Postgraduate Course: Sociology Postgraduate Research Seminar (PGSP11554)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||This will be a weekly, year-long required advanced study seminar for all MSc by Research and first year PhD students in Sociology. It will inculcate in students a scholarly aptitude expected of sociology and socio-cultural research graduates, build the cohort, prepare them in key skills relevant to MSc R and PhD success and form a foundation for Sociology's annual staff-student conference. The structure will be alternating weeks with a guest lecturer talking about methods and theory, and a skill/activity focused workshop. The first semester will focus on a book review and the second semester will focus on mock presentations for the New Directions conference.
3 Prepare your research
5 Book review I
6 Studying up
7 Organising the literature
8 The artful sociologist LM
9 Preparing grant applications LR
10 Writing theory Guest
1 Book Review II
2 Community research Guest
3 Working with others
4 Historical sociology
5 Work towards New Directions I
6 Machine research
7 Work towards New Directions II
8 Organisational theory
9 Work towards New Directions III
10 Institutional ethnography
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2020/21, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
||Please contact the School directly for a breakdown of Learning and Teaching Activities
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||1. Components of Assessment:
Attendance and participation is expected of all first year Sociology PhD students and Sociology students taking the MSc by Research in Social and Political Science, defined as having a Sociology supervisor. Successful completion will be considered as part of PhD progression at the first year board for PhD students and MSc by Research students progressing to their PhD the following year.
- Attend every session
- Prepare an academic Curriculum Vitae
- Outline and present a first-year lecture in a small group based on your area of interest
- Present your research project to the class for extensive comment and feedback
- Write and submit to a book review for publication
- Make a research presentation to the postgraduate conference
- Attend all Sociology Seminar series talks and be prepared to discuss them in class
||This field should be used to describe the assessment and feedback strategies used on the course, along with their indicative pattern and schedule of feedback.
The Course Convenors will provide oral feedback regarding presentations during the seminar discussion and on the draft book reviews where required. Students themselves will provide the majority of the feedback to their peers in the course of the presentations and discussions.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Critically engage in scholarly debate on sociological and socio-cultural concerns.
- Formulate, sociologically, research questions and research design through collective engagement and individual input
- Effectively present their research plans orally to their peers and colleagues
- Submit for publication short pieces of academic writing
|1. Indicative Readings:|
Writing about Writing
Becker, Howard (1986 and numerous editions) Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis Book or Article Chicago University Press.
Belcher, Wendy Laura (2009) Writing your journal article in 12 weeks: a guide to academic publishing success Sage
Her website also has a bibliography of other suggestions http://www.wendybelcher.com/pages/reading.html.
Dunleavy, Patrick (2003) Authoring a PhD: How to plan, draft, write and finish a doctoral thesis or dissertation Palgrave. [there are many other 'How to write a PhD' type books. You might want to have a look through some that are in the library]
Smart, C. (2010) Disciplined Writing: On the Problem of Writing Sociologically, Realities/NCRM Working Paper No 13
Nutley, S., Walter, I. and Davies, H. (2007) Using Evidence: How research can inform public services Policy Press
Nutley, S. M., Powell, A. E., & Davies, H. T. O. (2013). What counts as good evidence. http://www.alliance4usefulevidence.org/assets/What-Counts-as-Good-Evidence-WEB.pdf: Alliance for Useful Evidence.
Journals with a methodology focus
International Journal of Social Research Methodology; Qualitative Inquiry;
Methodological Innovations Online
Selection of Indicative Methods Readings
Bechhofer, F. and L. Paterson (2000) Principles of Research Design in the Social Sciences Routledge.
Blaikie, N. (2000) Designing Social Research Polity
Blaxter, L. C. Hughes, M. Tight (2001) How to Research Open University Press.
Bryman, A. (1988/1992) Quantity and Quality in Social Research Routledge.
Bryman, A. (2012) Social Research Methods Oxford University Press.
Bulmer, M. (ed) (2005) Sociological Research Methods, Palgrave.
Crow, G. (2005) The Art of Sociological Argument Palgrave.
