Centre for Research on Families, Life Course and Generations (FLaG)

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Families, Life Course and Generations Research (FLaG) Centre
Sociology and Social Policy
University of Leeds
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Tel: +44 (0)113 343 4432
email: s.irwin@leeds.ac.uk

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Innovation in Social Research: Methodology, Experience and Practice

Date: 29 September 2009, 09:30h – 16:30h
Location: Beech Grove House

‘Innovation in Social Research’ is a one day conference for postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers. It will focus on ‘innovation’ in social research methods. Leading academics will present ideas of ‘innovation’ in different methodological contexts, and delegates will explore what it means to be ‘innovative’ in social research practice.

This will involve moving beyond, whilst still drawing on, traditional ideas around social research methods. The aim will be to consider how ‘classic’ methodologies can be put to fresh use for current empirical practice.

The event will offer a training opportunity for all who are interested in critical engagement in research methodology and in research practice. Presentations, workshops and a plenary session will enable delegates to think critically about innovation in method and in practice. Delegates will learn to consider innovative methodologies for their current and future social research practice.

Dr. Kahryn Hughes will introduce the day with a critical and reflective analysis of ‘innovation’ in social research methodologies. This will be followed by presentations on methodologies at the cutting edge of current social research. Leading academics Professor Bren Neale (longitudinal methods) and Dr Jon Prosser (visual methods) will discuss how and why innovation in social research methods has supported their work.

Further presentations will explore experience and practice in social research. Dr Sharon Elley will explore emotional dimensions of conducting research as a PhD student. Professor Peter Dwyer will reflect on innovation in involving users in research.

Presentations will be complemented by practical group-based workshops where delegates will explore specific issues and, where relevant, share insights from their own research and experience. The workshops will provide opportunity for delegates to critically evaluate broad themes around ‘innovation’:

  • What is ‘innovation’ in social research methodologies?
  • How could the pursuit of ‘innovation’ hinder or support social research practice?
  • How might a ‘visionary’ approach apply to delegates’ current or future empirical social research work?
  • How can methodological ‘innovation’ provide meaning for substantive findings?
  • What practical challenges does ‘innovation’ present for day to day research work?

Innovation in Social Research – Conference Programme

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