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  1. Reading list 276 items
    1. General reading and resources 11 items
      1. This unit is accompanied by key readings covering methodological issues that you are required to read for each seminar, available via the Talis Reading List. You will need to conduct your own bibliographic research as well to prepare for your summative assessments. In addition, there are some introductory texts that might help you to get started.

      2. Social research methods - Alan Bryman 2016

        Book 

      3. Sociological research methods in context - Fiona Devine, Sue Heath 1999

        Book 

      4. Doing social science: evidence and methods in empirical research - Fiona Devine, Sue Heath 2009

        Book 

      5. Researching social life 2015

        Book 

      6. Qualitative researching - Jennifer Mason 2002

        Book 

      7. Interpreting qualitative data - David Silverman 2014

        Book 

      8. Qualitative research 2016

        Book 

      9. Qualitative social research: contemporary methods for the digital age - Vivienne Waller, Karen Farquharson, Deborah Dempsey 2016

        Book 

    2. WEEK 1 Introduction to qualitative methods and research design 28 items
      1. This week, we address the questions: what is qualitative research and why should we do it? What is the basis of qualitative work and how has it evolved? We will consider the advantages and disadvantages associated with its use in social science research and the range of techniques available. Issues about reliability and generalisation will be explored, as well as questions concerning what can and cannot be achieved using qualitative methods. The lecture and seminar will include a focus on the processes of conducting research and features of qualitative research design.

      2. Essential reading 2 items
        1. The Pugilistic Point of View: How Boxers Think and Feel about Their Trade - Loïc J. D. Wacquant 1995

          Article Essential Weblink: https://publicsociology.berkeley.edu/publications/producing/wacquant.pdf

      3. Seminar questions 1 item
        1. 1.    What are the strengths and limitations of qualitative research approaches?

          2.    What research problem are you engaging with?

          3.    Would a qualitative approach enable you to address this? (How?) 

      4. Recommended reading 6 items
        1. If you would like an introductory text to the issues discussed in this session to get you started, you might find it helpful to read:

        2. Qualitative social research: contemporary methods for the digital age - Vivienne Waller, Karen Farquharson, Deborah Dempsey 2016

          Book Recommended Part 1: Getting Ready (includes: ‘1 The foundations of qualitative research’, ‘2 The aims of qualitative research’, ‘3 From topic to research design’, ‘4 The politics and ethics of qualitative research’),

        3. Qualitative Research

          Audio-visual document Recommended If you would like more in-depth resources, then do consult the journal

        4. ESRC National Centre for Research Methods

          Website Recommended The site is very useful for resources on, and information on training opportunities in, qualitative methods

        5. The Study of Development’ - D. Williams

          Chapter Recommended

      5. Further reading 18 items
        1. Qualitative research methods for the social sciences - Bruce L. Berg 2014 (electronic resource)

          Book Further Chapters 1 and 2: ‘Introduction’ and ‘Designing Qualitative Research’

        2. Research methods in politics - Peter Burnham, Karin Gilland Lutz, Wyn Grant, Zig Layton-Henry 2008

          Book Further

        3. Working Qualitatively’ - Brannen, J.

          Chapter Further

        4. Chapter 16: The Nature of Qualitative Research’ - Bryman, A.

          Chapter Further

        5. Chapter 1: Conceptualising Social Life’ - Cooper, G

          Chapter Further

        6. Chapter 4: ‘Searching and Reviewing Literature’ - Ebeling, M., Gibbs, J.

          Chapter Further

        7. A companion to qualitative research - Uwe Flick, Ernst von Kardoff, Ines Steinke 2004

          Book Further

        8. Chapter 2: ‘Research, Theory and Method’ - Gilbert. N.

          Chapter Further

        9. Chapter 3: ‘Formulating and Refining a Research Question’ - Green, N.

          Chapter Further

        10. Qualitative researching - Jennifer Mason 2002

          Book Further ‘Introduction: The Challenge of Qualitative Research’, Chapter 2 ‘Designing Qualitative Research’, and Chapter 3: ‘Data Sources, Methods and Approaches’

