Research Methodology

Our expedition “Who is a  Gurgaonian '', was introduced to us by an organisation called PARI. PARI or the People’s Archive of Rural India is a non-profit organisation that interviews people all over Rural India to collect their stories, in order to spread awareness and break stereotypes. Needless to say, after that session, we were hooked. We started a new Expedition and began thinking about how to begin the process.


Preliminary Information:

We started the process by using our searching skills and exploring secondary data about population of Gurgaon, Rural vs Urban distribution of Gurgaon’s population, Gender Ratio. Literacy Ratio and Occupation data. This information we got from the government of census data 2011.


Framing the Objectives:

Once we had the preliminary information, we framed the research objectives for our expedition. 

As a class we discussed and decided on the objectives as follows:

  • To document the stories of respondents from different areas of Gurgaon.

  • To know whether Gurgaon is perceived as urban or rural. 

Research Questions:

 Framing the research objectives helped us in breaking these down into simpler research questions, which we could explore while trying to achieve the primary objectives. Some of the research questions were:

  • Is Gurgaon Rural or Urban?

  • What is the population of rural gurgaon vs urban gurgaon?

  • How many people migrate to Gurgaon?

  • Why do they migrate to Gurgaon?

  • What are the main jobs / occupations available in Gurgaon?

  • Has Gurgaon changed in the last few years?

  • If Yes, how?

  • How do people perceive this change?

Research Methods:

Once we had the research questions, we had to make sure that the information we got represented as many backgrounds as possible to gain diverse perspectives. So we were required to choose the methods we would use for the process.


Data Collection:

With the help of our teachers and PARI, we were successfully able to identify the methods of observation and interview for sampling and data collection. We chose the transect method of observation to collect data about the terrain, infrastructure etc for the physical surroundings. Also, we decided to use the human transect method to observe and record the people's diversity in various areas of Gurgaon.


Pilot Study:

But before implementing this in the city, we had to learn the method and practice the skill of observation. So we did a pilot (practice) transect in our school to get a better understanding of our school environment. We used secondary sources to frame our observation tools and record out findings objectively without any bias.

After the first transect was completed, we started planning for the final Gurgaon Transect and also the interviews. We made an interview tool using secondary sources and adapting pre-tested interview tools for our purpose. We practiced the skill of interviewing first amongst ourselves, then with the school staff. This made us learn the skill of how the body language should be, how to introduce ourselves while following research field ethics.


Field Work:

Then we made groups of two and three and identified the geographical locations to visit. These locations were chosen keeping in mind the balance between Old and New Gurgaon localities.

Dates were fixed for the transect, and we managed to identify our respondents using the human transect method. We then approached them and were able to interview our respective respondents. 


Documenting Evidence and Portraits:

We also had to document evidence of our interaction and supporting evidence for the respondents’ answers. So we had to click pictures. Luckily, Light was also a topic in Physics and our science teacher helped us in understanding the functioning of a camera. We went to the Museo Camera to learn from the experts about nuances of photography, use of light, ect. We were taught certain portraiture skills, as well as how to use editing software on our pictures there

When the first interaction was completed, yet more information was needed before we started drafting their stories so we arranged a second meeting, where we took the respondent’s portraits. 


Compiling the Data:

After the second round of interviews, all groups were able to collect the data required to help in answering the research questions and achieve the research objective.

We started compiling our data for analysis and story writing.


Story Writing:

Our English Teacher taught us about various forms of Journalistic Writing, as well as The Hero’s Journey style of writing. We picked our writing to be a Feature piece, a popular style of Journalistic Writing. In our groups, we drafted our stories. Each story had a compelling idea, which we identified from the interviews taken. The story revolved around certain themes. They were read by our teachers, and we received feedback. Soon, our stories were finished and approved.


Analyzing Data :

To answer our research questions and support our primary findings with secondary data, we undertook secondary data collection. 

We then started research on our respondent’s hometown and found details about migration reasons, most common jobs in other areas, employment ratio in other states/ countries etc.

This data helped us to support our respondent’s claims of migrating due to better jobs in Gurgaon or higher education or salary in Gurgaon.

We used two- way tables to represent this data and used different data representation techniques like bar charts, pie charts etc. We used statistical techniques like mean, median, mode, range to analyse this data to answer our research questions.


Presenting the Research:

We understood the importance of sharing our findings and stories of all our respondents with a larger audience. Using different online mediums, each group made a website, with details about their respondent. These can be visited by clicking on the portraits of these people on the home page. 

Throughout this journey, we polished our interviewing, note taking and observation skills. We learnt and practiced the skills of photography, interview ethics, website design, searching for information, checking reliability of sources, journalistic writing and data compiling, representing and analysis techniques. 

This was an enriching experience and we are grateful for the teachers and mentors who helped us throughout the course of this Expedition. We feel proud of our work and look forward to learning more. 

The data analysis can be seen by clicking the Icon down below

Click to view Data analysis