, that its original, it’s got a history and it looks nice but it’s quite simple. It’s got eyes on the front, a face. Whoever designed it thought I want to live in this I will put a sink there, I will put the beds there etc, it’s clever and a lot of thought has gone into it. It’s like you feel like you have got something special and whether it’s done through the perception of it. People say they fall in love with them and that’s what happens. I suppose if I had a Ferrari I would fall in love with that but not necessarily in the same way. Are you in love with your car? No. I don’t really like it. When I first got it I thought oh its okay, I have a new car. Now I dislike it. I wouldn’t be bothered if it was nicked, albeit for financial reasons. The van (whoa) I left it somewhere and thought I hadn’t locked the door and just panicked about it and couldn’t think about anything else until I got back to the van and the door was locked. Then I love my bike at the minute so maybe I am a bit like that. The campervan did stay with me. When you say history, do you mean cultural history or its own history? It hadn’t any improvements really so, so it’s original so you imagine what people were like who used to live in it and there is that whole community. You don’t go anywhere without someone speaking about it. That makes the cycle of you enjoying it, being part of something the reason you think it is special is because you drive along the road and kids smile at it and people look at it and wave at you. You drive past everyone in their normal cars and it doesn’t matter that its costing a fortune to drive or goes really slow (Laughs0 or really noisy or stinks of oil, when your sat at the lights and someone else in their car that’s probably cost 20 grand and you just go HA! Do you attribute the features of the van to yourself, your personality? I think the van is the van itself and it’s just that you, like I was the driver of that van. You do personalise them over time. But we didn’t have ours long enough. Eight ball gear stick or whatever. Got a little fire extinguisher. We didn’t want to put flowers on it or change the look as it was a recent resprays so it looked lush. I felt like a bus driver. It is strange but you do feel on show when you drive them Does it create an atmosphere for your life? For the time you spend in them. I think that’s the appeal of them that when you in them you relax, something changes like it’s not the only thing that that happens with. Especially if it’s yours. It’s like you look at a fire and you think that’s beautiful it gives you a certain feeling, or looking out into the ocean gives you a certain feeling. Like the campervan you just chill out it’s your domain. When you’re driving do you feel relaxed? Not always when I am driving. It can be a nightmare. You can’t get it in gear or anything like that can you? You can’t get stressed or lose you temper with it either or it won’t let you drive it. When you stop its relaxing. It depends where you are driving of course. I tried to use mine for work. It was to see if I could do it, use it for work but it was ridiculous in the winter in the campervan. So it was just a joke. I had a fleece blanket, jacket, hat and gloves. Start the engine; clean all the snow off and the ice. Condensation breath, then when I get there, South Shields is a 40 minute drive and it’s still freezing. So it didn’t affect how you thought of the van? No it was just my little relationship with the van. It was good having it working in a school. Some of the kids were is that a hippy van sir? Others were like why do you drive that and couldn’t understand it. Some who knew about them really liked it. People like them that is the thing. I hear people say you either love them or hate them and it’s just trying to put my finger on what that means. Any thoughts? It’s basically the way that they look and it’s what they offer. Freedom, comfort and style and there’s an impression that other people want them as well. So if other people want it then you want it, then you have it so you have what other people don’t have so you have something special. In theory you could have that with a bongo or whatever but with the VW it is the je ne suis qu’une. It’s the same reason why people like for example old houses. Certainly now it has gone into popular culture. Yes now you can buy a campervan key ring even if you haven’t got a van. Like with a lot of popular programs like Lost, they are just in things that are cool. So that image is just instilled. I am interested in how people overcome the problems to get to the freedom that it is allegedly going to offer. Do you mean the fact of the way they are made and they breakdown a lot? Maybe Well its irrational isn’t it? If you think about the way that they are made, the gears I mean your pulling these rods basically the whole distance of the car . Anything’s simple and everything is fragile and brittle and could break at any point and you have oil spills. The more stuff you do with them, the more determined you are to do stuff, to solve problems. Like Macbeth you