Denzin, N.K. and Y. S. Lincoln (1998/2003) Strategies of Qualitative Inquiry Sage
Flyvbjerg, B. (2001) Making Social Science Matter, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Gilbert, N. (ed.) (1993/2001/2008) Researching Social Life Sage
Hallowell, N., J. Lawton and S. Gregory (Eds.) (2004) Reflections on Research: The Realities of Doing Research in the Social Sciences, Open University Press.
Hammersley, M. and P. Atkinson (1989/1995/2010) Ethnography: principles in practice Routledge.
Jamieson, J., L., Lewis, R., & Simpson, R. (Eds.) (2011) Researching families and relationships: reflections on process Palgrave Macmillan.
Marsh, C. (1988) Exploring Data: an Introduction to Data Analysis for Social Scientists, Cambridge: Polity Press.
Mason, J. (2002) Qualitative Researching Sage.
Mason, J. and Angela Dale (Eds.) (2011) Understanding Social Research: Thinking Creatively About Method, London: Sage.
Miller, T., Birch, Maxine, Mauthner, Melanie and Jessop, Julie (eds.) (2012) Ethics in Qualitative Research. Second edition. London,
Ritchie, J., J. Lewis (Eds.) (2003) Qualitative Research Practice: A Guide for Social Science Students and Researchers Sage.
McLeod, J., R. Thomson (2009) Researching Social Change: Qualitative Approaches
Stanley, L., S. Wise (1993) Breaking Out Again: Feminist Ontology and Epistemology Routledge.
Adler, P., P. Adler, P. (2008\0. 'Of Rhetoric & Representation: The Four Faces of Ethnography' Sociological Quarterly 49(1): 1-30
Back, L., N Puwar (2012) 'A manifesto for live methods: provocations and capacities'. The Sociological Review 60: 6-17.
Fincham, B., McGuinness, M., Murray, L. (2009) Mobile Research Methodologies: Palgrave Macmillan.
Kelly, A., R. Burrows (2012) 'Measuring the Value of Sociology? Some Notes on the Performative Metricisation of the Contemporary Academy' in L. Adkins and C. Lury (eds) Measure and Value: A Sociological Review Monograph Oxford: Wily-Blackwells, 130-150
Mason, J. (2006) 'Six Strategies for Mixing Methods and Linking Data in Social Science Research', Realities/NCRM Working paper
Murthy, D. (2008). 'Digital Ethnography: An Examination of the Use of New Technologies for Social Research '. Sociology 42: 837-855.
O'Connell, R. (2012). 'The use of visual methods with children in a mixed methods study of family food practices'. International Journal of Social Research Methodology 16: 31-46.
Pugh, A. (2012) 'What good are interviews for thinking about culture? Demystifying interpretive analysis'. American Journal of Cultural Sociology: 1-27.
Savage, M. and R. Burrows (2009) 'Some Further Reflections on the Coming Crisis of Empirical Sociology', Sociology, 43, 4, 765775
Tinati, R., Halford, S., Carr, L. and Pope, C. 2014. 'Big data: methodological challenges and approaches for sociological analysis'. Sociology: 0038038513511561.
Wiles, R., Bengry-Howell, A., Crow, G. and Nind, M. 2013. 'But is it innovation?: the development of novel methodological methods in qualitative research'. Methodological Innovations Online 8: 18-33.
Rose, G. 2002. Visual Methodologies: An introduction to the interpretation of visual materials Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage.
