How do people perform or break norms of social interaction in public spaces? (e.g. cafés, buses, libraries, pubs, or somewhere else)
The final project will be a 3000 word paper discussing insights gained from piloting the use of two different methods to address a research question. As part of this project, you will gather your own new data (e.g. through interviews, observation, surveys) and/or re-analyse existing data (e.g. graphs, visual data). Some evidence of these pilots or analysis will be included in appendices to the final paper. As gathering and analysing data will take a considerable amount of time, you are encouraged to begin work on this project early on in the term and to seek feedback along the way from both tutors and classmates, where necessary.
Choose one of the following topics:
a) How do people perform or break norms of social interaction in public spaces? (e.g. cafés, buses, libraries, pubs, or somewhere else)
b) What makes a space or place public?
c) How does gender shape performances of identity online?
d) How does space matter for patterns of social inequality?
While you must engage with one of these topics, you may narrow its focus or concentrate on particular issues related to it, rather than attempting to answer these very broad questions.
Then complete any two methodological pilots from the following list:
a) Collect 15 responses to a questionnaire using both face-to-face survey and a web survey tool. The questionnaire must include 12-15 questions that mix scales, multiple choice, and open questions.
b) Conduct two semi-structured interviews (30-45 minutes long) based on an interview schedule you have designed.
c) Conduct a total of three hours of observation in at least two settings.
d) Collect and analyse 10 examples of visual or textual data – e.g. photographs, advertisements, brochures, newspaper articles, website pages, mass observation submissions.
e) Select, describe and interpret 3 graphs or tables from the following data sources:
a. American Time Use Data visualisation – New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/07/31/business/20080801-metrics-graphic.html?_r=2& – You can move between the time-use graphs of different groups by clicking on the boxes to the upper right of the graph.
b. Reading the Riots – The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2011/dec/09/data-journalism-reading-riots – Clicking on the images in this article allow you to explore the data visualisations.
c. OECD Better Life Index http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/
There are two different data visualisations here:
i. The ‘index dataset is compiled from economic statistics (income, education levels, employment, etc.), usually supplied by national governments and economic organisations.
ii. The ‘responses dataset is compiled from the peoples reaction to the graphs and plots of the ‘index data shown on the OECD Better Life website.
Before undertaking any pilots involving interaction with human participants, you will need to complete an ethics form and have it signed by one of the course tutors. More information will be provided in class and on Moodle.
Use evidence from your pilots (including where appropriate direct quotes, images, charts, or excerpts from field notes) and at least 5 published academic books or journal articles that focus primarily upon methods or methodology (e.g. those in the course outline) to discuss the following:
1. What the pilots revealed about your research question
2. A critical comparison of the different methods piloted
3. What methodological revisions you would make before conducting further research on this topic
Include in an appendix two of the following sets of supporting documents (as applicable):
a) A copy of completed questionnaires or summary tables, one page of summary data on the respondents, and a short explanation of the sampling strategy