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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Sociology Postgraduate Research Seminar (PGSP11554)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits0 ECTS Credits0
SummaryThis is 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 community, develop key craftskills relevant to sociology MSc R and PhD success and form a foundation for Sociology's annual staff-student conference. The weekly seminars will all have a focus, and this will be added to across each semester with discussions of key academic journals and important recent sociological works.
Course description SEMESTER 1
Week 1: Creating sociological community
Week 2: Presentation of the academic self: a CV
Week 3: Friends or foes? Devising research questions
Week 4: Writing an abstract & précis
Week 5: Getting published, book reviews
Week 6: Writing Week
Week 7: Writing exchange 1, book reviews
Week 8: Progress Board/MSc diss
Week 9: Planning New Directions 1
Week 10: Presenting our work
Week 11: Research talking-shop
Week 12: Planning New Directions 2
Week 1: Coming to terms with theory
Week 2: Planning New Directions 3
Week 3: Method to the madness
Week 4: Writing exchange 2, Ethics applications
Week 5: Reading generously, reading quickly
Week 6: Flexible Learning Week
Week 7: What is a thesis & a viva?
Week 8: Job applications & early career opportunities
Week 9: Writing exchange 3, conference presentations
Week 10: Reflexivity & writing
Week 11: Research talking-shop
Week 12: Planning New Directions 4
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  15
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Please contact the School directly for a breakdown of Learning and Teaching Activities
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
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.
Students will:
- Attend every session
- Prepare an academic Curriculum Vitae
- write and submit for publication a book review
- write and present a 10 minute conference paper
- Make a research presentation to the postgraduate conference
- Attend Sociology Seminar series talks and be prepared to discuss them in class
Feedback 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
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critically engage in scholarly debate on sociological and socio-cultural concerns.
  2. Formulate, sociologically, research questions and research design through collective engagement and individual input
  3. Effectively present their research plans orally to their peers and colleagues
  4. Submit for publication short pieces of academic writing
Reading List
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

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. 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)

Additional Information
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
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Liliana Riga
Tel: (0131 6)51 1853
Course secretaryMr Adam Petras
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