        11. Methods, sex and madness - Julia O'Connell Davidson, Derek Layder 1994

          Book Further

        12. Researching sensitive topics - Claire M. Renzetti, Raymond M. Lee 1993

          Book Further

        13. Qualitative research practice: a guide for social science students and researchers - Jane Ritchie, Jane Lewis 2003

          Book Further Chaps 3-5

        14. Interpreting qualitative data - David Silverman 2014

          Book Further Chapter 2: ‘What is Qualitative Research?’, Chapter 12: ‘The Potential of Qualitative Research’

        15. Qualitative research 2016

          Book Further Chapter 2: ‘What You Can (and Can’t) Do with Qualitative Research’, Chapter 6: ‘Selecting a Topic’, Chapter 7: ‘Using Theories’, Chapter 8: ‘Choosing a Methodology’, Chapter 11: ‘Writing a Research Proposal’, Chapter 16: ‘Evaluating Qualitative Research’

        16. Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Methods - Spicer, N.

          Chapter Further

    3. WEEK 2 Qualitative Interviews 23 items
      1. This week, we consider the use of qualitative interviews. The pros and cons of various types of interview techniques will be considered, including structured, semi-structured and unstructured interviews and life-histories. We will explore the skills that make for good interviewing, such as how to keep 'on target whilst hanging loose', interviewing on sensitive or difficult topics, establishing a relationship with interviewees and interviewer-interviewee relationships, as well as issues relating to elite interviewing. 

      2. Essential reading 3 items
        1. Researching sensitive topics: qualitative research as emotion work - V. Dickson-Swift, E. L. James, S. Kippen, P. Liamputtong 01/02/2009

          Article Essential

      3. Seminar questions 1 item
        1.  

          1.    What are the advantages/disadvantages of structured, semi-structured and unstructured interviews?

          2.    How might researchers go about building trust and rapport with an interviewee?

           

          3.    Should researchers disclose personal information about themselves in an interview?

      4. Recommended reading 4 items
        1. How many qualitative interviews is enough - Baker, Sarah Elsie, Edwards, Rosalind

          Article Recommended

        2. The emotional labour of gaining and maintaining access to the field - Stina Bergman Blix, Åsa Wettergren 12/2015

          Article Recommended

        3. What is Qualitative Interviewing? - Edwards, Rosalind, Janet Holland

          Article Recommended

      5. Further reading 14 items
        1. The life story interview - Robert Atkinson c1998

          Book Further

        2. Participant observation and interviewing: a comparison’ - Becker, H. S, Geer, B.

          Chapter Further

        3. Interviewing survivors of marital rape - Bergen, K.

          Chapter Further

        4. Chapter 13: ‘Qualitative Interviewing’ - Fielding, N., Thomas, H.

          Chapter Further

        5. The Interview: From Structured Questions to Negotiated Text’ - Fontana, A.,, Frey, J.H.

          Chapter Further

        6. Chapter 4: ‘Qualitative Interviewing’ - Mason, J.

          Chapter Further

        7. The inside and the outside: finding realities in interviews’ - Miller, J., Glassner, B.

          Chapter 

        8. Theorizing the Interview - Ray Pawson 06/1996

          Article Further

        9. Interviewing Political Elites - Robert L. Peabody, Susan Webb Hammond, Jean Torcom, Lynne P. Brown 09/1990

          Article Further

        10. Qualitative interviewing: the art of hearing data - Herbert J. Rubin, Irene S. Rubin c2012

          Book Further ‘Foundations of Qualitative Interviewing’, ‘Interviews as Guided Conversations’ and ‘Choosing Interviewees and Judging What They Say’

        11. Chapter 4: ‘Interviews’ - Silverman, D.

          Chapter Further

    4. WEEK 3 Focus groups 22 items
      1. This week, we explore the uses and limitations of focus groups, paying particular attention to why researchers use focus groups, considerations concerning how to manage and run focus groups, and methodological and conceptual issues relating to the nature of groups and how data in focus groups can be used or interpreted.