Shove, Pantzer and Watson (2012) The Dynamics of Social Practices: Everyday Life and How it Changes (Sage)
Patric Clair, R. (2003) Expressions of Ethnography: Novel Approaches to Qualitative Methods
Geertz, G. (1968) Islam Observed (University of Chicago Press)
Geertz, G. (1973) The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays (Ch. 1: ¿Thick Description¿)
Guberium and Holstein (2009) Analyzing Narrative Reality (both text-based method of narrative and field based method of ethnography)
Davies, C. (2007, 2nd ed.) Reflexive Ethnography: A Guide to Researching Selves and Others (Routledge) Marcus and Cushman (2005) ¿Ethnographic Texts¿ Annual Review of Anthropology
Tetlock, B. (1991) ¿From participant observation to the observation of participation: the emergence of narrative ethnography¿ Journal of Anthropological Research 47(1): 69-94
Seale, C. (2004) Social Research Methods: A Reader (Routledge)
Aitkinson, P. et al (eds) (2007 3rd ed) Ethnography: Principle and Practice (Routledge) Aitkinson, P. et al (2001) Handbook of Ethnography (Sage)
Dewalt, K. and B. Dewalt (2002) Participant Observation: A Guide for Fieldworkers
Robben et al (eds) (2012) Ethnographic Fieldwork: An Anthropological Reader (Wiley-Blackwell)
Marlene de Laine (2000) Fieldwork, Participation and Practice: Ethics and Dilemmas of Qualitative Research
G. Rossman and S. Rallis (2012) Learning in the Field: An Introduction to Qualitative Research (Sage)
P.C. Rosenblatt (1995) ¿Ethics of qualitative interviewing with grieving families¿ Death Studies 19 (2): 139-155
C. Robson (1993) Real World Research: A Source for Social Scientists and Practitioner-Researchers
Bryman (2004) Social Research Methods (Oxford) Fowler (2002) Survey Research Methods (Sage)
May, T. (2001) Social Research: Issues, Methods, and Processes (Open University) Mason, J. (2002) Qualitative Researching (Sage)
Gilbert, N.(ed) (2008) Researching Social Life (Sage) (esp. on qualitative interviewing) Roulston, K. (2010) Reflexive Interviewing: A Guide to Theory and Practice (Sage)
Carpenter, C. (2012) ¿You Talk of Terrible Things so Matter-of-Factly in this Language of Science¿: Constructing Human Rights in the Academy¿ Perspectives on Politics 10(2): 363- 383
Geisma, H. (2011) ¿¿Material culture studies¿ and other ways to theorize objects: a Primer to a regional debate¿ Comparative Studies in Society and History 53 (1): 210-218
Nadai and Maeder (2005) Fuzzy Fields: Multi-Sited Ethnography in Sociological Research
Hine C. (2007) ¿Multi-Sited ethnography as a middle range methodology for contemporary STS¿
Science, Technology and Human Values 32: 652-671
Peacock and Holland (1993) ¿The Narrated Self¿ Ethos 21 (4): 367-83
Gatson, S. (2003) 'On Being Amorphous: autoethnography, geneology and a multiracial identity'
Qualitative Inquiry 9
Sharma, A. and A. Gupta (2006) Anthropology of the State: A Reader (Wiley-Blackwell)
Appadurai (1986) The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective (Cambridge University Press)
Latour, B. (1993) We Have Never Been Modern (Harvard University Press)
Henare, A. et al (eds) (2007) Thinking through Things: Theorising Artefacts Ethnographically (London: Routledge)
Miller, D. (2009) Stuff (London: Polity Press)
Schiffrin, D. (2003) Handbook of Discourse Analysis (Blackwell)
Gee, J.P. (2011) An Introduction to Discourse Analysis: Theory and Method (3rd edition, Routledge)
Jacobson, K. and L. Landau (2003) 'The dual imperative in refugee research: some methodological and ethical considerations in social science research on forced migration' Disaster 27(3): 185-206
Special issue of Qualitative Research 2008 Vol. 8 (3) on 'Narrative Methodologies' Andrews, M. et al (2008) Doing Narrative Research Sage, London
Brownlie, J. (2009) 'Age of grief in a time of talk' Sociological Research Online, 14, 5 Cederberg, M. (2013) 'Language and power in biographical narratives, public discourses and
migrant stories of integration and inequality' Sociology 1-17 Fleck, U. (ed) (2013) Sage Handbook of Narrative Analysis London: Sage
Franzosi, R. (1998) ¿Narrative analysis ¿ or why (and how) sociologists should be interested in narrative¿ Annual Review of Sociology 24, pp.517-54
Hurley, R. (2006) 'Dismantling mantelpieces: Narrating identities and materializing culture in the home' Sociology 40 (4): 717-23
Watson, C. (2009) 'Futures narratives, possible worlds, big stories: causal layered analysis and the problems of youth' Sociological Research Online 14 (5)
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||1. The ability to define problems and formulate advanced explanations
2. A track record in publishing at academic level
3. Experience with a range of advanced methods
|Course organiser||Dr Angus Bancroft
Tel: (0131 6)50 6642
|Course secretary||Ms Anne Brechin
Tel: (0131 6)51 5360