Are Rose’s observations and conclusions unduly
influenced by his own subjectivity?

Kyle and Tommy

Although the author notes his own inherent bias, he balances this ethnographic study with professionals in the field to produce coherent arguments in favor of his hypothesis. By overtly naming his personal experience in the field, Rose’s background actually provisions a unique perspective on his research question allowing him to ask questions from an insider’s perspective. Rose also recognizes the limitations of ethnographic research and works to overcome this by seeking the opinion of other professionals. He could have gone even farther by offering some counterfactuals and using peer-assessment of the data he collected.

Katie & Kristy

Our position is that, while Rose presents strong evidence to support his argument that we, as a society, ought to broaden our understanding of what constitutes intelligent work, he nonetheless sometimes allows his emotional connection to his argument and subjects to unduly influence his conclusions. Specifically, his unique perspective and efforts to control personal biases were commendable (e.g., member-checking interviews, and consulting outside experts); however, at times he oversteps the actual data in the interest of evangelizing what is clearly a strong personal belief. For instance, in the introduction, he emphasizes his unique capacity for studying this work by virtue of having grown up “witness” (p. xi) to it; this subsequently undermines his objectivity, as he follows this compelling position statement with the assertion that this background is the same thing as “know[ing]” (p.xi) the cognitive capacity necessary to perform such work. Thus, while all research is biased and he certainly takes important and effective steps to account for this bias, he nonetheless allows his personal beliefs and connection to overstate his conclusions.

William & Alexandra

Our position is that Rose’s approach is not unbiased, but helps lay a foundation for this research. His personal experience, and case study of his mother’s work, provides the basis for his primary research question and hypothesis. After laying out this foundation, Rose uses an appropriate methodology, ethnographic research, to answer his question. Given the nature of this methodology he does make a concerted effort to address his subjectivity by reviewing prior literature, confirming case studies with participants and third party researchers, and includes multiple cases studies for each field.

However, Rose’s study is not without limitations. For example, the nature of ethnographic study faces limitations of small group research. He also, must consider his own influences as the researcher on the actual outcome. Rose did not adequately address how, for example, “social desirability” might influence his results. Another limitation is that Rose was not able to test a null hypothesis. He came into the study with a particular worldview of intelligence and sought confirmation of this. Naturally, Rose’s hypothesis is one most would agree with. However, there is value in testing the opposite. We acknowledge the challenges of operationalizing this though.

Monaca and Zach

We agree that Mike Rose’s observations were influenced by his own subjectivity, however his subjectivity did not unduly influence his research. His lived experience framed how he saw the world and served as the impetus for curiosity on the topic of the mind at work and desire to integrate new concepts into the conversation. He clearly communicated his bias and subjectivity from the onset and took steps to account for that bias through repeated measure, confirmation of story, comparison to theory and use of story. He framed this in relation to the creation and implementation of feminist theory, that one must live difference in order to capture knowing beyond the current conversation. Rose was unique position with dual citizenship in the realm of scholar and that of lived experience in seeing the mind at work. This allowed him to make connections between his lived experience, that of others doing similar work, with widely held social convention and long standing social theory. This unique position, which was inherent to his subjectivity, it what allowed to navigate and connect contradictory views on the conversation of the mind at work and offer qualitative evidence for an inclusion of skilled trades and labor as a considerate in the larger conversation.

Mike & Brooke

Our position on Rose is that although we do consider this work to be research, like all research – it is flawed.Rose’s research methodology is sound but his biases may have influenced the outcome, in a number of subtle ways. Rose admits that his presence may have influenced the responses and behaviors of his subjects. The use of a co-investigator would have neutralized some of this bias in his observations created by social desirability effect.
All research is biased but do not reject it because of the strength of the methodology which helped create strong external validity. Case studies, ethnography, and naturalistic observation are all accepted practices that Rose buttresses with checking against external studies.
There is the notable absence of a counter narrative which may be resulting from his framing of the research question and his selection of only successful exemplars. In conclusion, Rose’s study is quality research that calls out for replication to confirm the strength of his methods and conclusions against accusations of bias.

McShea and Thomas

Our position on Rose is that although we do consider this work to be research, like all research – it is flawed.Rose’s research methodology is sound but his biases may have influenced the outcome, in a number of subtle ways. Rose admits that his presence may have influenced the responses and behaviors of his subjects. The use of a co-investigator would have neutralized some of this bias in his observations created by social desirability effect.
All research is biased but do not reject it because of the strength of the methodology which helped create strong external validity. Case studies, ethnography, and naturalistic observation are all accepted practices that Rose buttresses with checking against external studies.
There is the notable absence of a counter narrative which may be resulting from his framing of the research question and his selection of only successful exemplars. In conclusion, Rose’s study is quality research that calls out for replication to confirm the strength of his methods and conclusions against accusations of bias.

William & Alexandra

Our position is that Rose’s approach is not unbiased, but helps lay a foundation for this research. His personal experience, and case study of his mother’s work, provides the basis for his primary research question and hypothesis. After laying out this foundation, Rose uses an appropriate methodology, ethnographic research, to answer his question. Given the nature of this methodology he does make a concerted effort to address his subjectivity by reviewing prior literature, confirming case studies with participants and third party researchers, and includes multiple cases studies for each field.

However, Rose’s study is not without limitations. For example, the nature of ethnographic study faces limitations of small group research. He also, must consider his own influences as the researcher on the actual outcome. Rose did not adequately address how, for example, “social desirability” might influence his results. Another limitation is that Rose was not able to test a null hypothesis. He came into the study with a particular worldview of intelligence and sought confirmation of this. Naturally, Rose’s hypothesis is one most would agree with. However, there is value in testing the opposite. We acknowledge the challenges of operationalizing this though.

Mike & Brooke

Our position on Rose is that although we do consider this work to be research, like all research – it is flawed.Rose’s research methodology is sound but his biases may have influenced the outcome, in a number of subtle ways. Rose admits that his presence may have influenced the responses and behaviors of his subjects. The use of a co-investigator would have neutralized some of this bias in his observations created by social desirability effect.
All research is biased but do not reject it because of the strength of the methodology which helped create strong external validity. Case studies, ethnography, and naturalistic observation are all accepted practices that Rose buttresses with checking against external studies.
There is the notable absence of a counter narrative which may be resulting from his framing of the research question and his selection of only successful exemplars. In conclusion, Rose’s study is quality research that calls out for replication to confirm the strength of his methods and conclusions against accusations of bias.