      2. Essential reading 3 items
        1. Shopping around: Focus Group Research in North London - Beverley Holbrook and Peter Jackson 1996

          Article Essential

      3. Seminar questions 1 item
        1.  

          1.    What kinds of research questions could focus group research usefully address?

          2.    What kinds of group dynamics might you encounter in focus group research?

           

          3.    How, as a researcher, would you respond to them?

      4. Recommended reading 3 items
      5. Further reading 14 items
        1. Talking Politics - William A. Gamson 1992

          Book Further

        2. Individual and Group Interviewing’ - Gaskell, G.

          Chapter Further

        3. Focus groups: a practical guide for applied research - Richard A. Krueger, Mary Anne Casey 2014

          Book Further

        4. Focus groups as qualitative research - David L. Morgan 1997

          Book Further

        5. Identity in Focus - Jennie Munday 02/2006

          Article Further

        6. The handbook for focus group research - Thomas L. Greenbaum c1998

          Book Further

        7. The Focus Group Interview as an In‐depth Method? Young Women Talking About Sexuality - Carolina Överlien, Karin Aronsson, Margareta Hydén 10/2005

          Article Further

        8. Chapter 10: ‘Focus Group Research’ - Wilkinson, S.

          Chapter Further

    5. WEEK 4 Ethnography 44 items
      1. This week, we consider the use of ethnographic techniques within social science and the various types of observation that can be utilised within fieldwork including participant-observation and covert observation. We pay particular attention to the ethical demands of ethnographic research, issues of access, the key role of gatekeepers, getting on in and 'getting out' of, or disengaging from, the field.

      2. Essential reading 3 items
      3. Seminar questions 1 item
        1.  

          1.    How should ethnographers handle questions of access, transparency and confidentiality and researcher-respondent relations in their research?

           

          2.    Is covert participant-observation ever justifiable?

      4. Recommended reading 2 items
        1. Benefits of 'observer effects': lessons from the field - T. Monahan, J. A. Fisher 01/06/2010

          Article Recommended

        2. Ethical Covert Research - Paul Spicker 02/2011

          Article Recommended

      5. Further reading 37 items
        1. The ethnographic imagination: textual constructions of reality - Paul Atkinson 1990

