Methods Sessions

Following on from the successful series of online methods sessions July – December 2020, Methods North West is offering another series of methodological sessions February – June 2021, once again delivered by experts in their fields. An list of previous sessions, from July 2020 onwards, can be found in our archive here.

Please find details of upcoming sessions below:

27th May 2021, 2-3pm
Making autoethnography

Clare Holdsworth (Keele University)

Many researchers have turned to autoethnography as a result of covid-19 lockdowns. Faced with impossibility of face-to-face research, autoethnography provides one solution to carrying on with research off line. Autoethnography is not just a method for lockdowns, it is an accepted methodology in the social science repertoire, though one that can be treated with suspicion.

I have adapted autoethnography to write about my sewing practice, including how this has changed during lockdown. The potential of researcher as maker has been developed in a number of autoethnographic studies. My use of autoethnography incorporates this commitment to understand the process of making but, at the same time, I also use making as a method for interpretating relationships with others. My approach to an autoethnography of making is therefore to try to capture the diversity of practices and emotions that are experienced through the seemingly mundane task of sewing.

In this session I introduce the different methods I have used to observe myself and how these have developed a relational interpretation of materiality and making. I also discuss the ethics of autoethnography and issues that potential researchers need to think about when adopting this method.

Register here

3rd June 2021, 2-3pm
Discourse Analysis: how and why should I do it?

Alexandra Krendel (Lancaster University)

In this session, I showcase several methods currently used to analyse discourse. Discourse is defined as language above the level of the sentence. A discourse analysis approach is a qualitative one, which takes into account both the specific linguistic features of interest in a given text, as well as the context in which texts are created. I also discuss discourse analysis which is undertaken from a ‘critical’ perspective, and thus focuses on how ideology and power relations are expressed through language. I then demonstrate that discourse analysis methods can be applied in a wide range of contexts which may be of interest to social science scholars. These include conversations, political discourse, the language of the news, healthcare, business, as well as online contexts.

Register here

10th June 2021, 2-3pm
Introducing Corpus Approaches to Social Science

Luke Collins (Lancaster University)

This session will introduce the basic principles of corpus linguistics: a set of computational approaches to studying language in large datasets. Corpus linguistics supports researchers in uncovering patterns in language on the basis of quantitative measures and is informed by linguistic theory. This helps us to gather evidence on how language is used according to various contexts and in pursuit of different communicative goals, making it a highly flexible tool for research across the social sciences. This seminar will cover the fundamental concepts and introduce the tools used in corpus linguistics, demonstrating how attendees can benefit from existing resources as well as how they might go about using corpus linguistics to analyse their own data.

Register here

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