Doing Ethnography as a form of collective/co-operative research

SSC scholar, Mike Ward, will be leading a workshop at our AGM on May 11th.

This workshop draws on data from a funded ESRC ethnographic study that explored the lives of a group of young, white, working-class men (aged 16-18) in a socially and economically disadvantaged community. The fieldwork stage of the ethnography explored how these young men performed their masculinities in different ways within different settings. This was conducted through many hours of participant observation, focus group interviews, ethnographic conversations, and more formally recorded one-on-one interviews. Over the research period which spanned two and a half years, multiple sites were visited in order to create a rich ‘thick description’ of their world. These sites including educational institutions, where apart from observing lessons I spent time in canteens, on school trips and in common rooms. Outside these educational sites, I also spent time in social arenas such as pubs, nightclubs, cars, shops, cinemas, and attended live gigs and parties. However, during my time in the field I found that I was confronted with issues that I did not fully expect to encounter. Whilst ultimately the research was being conducted to enable me to gain my doctorate from Cardiff University, without the young men’s support, co-operation and willingness to let me into their lives, I would not have been able to tell their story and highlight the issues they faced. Using examples from my fieldnotes and interview transcripts, in this workshop I want to explore how pieces of data can highlight examples of cooperative research and be analysed in different ways.

Related reading: Erving Goffman (1989) On Fieldwork

At this year’s AGM, we also have talks planned by Mervyn Wilson and Joel Lazarus. All welcome.

Decision-making and organisation workshop

Decision-making and organisation

Saturday 13th October 2012, 11am – 1pm
Pathways Centre, Beaumont Fee, Lincoln

Read the notes from this workshop.


Curious George Brigade, ‘The end of arrogance: decentralization and anarchist organizing’

Jo Freeman, The Tyranny of Structurelessness

Starhawk, ‘Circles and Webs: Group Structures’ in Dreaming the Dark: Magic, Sex and Politics’

Voice, Inclusion, Exclusion and Privilege workshop

Voice, Inclusion, Exclusion and Privilege

Saturday, 30th June 2012, 10am – 12pm
Pathways Centre, Beaumont Fee, Lincoln

At our last meeting, we agreed that it would be useful to run a workshop exploring issues of voice, inclusion/exclusion and privilege before the official meeting to discuss curriculum on June 30th at Croft Street Community Centre.

Details of the workshop are below. You are welcome to arrive from 9.30am to have coffee/tea. There are three suggested readings for the session. If you plan to participate, it would be good to try and read at least one.

Jean Bridgeman, ‘Wise women in community: building on everyday radical feminism for social change’

Sara Motta, ‘Who cares?’

The third essay, by Wallace Heim, was attached in an email. If you have other readings that you think would be relevant, please bring them to share on the day.

Please let us know if you would need childcare in order to attend the workshop. If you are not planning to participate but can support childcare on the day then please let me know.

Inspiration from the Body Politic

This session is taken from The Body Politic course (facilitated by Sara Motta and Rebecca Beinart) that takes the body as a starting point for thinking about power, politics, art and activism, looking at the relationship between internal and external worlds.

‘The ear’

Who is heard/not heard? Why? How do we create community and spaces of inclusion and meaningful communication?

Listening to ourselves, others, the past Spaces for communication and listening This workshop will explore issues such as voice, inclusion, participation, privilege etc. We will use creative exercises, theory, storytelling and discussion to expand on the themes we’re exploring. This is an opportunity to reflect on your own position and experiences and share ideas, fears and inspiration with a small group, moving between personal experience and wider questions. The workshop is designed to draw on the wisdom of the group, question notions of what ‘theory’ means and who creates it, and expand the possibilities for our practices of democratic and participatory education.

Curriculum updates!

If you’re planning on coming to the curriculum development workshop tomorrow, please see here for some of the things we’ll be discussing, and to think about ahead of time: Studying with the Social Science Centre – curriculum workshop – 30 June 2012 (2).

And here are some notes from the last curriculum working group meeting on Friday 22 June, where we discussed the workshop and more: SSC_curriculum_meeting_22_06_2012_notes.