          Book Further

        2. Rethinking Observation: From Method to Context’ - Angrosino, M.V.,, Mays de Perez, K.A.

          Chapter Further

        3. The innocent anthropologist: notes from a mud hut - Nigel Barley 2000

          Book Further

        4. Chapter 2: Ethnography: Relating the Part to the Whole’ - Baszanger, I., Dodier, N.

          Chapter Further

        5. The hard sell: an ethnographic study of the direct selling industry - John Bone c2006

          Book Further

        6. Writing culture: the poetics and politics of ethnography - James Clifford, George E. Marcus, Kim Fortun 2010

          Book Further

        7. The ethnographic self: fieldwork and the representation of identity - Amanda Coffey 1999

          Book Further

        8. Observation - Denscome, M.

          Chapter Further

        9. Chapter 14: ‘Ethnography’ - Fielding, N.

          Chapter Further

        10. An introduction to qualitative research - Uwe Flick 2014

          Book Further parts 3, 5,

        11. A companion to qualitative research - Uwe Flick, Ernst von Kardoff, Ines Steinke 2004

          Book Further

        12. Ethnography - Hammersley, Martyn

          Book Further

        13. The ethics of social research - Roger Homan 1991

          Book Further

        14. Analyzing social settings: a guide to qualitative observation and analysis - John Lofland, Lyn H. Lofland c1984

          Book Further

        15. Chapter 5: Observing and Participating’ - Mason, J.

          Chapter Further

        16. Hustlers, beats and others - Ned Polsky 1971

          Book Further

        17. Chapter 3: Ethnography and Observation’ - Silverman, D.

          Chapter Further

        18. Evaluating Ethnography - Laurel Richardson 06/2000

          Article Further

        19. Doing critical ethnography - Jim Thomas c1993

          Book Further

        20. Tales of the field: on writing ethnography - John Van Maanen c2011

          Book Further

        21. Walsh, D. (2004) 'Chapter 17: Doing Ethnography', in C. Seale (ed.) Researching Social Life (London: Sage)

        22. Gender issues in field research - Carol A. B. Warren 1988

          Book Further

    6. WEEK 5 Documentary and Archival Research 32 items
      1. This week, we discuss the use of archives and differing methods of documentary analysis. The range of documentary sources relevant to social research projects is immense, extending from personal papers such as letters and diaries, to intermediate materials like legal records, archives and newspaper reports, to official documents such as national and local government materials, as well as includes datasets generated by government-sponsored censuses and surveys. Recently, paper and film-based sources have been augmented by the rapid growth of electronic databases, accessible through the Internet, and, particularly recently, secondary data sources. With regard to the latter, we consider debates among social scientists on whether the use of secondary qualitative data is beneficial or harmful to social research.

      2. Essential reading 3 items
      3. Seminar questions 1 item
        1.  

          1.    What kinds of documentary sources could constitute data?

          2.    How might you interpret the significance of documents?

          3.    What can/do documents do?

           

          4.    In what circumstances would you consider secondary data analysis?

      4. Recommended reading 2 items
      5. Further reading 25 items
        1. Chapter 19: Secondary Analysis of Survey Data - Allum, N., Arber, S.

          Chapter Further

        2. Chapter 4: Analysing Documentary Realities - Atkinson, P., Coffey, A.

          Chapter Further

        3. Archiving qualitative research data’ - Corti, L.,, Foster, J., Thompson, P.

          Webpage Further

        4. Doing secondary analysis - Angela Dale, Sara Arber, Michael Procter 1988

          Book Further

        5. Working with qualitative data - William J. Gibson, Andrew Brown 2009

          Book Further Chapters 5 and 9

        6. Social research: philosophy, politics and practice - Martyn Hammersley 1993

          Book Further Esp. ch.5 and chap 12

        7. Unobtrusive methods in social research - Raymond M. Lee c2000

          Book Further

        8. Documents of life 2: an invitation to a critical humanism - Kenneth Plummer 2001

          Book Further

        9. Seale, C. (2001) 'Chapter 26: Using data archives for secondary analysis', in Seale, C. (ed.)

        10. Thompson, P. (2000) 'Experiences of Re-analyzing in Qualitative Research', Forum: Qualitative Social Research 1 (3)

    7. WEEK 6 Reading Week 1 item
      1. No lecture or seminar

    8. WEEK 7 Visual Methods 17 items
      1. In this session we consider the use of visual research methods – including where visual images are utilised by researchers as a form of data elicitation as well as where visual images are generated as a form of data that is to be analysed. We will consider questions such as what can researchers achieve using visual methods? How might visual data be collected, and what kinds of issues should researchers consider in relation to data analysis? Ethical issues concerning the ownership and sharing of visual images in the research process will be addressed.

      2. Essential reading 3 items
      3. Seminar questions 1 item
        1.  

          1.    For what kinds of research questions might the use of visual images for the purposes of data-elicitation be useful?

