Qualitative Methods Reading Group

The ​Qualitative Methods Reading Group (QMRG) was founded in December 2014 with the aim of creating a forum for the discussion and promotion of qualitative research methods. The group is highly interdisciplinary, including people from Psychology, Sociology, Politics, Criminology, Education, Anthropology, the Natural Sciences and Engineering with backgrounds in both qualitative and quantitative research. For each meeting, we decide on two readings: usually a theoretical paper and a study. We started out broadly, focusing on common research methods and methodologies such as qualitative interviews and ethnography, but we recently advanced towards more specific issues such as sampling strategies and validity.

The group provides graduate students, researchers and Fellows of the College with an opportunity to discuss and enhance their understanding of qualitative research methods, and is particularly interesting to those planning on or already working with qualitative research methods. Selected spaces may be given to undergraduate students.

Meetings are held biweekly on Tuesdays in Fuchs House (Wolfson College), from 2.30 to 4.00 pm. Refreshments are kindly provided by the College. Meetings are also advertised once in advance via the wolfson-events mailing list.

We ask you to register your ATTENDANCE by emailing Johanna Lukate: jml87@cam.ac.uk. Please send questions about finding readings to Meg Westbury, the college Librarian: librarian@wolfson.cam.ac.uk.

We welcome reading suggestions (e.g. Journal Articles, Book Chapters) from all participants. Diverse and controversial titles are encouraged.

Upcoming Meetings for Michaelmas Term 2016

  • Tuesday 11 October: Constructivism and Qualitative Research - Epistemology, Ontology and the Relativism-Realism Debate
  • Tuesday 25 October: The Role of the Researcher I
  • Tuesday 8 November: The Role of the Researcher II: On Responsibility towards and the Risk of Othering Research Participants
  • Tuesday 29 November: The Power Dynamics of Interviewing

Reading List for Michaelmas Term 2016

Tuesday 11 October: Constructivism and Qualitative Research - Epistemology, Ontology and the Relativism-Realism Debate

Key reading:

Carla Willig (2015). Constructivism and ‘The Real World’: Can they co-exist? Paper presented at the BPS QMiP conference. Paper available here.

Weinberg, Darin. 2009. “On the Social Construction of Social Problems and Social Problems Theory: A Contribution to the Legacy of John Kitsuse.” American Sociologist. 40(1-2): 61-78. Article available here.

Further reading:

Weinberg, Darin. 2008. “The Philosophical Foundations of Constructionist Research.” InThe Handbook of Constructionist Research. Edited by James A. Holstein and Jaber Gubrium. New York: Guilford Press, pp. 13-39. Book available via various university libraries

Tuesday 25 October: The Role of the Researcher I

Dwyer, S. C., & Buckle, J. L. (2009). The space between: On being an insider-outsider in qualitative research. International journal of qualitative methods8(1), 54-63. Article available here.

Fink, A. S. (2000, December). The role of the researcher in the qualitative research process. A potential barrier to archiving qualitative data. In Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research (Vol. 1, No. 3). Article available here.

Peshkin, A. (1988). In search of subjectivity—one's own. Educational researcher, 17(7), 17-21. Article available here.

Tuesday 8 November: The Role of the Researcher II: On Responsibility towards and the Risk of Othering Research Participants (Each participant should read one of the papers in response to Fine’s and present the key arguments, and we can then discuss Fine’s original paper)

Fine, M. (1994). Working the hyphens. Handbook of qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Chapter available here.

Cunliffe, A. L., & Karunanayake, G. (2013). Working within hyphen-spaces in ethnographic research implications for research identities and practice. Organizational Research Methods16(3), 364-392. Article available here.

Wagle, T., & Cantaffa, D. T. (2008). Working our hyphens exploring identity relations in qualitative research. Qualitative Inquiry14(1), 135-159. Article available here.

Nicholls, R. (2009). Research and Indigenous participation: critical reflexive methods. International Journal of Social Research Methodology12(2), 117-126. Article available here.

Tuesday 29 November: The Power Dynamics of Interviewing

Duncombe, J., & Jessop, J. (2012). 'Doing rapport' and the ethics of 'faking friendship.' In T. Miller et al. (Eds.), Ethics in qualitative research (2nd ed.), (pp. 108-121). London: Sage. Chapter available here.
 
Limerick, B., Burgess‐Limerick, T., & Grace, M. (1996). The politics of interviewing: Power relations and accepting the gift. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 9(4), 449-460. Article available here.
 
Merriam, S. B., Johnson-Bailey, J., Lee, M. Y., Kee, Y., Ntseane, G., & Muhamad, M. (2001). Power and positionality: Negotiating insider/outsider status within and across cultures. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 20(5), 405-416. Article available here.