are in it so far, you have made a stupid decision from a practical point of view, financially it doesn’t make sense, they are not economical, they cost a lot to repair but people get obsessed about them and want to fix them themselves. Not me though. Was it a hard decision to sell it? It wasn’t that hard because I was working a lot and couldn’t really afford it and not seeing any benefit. My original goal was to have this lifestyle. The payoff for me was that I would have a big car but it didn’t work out that way. We thought if we sell it we could buy something else like a caravan but then we realised we couldn’t get anything else as we didn’t have the money. That thing is still hanging there that I am going to get a decent car and a caravan. And that we can tow it and go to Europe and go around the country. So you haven’t left the idea of that kind of camping and travelling lifestyle? No it was just with all the rain last year and having a baby. It was stressful being in a small environment but in a caravan it would be a bit more luxury, warm and dry and one of my main things is that we go away so she relaxes as well. Perhaps we can go back to this life that we had on this beach in Thailand which will always be our little paradise. We can get a taste of that and that George could play with other children on the campsite and have a really nice time. I was sad to see the van go but because we had a bank loan and that it’s not all mine it would have been unreasonable and selfish to go with what I would have wanted which is to have kept it. I would have kept it because it was my van, that’s how I felt. We went away without George in the bus and it was just great. It was like why we didn’t get one before we had George because it was great. No problem to set things up, took our time, did whatever, had nice food, it was our anniversary liked it. So children are a huge factor in how you experience things? Yes George was one. He needed a lot of attention; the van needed a lot of attention setting stuff up that was stressful. Sometimes we got to the campsite, hadn’t eaten, eating 10 at night spaghetti Bolognese in the dark. I enjoyed all that, it had a little porch and stuff. Not catch 22, but I hadn’t thought about getting a van before I had a child, but maybe would have enjoyed it more not having one around. I went in my friends van, all I thought was it would cost loads of petrol money yet he loved it. Then once he said he would use his van to help me pick up some stuff and then it broke down and ended up in a garage and two hours later I thought I am never getting a campervan. Then the person we got ours from he was local, he built it, we trusted the people and it was a reliable van. So the engine wasn’t shedding oil? Well it was shedding oil (Laughs) it never conked out, it needed an oil seal. You joked with me and said you didn’t want to end up in Silverlink (Shopping Village) every weekend. It sounds to me like for you it had been the antithesis. So in other words you were achieving a lifestyle not entirely like the traditional nuclear family set-up? The dream never came true as we were never away long enough in it because of Amanda’s job, so we were away for three or four days at a time and by the time you have travelled there and back then you have one or two days in a place. Sometimes you would go to a campsite and think that it’s not very good. Then I have gone to all the hassle of setting it up and can’t be bothered to take it down and go somewhere else and set that up and it might not be good. It’s very much trial and error with these things and the more experience you have, the more you know. We did go off in my mum’s caravan during owning the van and the hassle is less, a lot less. You mentioned going off to Thailand and how some of van ownership aimed to capture this idea? Yes we woke up every day cooked fish on the Barbie; go for runs in the morning. Amanda would find shells and make stuff; I would be building things in our hut. So it was trying to recreate that in a modern context? Yes and it is beautiful in the countryside and very different from the city and you just go there’s nothing to do so you just stop. Of course the VW rallies. People park up on concrete if they have to and so sometimes nature isn’t the deal. What did you think? We never did that van community thing, we never looked for that, for other VW people we just did our own thing. Any reason why you’re not interested in VW meetings and festivals? Well like everyone my time is limited and yes I guess its snobbery. You can only go away 5 months in the year. My objective is to stay in the countryside, chill out and relax. I don’t know enough about the vans so would be out of my depth in places like that. Like at other peoples van then what. I don’t know these people and don’t need to know new people. I suppose the festival ones rather than the shows are a bit more about relaxing, but generally I wasn’t interested in that I just wanted to go camping and have a bit of car credibility. That shouldn’t be important to me but it is. Sometimes you spend