          2.    How/why might researchers use visual images as data?

          3.    Are there any pitfalls in using visual methods?

           

          4.    How should researchers handle issues of confidentiality/consent in using visual data?

      4. Recommended reading 3 items
        1. Research strategies - Banks, M

          Chapter Recommended

        2. Using visual methodologies to explore contemporary Irish childhoods - A. White, N. Bushin, F. Carpena-Mendez, C. Ni Laoire 01/04/2010

          Article Recommended

      5. Further reading 9 items
        1. Image-based research: a sourcebook for qualitative researchers - Jon Prosser 1998

          Book Further

        2. Visual methodologies: an introduction to researching with visual materials - Gillian Rose 2016

          Book Further

        3. Wiles, Jon Prosser, Anna Bagnoli, Andrew Clark, Katherine Davies, Sally Holland, Emma Renold (2008) Visual Ethics: Ethical Issues in Visual Research, ESRC National Centre for Research Methods Review Paper, National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM/011)

    9. WEEK 8 Qualitative methods in practice 1 item
      1. This week, we will focus on the practical use of qualitative methods. In preparation for this week's seminar, please select one of the methods covered in the unit so far, and conduct a trial use of this method. You will need to prepare some preparatory notes and reflections on the method afterwards to bring to the seminar for discussion with the group.

         

        Please consult Appendix 2 of this unit guide for advice and instructions for this week's task.

         

         

        In the seminar, we will discuss your notes and reflections and consider what the use of particular methods in practice reveal about the value and limitations of particular methods.

    10. Week 9 The digital as a resource and an object of study 24 items
      1. In this session, we consider issues relating to digital research. We will look at the digital mode of communication and society as a tool and as a site of research. We will be addressing 'the politics of method' as the apparent need in new methods for researching the digital and digital research, and the difference between various ways of studying digital society – e.g. focusing on how people use digital media and with what consequences, or analysing digital data to assemble the social in either qualitative or quantitative ways, or both. The public/private trap as well as various methods to collect digital data will also be discussed. 

      2. Essential reading 3 items
        1. Ethnographic Approaches to the Internet and Computer-Mediated Communication - Angela Cora Garcia, Alecea I. Standlee, Jennifer Bechkoff, Yan Cui 02/2009

          Article Recommended

      3. Seminar questions 1 item
        1.  

          1.    Why might researchers conduct research online?

          2.    What particular ethical issues are raised by internet data collection?

           

          3.    Is online research particularly different to offline research?

      4. Recommended reading 3 items
        1. The Other Face of the Earth: Social Movements against the New Global Order’ - Castells, Manuel

          Chapter Recommended

        2. Cultures and Communities - Robert V. Kozinets

          Chapter Recommended

      5. Further reading 16 items
        1. Ethics and the internet: Issues associated with qualitative research - Denise E. DeLorme, George M. Sinkhan, Warren French 2001

          Article Further

        2. ‘“Need help ASAP!!!’: A feminist communitarian approach to online research ethics’ - Hall, G.J.,, Frederick, D., M.D. Johns

          Chapter Further

        3. Virtual methods: issues in social research on the Internet - Christine Hine 2005

          Book Further

        4. Online interviewing - Nalita James, Hugh Busher 2009

          Book Further

        5. Internet Behaviour and the Design of Virtual Methods’ - Joinson, A.N.

          Chapter Further

        6. Internet communication and qualitative research: a handbook for researching online - Chris Mann, Fiona Stewart 2000

          Book Further

        7. Researching the Online Sex Work Community’ - Sanders, T.

          Chapter Further

    11. WEEK 10 The ethical researcher 24 items
      1. In this session we will reflect on the various aspects concerning research ethics that we have addressed throughout this unit, to consider the range of issues that researchers need to consider in developing ethically grounded research, including informed consent, transparency, confidentiality, power relations, research on and with marginalised groups, the purposes of research, research with powerful groups and elites, and the politics of doing research.

      2. Essential reading 3 items
      3. Seminar activity 1 item
        1.  

          1.    What aspects of your research raise ethical issues?

          2.    What are the ethics procedures in the School and how would you apply them to your own research? Are they adequate?

           

          3.    In what ways might the researched have, or lack, power within the research relationship?  What are the implications of this for developing ethical research practice? 

