Article

Pagtatanong-tanong: A cross-cultural research method

International Journal of Intercultural Relations (Impact Factor: 1.14). 01/1989; 13(2):147-163. DOI: 10.1016/0147-1767(89)90003-5

ABSTRACT

Pagtatanong-tanong, a Filipino word which means "asking questions, " has been identified as an indigenous research method in Philippine social science research. This paper discusses its usefulness in cross-cultural studies particularly those among ethnic minority groups. Pagtatanong-tanong has four major characteristics: (a) It is participatory in nature; the informant has an input in the structure of the interaction in terms of defining its direction and in time management, (b) The researcher and the informant are equal in status; both parties may ask each other questions for about the same length of time. (c) It is appropriate and adaptive to the conditions of the group of informants in that it conforms to existing group norms, (d) It is integrated with other indigenous research methods. Different aspects of pagtatanong-tanong are discussed: preparation, procedure, levels of interaction, language, insider-outsider issue, cultural sensitivity, reliability/validity and ethical issues. Emphasis is given to the basic guiding principle: that the level of interaction between the researcher and the informant influences the quality of data obtained. Eight levels of interaction which are divided into the "One-of-Us" and the "Outsider" categories are described.

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    • "It is in their own mother tongue that a person can truly express their innermost sentiments, ideas, perceptions, and attitudes. Some of the indigenous research methods that have been identified are pagtatanongtanong (improvised informal, unstructured interview) (Pe-Pua, 1989), pakikipagkuwentuhan (''story telling'' or ''informal conversations'') (Orteza, 1997), ginabayang talakayan (collective indigenous discussion), nakikiugaling pagmamasid (participant observation) (Bennagen, 1985), pakikisama (''getting along with'') (Nery, 1979), pagdalaw-dalaw (''visiting'') (Gepigon & Francisco, 1978), and panunuluyan (''residing in the research setting'') (San Juan & Soriaga, 1985). "
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