Engaging Qualitative Material: two linked half-day workshops
|2 December 2014
|13:30 - 16:30
|What is it:
|Who is it for:
|University staff, Current University students
Participants join the series and attend both workshops, please book on both dates. (2nd and 10th December)
The first begins where a PGR wants to finish a ‘qualitative journey’: having successfully anticipated what helps examiners find legitimacy in a text emphasising an inductive orientation to knowledge creation. This focus in learning directs immediate attention to substantive and methodological criteria for submitting and defending a non-metric PhD. Consideration is given in both workshops to key choicepoints confronting the PGR engaging a qualitative journey.
Each workshop structures a sequence of hands-on practice where qualitative material from a PhD is analysed. Creativity as well as deliberateness are demanded in qualitative analysis, and each is practised on both mornings. The practical exercises allow participants to make analytic comparisons at increasingly higher levels to generate codes and inter-relate concepts. Reference is made to a range of qualitative problematics, with techniques from grounded theory illustrating the robustness characteristic of sound inductive investigation.
The ‘learning-by-doing’ mode is complemented in both workshops with space for personal reflection. Larger issues are raised and their implications addressed, often re-framed as choices which a PGR continuously confronts in constructing and presenting a PhD built qualitatively. These include . . .
establishing focus quickly while remaining open to emergent themes
mixing quantitative and qualitative methods
justifying the ‘selecting in’ of some data and not selecting in other
locating where the literature ‘fits’ within a qualitative account.
Larger, additionally problematic queries easily arise and invite higher-level learning:
Can I intellectually account for the origin of my data-based concepts?
How do my boundless curiosity yet bounded data-sources affect my choice of analytic emphases?
What tone in my text persuades a reader of its inter-subjective, substantive validity while acknowledging its intra-subjective, methodological rigour?
When is ‘enough’ enough to warrant a coherent doctorate?
The critical reader of a qualitative account often senses it has been easier for the writer to make observations – gather raw material – than to account theoretically in the text for how he or she has thought aboutthe observations – conducted the analysis of the ideas raised from the empirical database. Can we use the implications of an imbalance like this (the appearance to an examiner that the candidate knows more about collecting data than they do about analysing them) to orientate our attention in the workshops to priority issues in PGR methods-learning?
The starting point in Workshop 1 is a qualitative journey in academia today is fraught with inconsistencies for the new researcher. The end point of Workshop 2 is what might help a PGR retain confidence and wellbeing in the face of these emotionally impacting, institutional contradictions.
This event is organised by methods@manchester and the Humanities Researcher Development Team.
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