      4. Recommended reading 2 items
        1. University of Bristol Research Ethics http://bristol.ac.uk/research/support/governance/ethics/ethics.html

           

          Faculty of Social Sciences and Law- Application for Ethical Review, available from http://bristol.ac.uk/fssl/current-staff/research-ethics/#Support

      5. Further reading 17 items
        1. Chapter 8: The Ethics of Social Research’ - Gilbert, N.

          Chapter Further

        2. Women on the line - Miriam Glucksmann, Ruth Cavendish 2009

          Book Further Introduction

        3. Ethnography - Hammersley, Martyn

          Book Further

        4. The politics and ethics of fieldwork - Maurice Punch c1986

          Book Further

        5. Chapter 9: Research Ethics’ - Silverman, D.

          Chapter 

        6. Wiles, R., Charels, V. Crow, G. and Heath, S. (2004) 'Informed Consent and the research Process', ESRC Research Methods Festival, University of Oxford http://www.ccsr.ac.uk/methods/publications/documents/wiles.pdf

        7. Informed Consent in Social Research: A Literature Review - Wiles, Rose,, Sue Heath,, Graham Crow, Vikki Charles

          Document Further

    12. WEEK 11 Researcher-researched relationships 48 items
      1. This session will develop our focus on questions of the power relations of research and relations between the researcher and research participants. In particular, the session will consider how the researcher's identity, subjectivity, politics and ethics can shape the research process, and why questions of reflexivity have become so central to qualitative researchers, what kinds of relationships researchers build with research participants, including respondents and gate-keepers; issues of 'giving back' to researched groups; and we will discuss ideas about how to generate relationships and practices of mutuality and reciprocity in small to medium scale research projects such as those which might conducted within a Masters or doctoral research programme. Some key questions that will be addressed include: what are the implications of insider and outsider research? What issues should researchers consider when researching 'across difference'? What are the challenges of 'same-ness' for researchers carrying out research as insiders? Should researchers take sides? Should research be politically committed? What and who is research for? 

      2. Essential reading 3 items
        1. Whose Side Are We On? - Howard S. Becker 01/1967

          Article Essential

      3. Seminar questions 1 item
        1.  

          1.    What issues should the researcher consider when researching participants that are different or similar to them?

          2.    Is 'insider research' easier than 'outsider research'?

          3.    What kinds of relationships should researchers have with the researched?

           

          4.    Does research ever particularly benefit the researched? Can you think of any examples?

      4. Recommended reading 5 items
        1. Researching race and ethnicity: methods, knowledge and power - Yasmin Gunaratnam 2003

          Book Recommended

      5. Further reading 38 items
        1. Anderson, B. (2001) 'Just another job? Commodification and domestic labour', Gender and Development 9 (1)

        2. Foreword - Calhoun, Craig

          Chapter Further

        3. Researching Inequality Through Interpretive Collaborations - Lisa Dodson, Deborah Piatelli, Leah Schmalzbauer 09/2007

          Article Further

        4. On Feminist Methodology - Hammersley, M.

          Article Further

        5. Taking sides in social research: essays on partisanship and bias - Martyn Hammersley 2000

          Book Further

        6. Feminism and methodology: social science issues - Sandra G. Harding c1987

          Book Further

        7. Feminist research in theory and practice - Gayle Letherby 2003

          Book Further

        8. Feeling Gender Speak - Lorraine Nencel 08/2005

          Article Further

        9. Interviewing Women: A Contradiction in Terms’ - Oakley, A.

          Chapter Further

        10. Partington, G. (2001) 'Qualitative research interviews: identifying problems in technique', Issues in Educational Research 11 2 32-44

        11. Feminist methods in social research - Shulamit Reinharz, Lynn Davidman 1992

          Book Further

        12. Doing feminist research - Helen Roberts 1981

          Book Further

        13. Chapter 11: The Relevance of Qualitative Research’ - Silverman, D.

          Chapter Further

        14. Research and inequality - Carole Truman, Donna M. Mertens, Beth Humphries 2000

          Book Further

    13. Week 12 Reading Week 1 item
      1. No lecture or seminar this week.

         

         

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