''Confessions of a Welsh fag hag' Contemplating insider/outsider status among Argentine and Chilean LGBT populations: insights from the field.' - Penny Miles.
This talk explored some of the complexities of negotiating insider/outsider status in Penny's research with LGBT populations in Argentina and Chile, touching upon some of the unexpected outcomes which arose from the blurring of these boundaries. How does a white, welsh, middle class woman negotiate relations in the southern cone countries of Latin America?
'Working on the margins - so how does it feel to be poor?' - Helen Blakely
This talk reflected upon Helen's status as a privileged outsider researching a Valleys community experiencing deprivation. The talk explored themes of reciprocity, rapport and reflexivity when gathering emotionally sensitive data in the field.
On April 10th we were fortunate enough to have a visit from Professor Adele Clarke, who is Professor of Sociology and adjunct Professor of History of Health Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco. Adele gave a presentation providing a general introduction to 'Situational Analysis, a new grounded theory approach' developed by Adele and that takes into account the postmodern turn.
The details of this method given below are taken from the website http://www.situationalanalysis.com.
'Building upon Anselm Strauss’s social worlds/arenas/discourse theory, situational analysis offers three main cartographic approaches:1. situational maps that lay out the major human, nonhuman, discursive and other elements in the research situation of inquiry and provoke analysis of relations among them;2. social worlds/arenas maps that lay out the collective actors, key nonhuman elements, and the arena(s) of commitment and discourse within which they are engaged in ongoing negotiations---mesolevel interpretations of the situation; and3. positional maps that lay out the major positions taken, and not taken, in the data vis-à-vis particular axes of difference, concern, and controversy around issues in the situation of inquiry.All three kinds of maps are intended as analytic exercises, fresh ways into social science data that are especially well suited to contemporary studies from solely interview-based to multi-sited research. They are intended as supplemental approaches to traditional grounded theory analyses that center on action-basic social processes. Instead, these maps center on the situation of inquiry. Through mapping the data, the analyst constructs the situation of inquiry empirically. The situation per se becomes the ultimate unit of analysis and understanding its elements and their relations are the primary goals.'
On May 7th, for the second month in a row, we had a visiting speaker attending to discuss her work. Dr Mary Darmanin visited from the Department of Educational Studies, University of Malta. Mary used examples from two of her ethnographic projects to discuss issues of 'standpoint, positionality, and representation'. One of these studies was conducted in 1999, in a state school for low achieving pupils and the other was a multi-site study of girls' Catholic schools, conducted in 2005. The talk focused upon how far Mary managed to represent informants' accounts, and how much her own positionality interfered with this process.
Nina began her talk by discussing how suicide in young men has been constructed as a troubling and pressing concern, signalling a powerful statement about the struggles that young men face in modern society and is also represented as a sign of a deeper, psychological problem, highlighting men’s unwillingness to ask for emotional support. This talk focuses on how both discourses offer different ways of understanding young men’s suicide. By talking to friends and families who have lost a young man to suicide, Nina attempted to find out something about the different discourses that currently surround and attempt to explain young men’s suicide. From a social constructionist perspective, rather than asking why their loved one’s killed themselves, Nina was interested in how they explain it to others and how they understand it themselves. Findings suggest that although the psychiatric discourse is dominant in families’ understandings of their young man’s death, it is not always easily accepted. Nina concluded her talk by offering two dominant discursive understandings of suicide in youung men based on her own fieldwork undertaken as part of her PhD. Such discourses are characterised by how families are much more likely to resist this dominant discourse (non-psychiatric) if their loved one was diagnosed with a mental illness. In contrast where there was no diagnosis, families would often appeal to the understanding offered to them by psychiatry.
This cafe was followed by an end of year party for all postgrads and staff in the School of Social Sciences who have consistently offered their support to this monthly event.