up to an hour and a half in a car per day so I would quite like a good car. So I thought a VW is a good car, eye catching what I didn’t realise is that it was not comfortable and rubbish to drive, Do you think you will get one again in the future? No So not when you’re 55 and all parental duties done? I think we would be prepared to lose the aesthetic qualities for the sake of a transit van with a house on the back for the sake of comfort. I don’t really mind that a caravan looks crap. When I was on the campsite with the van it really did stand out but it wouldn’t bother me now if we didn’t. I couldn’t understand why I was in that godforsaken land. Nature. I didn’t care about that. That first experience of camping with the van in a remote campsite on a muddy field was like, what the hell have we done. It’s just mental – An awful field. Its ridiculous (laughs) There’s just nothing to do but that’s it (laughs) that’s the appeal. Like it was that thing I said before, it’s ridiculous you spend thousands of pounds on it, you lie down shut the door then you have the rain leaking on you. Then you need to use the toilet (laughs loudly) You have to find your shoes. The advantage at night time though if you are a bit drunk your alright. When you get up in the morning and your a bit groggy, the focus is where and how I am going to get washed, whereas when your at home it’s like…what am I going to do today. In the van all you can think about is I need to get washed and I am starving. These are the objectives and that takes the first couple of hours just thinking about the bare minimum I believe really is good for you. Therapeutic, where you don’t have to worry about it all. Then when your dry or warm and had a bacon sandwich it’s like I have really done it, I have really achieved something. It reminds me of a line in the film the Sopranos when Tony says urm, about this Russian girl who is just happy as she has got her life and she hasn’t always had that, went to America and has a better standard of living. She said that when you have the basic needs fulfilled then like in Maslow, it’s about self actualisation. You work out your worries, you analyse and go over things and I think humans are not necessarily designed to do things. Like perhaps it’s a relatively new territory like in the past 150 years that this has happened. I think it’s natural to go back to basics. Like when people go and enjoy holidays there’s nothing to do apart from eat. It’s like you wonder what you are going to have for lunch then dinner and that’s half the day gone and you haven’t really done anything but you have had a good day. Why do you think that is good for people? You have your own control over it. Or there are problems to solve. You challenge yourself. Your in a difficult situation, you sort of go from a low to a more stabilized situation where you have achieved something. Yes I suppose you put yourself in a state of mini crisis in a way. Yes you do. You park up and have to set up all this stuff and it’s all over the place. Your brain is going through working out how to do all these things, then you’re hungry and you eat. Then you sit and think oh I feel quite pleased with myself In normal life they are perhaps not seen as achievements? No they are just tasks you have to keep doing in order to achieve other things like to get money, work to get paid. It’s a different focus. I suppose it’s out of your comfort zone into a new place. I think that would be true of a lot of activities, but it’s certainly true of camping. There must be something innate, primal maybe because rationally you wouldn’t do this. You can get wet and cold and that’s not enjoyable. Just to finish off what’s the worst experience you have had in the van? It was midge flies at the Lake District. People had warned us about it, but we thought it would be ok. There were swarms of them and I am trying to set up this van with the wrong pegs. Had to re-park the van, get it totally lined up and George( 1 year old boy) was very well behaved in the van and I was totally sweating and my face was covered in flies and I thought that this is ridiculous. Stupid. We stayed that night, there was no escape. Other people were there with bites all over them saying ‘Oh its fine’. We had mosquito spray and they were still there, George was getting bitten. Another time it was raining for three days. There first campsite we were on didn’t have any electric, showers or toilets. Nice spot by the sea but it was raining heavily. George had his nap in the afternoon and we just collapsed the whole thing and tried another campsite two miles up the road and set it all up again, in the rain. I did try to make the best of it. Looking back, none of it was enjoyable at all. The dream was never the reality, what I loved was the attachment. It really was like a member of the family. It’s very strange that for a vehicle to have that impact, just by the way it makes you feel. I am pleased I have done it and I would like to think I would do it again but would we really?
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