Methods North West has run two successful programmes of online Methods Sessions in 2020-21 and 2021-22, delivered by experts in their respective fields. A list of all previous sessions can be found in our archive here.
23rd March 2023
Digital diaries as a decolonising method
Aneta Hayes (Keele University)
In this session speakers will reflect on decolonising methods, drawing on their own research and projects. In this first session, on 23 March, speakers include:
Decolonising History Research – speakers Shalini Sharma/Rachel Bright – 2.00 – 2.30
Digital Diaries as Decolonising Methods – speakers Aneta Hayes and Sophia Taha – 2.30 – 3.00
This session is the first in the series of Decolonising Methods Labs, led by Keele. After the session, we will open Expressions of Interest from interested PGRs, to be ‘paired’ with the speakers to work on their own decolonising methods research design. This will be a half a day workshop, in-person. Selected PGRs will be supported to travel to Keele, as well as have a networking meal, to meet the speakers and work with them on the proposals.
30th March 2023
Researching the Life-Course Creatively
Sarah Marie Hall, Laura Fenton and Liz Ackerley (University of Manchester)
20th April 2023
Catherine Oliver (Lancaster University)
4th May 2023
Dee-Constructing Human and Non-Human Relations: Acoustic Recording in the Dee Estuary
Damian O’Doherty (University of Liverpool)
Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in the Dee estuary on the border of Wales and England, this session reports on a phase of research that involved working with volunteer ‘citizen scientists’ enrolled by Cheshire Wildlife Trust and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to help promote improved environmental awareness and landscape care and custodial management. Volunteers were trained to use a variety of sound recording devices including a range of microphones, recorders (stereo and contact mics, hydrophones, etc.) and editing and post-production software. ‘Training’ workshops were designed to help cultivate attention and awareness to sound and otherwise hidden dimensions of experience that might help expand and extend members repertoire of engagement with landscape and environment. Developing methods familiar to scholars working in photo-elicitation methods our workshops devoted time to working on personal and collective ‘free association’ around recorded sounds. As the workshops progressed we discovered a series of personal limit-experiences amongst participants whose work with sound brought them to a series of ‘edges’ (spatial, temporal) that we began to understand as ‘portals to other-worlds’. During this process of discovery landscape disappears from its customary passive, environ-mental or objective status – subject to what Heidegger might call ‘the age of the world picture’ – and becomes vital and animate helping subjects recover highly personal memories and histories that inscribe landscape whilst opening up possible lines of re-creation and escape that offer new possibilities for landscape care and restoration.
11th May 2023
The Change Laboratory: A Research Methodology for Engendering Change
Jane Nodder (Lancaster University)
18th May 2023
Allanah Tomkins & Rachel Bright (Keele University)
25th May 2023
Large Language Models in Accounting and Finance (LLM-A&F), Introducing Fintext Project
Eghbal Rahimikia (University of Manchester)
We start with FinText (https://fintext.ai/), a novel repository of financial word embeddings developed using the Dow Jones Newswires database. We show that incorporating these word embeddings in a machine learning model increases realised volatility forecasting performance. Next, we compare FinText performance against state-of-art NLP models like GPT-3 and GPT-J for return forecasting and trading. We demonstrate that publicly available FinText has reasonable forecasting power in contrast to pay-to-use industrial NLP models. Finally, we introduce our new project, ‘LLM-A&F’, and its potential applications for future research.
1st June 2023
The Elephant in the dark: Power, habitus and decolonisation, lessons from life history interviews.
Elham Amini (University of Liverpool)
This session explores issues concerning the sexuality of Iranian Muslim menopausal women, but focuses on how power was negotiated between me, as an interviewer, and the interviewees throughout the life history interviews I conducted with them. As an Iranian woman conducting interviews with Iranian Muslim menopausal women who practise the Shia Islam faith, I found, in addition to my biography and personal characteristics (such as gender, race, and sexual orientation), what Bourdieu calls the habitus (how I spoke, sat and what I wore) had a significant influence in how I negotiated my status with participants. Thus, I argue for the need to go beyond a focus on intersectional categories per se, and to look at the broader social landscape of power and its process. I do this by employing a Bourdieusian perspective, which considers the symbolic and cognitive elements by emphasising the social practice. I review my experience and the issue of positionality, to set the scene for the future prognosis of the online interviewing and the type of data it can generate by emphasising on its epistemological challenge. I consider this and related challenges for the existence and practice of qualitative interviews by emphasising on social inclusion approach in biographical research.
8th June 2023
Development and application of a qualitative rapid analysis approach in a hybrid trial within primary care
Amy Mathieson (University of Manchester)
Qualitative researchers are often faced with the challenge of conducting rigorous data collection, analysis, and dissemination of findings in short time frames, particularly within healthcare and implementation research. In the context of iterative feedback loops to support real-time policy decision making, and an emphasis on speeding up adoption of evidence-based interventions, qualitative health researchers will increasingly be expected to produce rapid results and products. Traditional qualitative methods have been adapted for this purpose. In this session, I will reflect upon our experience of developing and applying a rapid analysis approach, utilising a summary template, in a process evaluation for the VICTORION-Spirit study; a ground-breaking hybrid trial (NCT04807400), examining real world delivery of inclisiran – a cholesterol lowering treatment – in primary care. I will discuss the use of rapid analysis to understand the barriers and enablers to the delivery of inclisiran and to inform wider uptake. I will also reflect upon our experience of analysing and sharing findings in real-time, and discuss what this may mean for future qualitative health services research.
15th June 2023
Learning from an Experience of Mixed Methods Approach to Criminological Research in the Global South
Mamun Usman (Lancaster University)
Mixed methods are important method of data generation for rigorously reliable outcomes in criminological research, offering opportunities to gain insights beyond designed limitations of quantitative research. However, it also constitutes ethical dilemmas and challenges for criminological researchers. For this reason, many researchers tend to rely more on secondary sources of data, and research relating to deprivation in criminological studies is not exceptional in this regard. This session discusses the importance of mixed method in exploring the relationship between deprivation and criminality, with a specific focus of experience from the global south, towards scrutinizing the criminological theories that are primarily developed and tested using data of the global north. The study was conducted in northern Nigeria, gathering data from Almajirai students of Tsangaya system of education. These are about 10 million children who are often perceived as criminals in their host communities, but there is little empirical research to substantiate this. The study brings to light of this community, and the global south experience in enriching the existing knowledge of the relationship between depth of deprivation and involvement in criminality, through in-depth interviews, one-to-one questionnaire interviews, and covert observations.
22nd June 2023
Claire Fitzpatrick (Lancaster University)
29th June 2023
Multiple Imputation in practice