For the moment let’s set aside the details associated with various methodologies and think about the core elements of the research process. In most cases, we begin with a problem and define the questions we want to answer. We find people or materials to explore and gather relevant data. After we analyze it, we tried to draw some kind of conclusions then share what was learned by presenting it to others in written or verbal form. We carry out these steps within epistemological and theoretical frameworks that help us understand and explain their positions as researchers in relationships with the world. How can we use these steps to build a culture of inquiry in classes we teach?
Here are some suggestions from a learning to research, researching to learn orientation. Depending on the available time and the nature of the class, you can use these ideas to reframe discussions are written assignments, or as the basis for research projects that involve collecting and analyzing data.
Engaged Urbanism: Cities and Methodologies is an imaginative foray into rethinking how scholars approach the city and challenging assumptions around urban research. It mirrors recent academic debate seeking to innovate in contemporary university conditions and attempts to make social research more “crafty” (e.g. Les Back and Nirmal Puwar). In this, it sits alongside Kirsteen Paton arguing for “getting real, going DIY and going live” and also draws on David Beer’s notion of a “punk sociology” in pushing social research in novel directions.
Read also: Engaged Urbanism: Cities and Methodologies
How does the methodology of looking at disparities differ from methods as applied to other research efforts?
Most of the econometric methodologies for looking at disparities use the same tools and techniques used in looking at inequality generally. The best tools are the ones that are not limited in their scope to the analysis of disparities. As a result, when one uses conventional tools with widespread acceptance within the broader research community and applies them to specific areas of disparities, one has the opportunity generalize and to use the disparities as an illustration that can be read and embraced across topics.
In this interview with Leila Zaki Chakravarti, sociologist Mona Abaza explores how the obstacles encountered by researchers doing fieldwork in enduring political upheavals are addressed in the context of contemporary Egypt. Chakravarti is a research fellow at the SOAS Centre for Gender Studies at London University. She is currently publishing a monograph based on her PhD fieldwork exploring constructs of class, gender and religion within an export-orientated garment manufacturing factory in Port Said, Egypt. Her current research interests focus on constructs of masculinity within the workspaces of professional football.
The article examines the use of photo-elicitation methods in an ESRC-funded study of young consumers. Participants were asked to take photographs of consumer items that were significant to them. These were subsequently used in recorded interviews as a trigger to elicit the discussion of the relationship between consumer goods and identity. The analysis focuses on how the features of visual representation influence the versions of identity that are presented. We show how participants both accommodate to and exploit aspects of the photographic image in creating their accounts. This is achieved by using the visual image to bolster identity claims and employing the verbal accounts to edit and contextualize the identity implications of the visual image. We suggest that the photo interview offers participants an opportunity to show rather than ‘tell’ aspects of their identity that might have otherwise remained hidden. It may, therefore, be a useful tool for researching contentious or problematic identity positions.
Together with her research group, Saana Svärd wants to find out what people living in the ancient Near East were thinking. They are turning to methods from the digital humanities for help. Saana Svärd’s research team is facing quite the challenge. They need to find out what people who lived in the great empires of the ancient Near East thought of themselves as members of a group. The Centre of Excellence in Ancient Near Eastern Empires, which will launch in early 2018, has received an eight-year grant from the Academy of Finland.
For artists, scholars, researchers, educators and students of arts theory interested in culture and the arts, a proper understanding of the questions surrounding ‘interculturality’ and the arts requires a full understanding of the creative, methodological and interconnected possibilities of theory, practice and research. The International Handbook of Intercultural Arts Research provides concise and comprehensive reviews and overviews of the convergences and divergences of intercultural arts practice and theory, offering a consolidation of the breadth of scholarship, practices and the contemporary research methodologies, methods and multi-disciplinary analyses that are emerging within this new field.
Read also: Ethnocinema : Intercultural Arts Education
Art and Intercultural Dialogue
Bringing together interdisciplinary leaders in methodology and arts-based research (ABR), this comprehensive handbook explores the synergies between artistic and research practices and addresses issues in designing, implementing, evaluating, and publishing ABR studies. Coverage includes the full range of ABR genres, including those based in literature (such as narrative and poetic inquiry); performance (music, dance, playbuilding); visual arts (drawing and painting, collage, installation art, comics); and audiovisual and multimethod approaches. Each genre is described in detail and brought to life with robust research examples. Team approaches, ethics, and public scholarship are discussed, as are innovative ways that ABR is used within creative arts therapies, psychology, education, sociology, health sciences, business, and other disciplines. The companion website includes selected figures from the book in full color, additional online-only figures, and links to online videos of performance pieces.
Read also – Interview about the Handbook
Method Meets Art
IDEO and the Sundance Institute have developed a very compelling way to generate discussion and curiosity. It is called Creative Tensions. And the premise is to physically take a stance along the line between opposing forces within a broader theme.
Creative Tensions is a physically activated collective conversation in which participants share where they stand on a topic by virtue of where they stand in the room. Inspired and provoked by a pair of speakers who approach the topic from wildly different contexts, Creative Tensions prompts reflection, explores nuance, and celebrates the rare moment when one change one’s mind.
More than just an exercise, Creative Tensions is an experiment in communication. When so many of the problems we face on personal and global stages are due to a lack of understanding, and many of the challenges we face are calling for paradigm shifts, we need to turn old methods on their heads in order to reveal new paths to problem solving.
The integrity of knowledge that emerges from research is based on individual and collective adherence to core values of objectivity, honesty, openness, fairness, accountability, and stewardship. Integrity in science means that the organizations in which research is conducted encourage those involved to exemplify these values in every step of the research process. Understanding the dynamics that support – or distort – practices that uphold the integrity of research by all participants ensures that the research enterprise advances knowledge.
The 1992 report Responsible Science: Ensuring the Integrity of the Research Process evaluated issues related to scientific responsibility and the conduct of research. It provided a valuable service in describing and analyzing a very complicated set of issues and has served as a crucial basis for thinking about research integrity for more than two decades. However, as experience has accumulated with various forms of research misconduct, detrimental research practices, and other forms of misconduct, as subsequent empirical research has revealed more about the nature of scientific misconduct, and because technological and social changes have altered the environment in which science is conducted, it is clear that the framework established more than two decades ago needs to be updated.
Responsible Science served as a valuable benchmark to set the context for this most recent analysis and to help guide the committee’s thought process. The Integrity of Science identifies best practices in research and recommends practical options for discouraging and addressing research misconduct and detrimental research practices.