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Ethnography, Culture and Interpretive Analysis Research Group

Starts: 14 March 2012

Wednesday 14th March, 2-4pm Room -1.31 (Glamorgan Building)

Ethnography, Culture and Interpretive Analysis research group:

This two hour session will be led collaboratively by Karen Henwood, Carrie Coltart and Fiona Shirani.   

For the first 10 minutes they will each say something about their experiences and reflections as members of a primary project team whose data have been transferred to a qualitative archive and subject to some experiments in reuse. If you have been involved in some kind of secondary qualitative analysis activities, or have plans to do so, or are wondering why so much importance is attached to it, we hope you will be keen to take part in the workshop discussion that will take up most of the time in the session.

Workshop Brief

Today qualitative researchers are faced with many and varied demands. It is no longer enough to produce good and insightful knowledge in academic terms, as we are expected to also produce knowledge that is relevant, useful and capable of having an impact in the world. One widely advocated strategy by those who seek to enhance the resourcing of social research involves data archiving, data reuse and secondary analysis. There is, of course, a well known research literature highlighting the epistemological, methodological, ethical and practical challenges involved in undertaking these activities. This includes the particular risks of assuming that qualitative data can be treated in the same way as quantitative in this regard. However, the current climate is one that is now far more optimistic about the possibilities of facilitating forms of data reuse and secondary analysis in ways that that will help qualitative researchers scale up the impact and relevance of their findings.

In this session we will start by introducing the way in which one high profile initiative (Timescapes) has taken forward the project of qualitative data archiving and secondary analysis. This innovative approach has sought to bring together primary project teams from a number of different institutions in a collaborative network to share their data and promote its reuse. A Timescapes’ secondary analysis team has devised some strategies which are now in the public domain, and the 5 year long experiment in producing a qualitative data archive has resulted in a commitment to addressing the aspirations and concerns of different stakeholders (primary researchers, funders, archivists, secondary analysts, research users). Yet it is also widely is acknowledged within and beyond the network that many live challenges remain outstanding. These will be the focus of discussion at the workshop.

Karen Henwood will introduce the Timescapes approach and where it has ended up at the end of its 5 year funding in terms of its published and data outputs. She will show how much time and effort has been expended in arriving at its current position where, understandably, the Timescapes network is  (i) stressing the importance of the data resources it has generated (and that are now being made available for reuse in the Timescapes archive) (ii) seeking to promote itself as an informal data sharing network and (iii) envisaging the future of the Timescapes archive in terms of brokering data sharing arrangements between primary teams and secondary analysts  (to include members of primary teams reusing their own data).

Carrie Coltart will then speak about three outstanding issues that have emerged out of the experiences and reflections of the CardiffTimescapes (men as fathers or MaF)  project: over-privileging the work of, and claims for, secondary analysis over the analytic work of primary project teams; working with complex, relational professional and ethical issues; the timing of secondary analysis. Carrie will also link these issues to the wider historical and institutional context of secondary analysis.

Fiona Shirani will elaborate on the foregoing presentations by exemplifying some of the troubling issues for project teams and data reuse networks. One possibility she will consider is whether data sharing remains a future aspiration rather than a current practice.


Other information

Open To: Staff and Students