Joint Ghent/Kent PhD workshop, 16-17 April 2018

Discursive evidence and interpretive research methods

The joint Ghent-Kent PhD workshop is to be held on 16 and 17 April 2018 at the University of Kent, Canterbury (UK). The workshop, funded through the Ghent-Kent Cooperation Fund, aims to bring together PhD students from the University of Kent and Ghent University. The workshop builds on a series of successful joint PhD workshops previously organised by Kent BSIS and Ghent. The event will give PhD students the opportunity to present their work and to receive feedback on their projects from peers and senior researchers.

The theme of the workshop is ‘Discursive evidence and interpretive research methods’. We want to take a closer look at the use of non-material forms of “evidence” obtained through among others discourse analysis and narratives-based research. While these are popular qualitative approaches in political studies, they may be more open to criticism of subjectivity than more ‘classical’ forms of research methods, such as quantitative analysis or content analysis.

The workshop would allow us to have discussions and share advice on how to overcome these issues. Several concrete questions we hope to address are:

  • How can we ensure that data obtained through (inherently subjective) interpretation is presented as unbiased as possible?
  • How to use ‘fluid’ concepts (e.g. identity, perceptions) in a sound way, especially when they form the foundation of an analysis?
  • How can we make sufficient and credible references to sources such as anonymised interviews?

For more information see the Ghent-Kent PhD workshop 2018 call for participation notice