Qualitative Data Analysis: Interpretive Research Strategies
Véronique Mottier is a lecturer at the University of Cambridge.
She holds a Phd from the University of
Cambridge and has previously taught qualitative methodology courses
at the Universities of Geneva, Teeside and Loughborough (UK).
She also teaches in the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data
Analysis and Collection. Her published work has appeared in Economy and
Society, West European Politics, and other journals. She is a member of
the Editorial Board of the Swiss Journal of Sociology, and Associate
Editor of Feminist Theory. Her research interests include: (Methodology)
interpretive methodologies; Foucauldian discourse analysis & narrative
analysis; (Substantive) the politics of sexuality; sociology of sex and
Aids; gender and direct democracy.
The aim of this workshop is to explore the use of interpretive research
strategies in social science research. Broadly, interpretive methodologies
are grounded in a social constructionist perspective on social life. They
remind social scientists of the constructed nature of the social 'facts'
that are studied, and analyse the constructions of meanings and identities
through which individuals as well as groups or organisations make sense of
their everyday lives and interactions, their social, organisational and
political environments, etc.
The workshop will (1) focus on a number of different, though related,
interpretive perspectives such as interactionnism, ethnomethodology and
hermeneutics, and examine how these perspectives translate into specific
research questions and frameworks and (2) explore the use of interpretive
techniques of analysis of textual data (which can include written texts as
well as interview data), with a specific focus on discourse & narrative
Although the lectures and readings will cover issues such as validity and
reliability within interpretive perspectives, the main emphasis of the
workshop is on practical applications of interpretive research methods
through daily exercises. The participants are welcome to bring their own
data to the Summer School if they wish to do so, and will have a chance to
discuss and work on their own research during the course.
Denzin, N. & Y. Lincoln (Eds.)(1994) Handbook of Qualitative Research.
Silverman, D. (1993) Interpreting Qualitative Data. Methods for analysing
talk, text and interaction. London: Sage.
Fairclough, N. (1992) Discourse and Social Change. Cambridge: Polity
No particular prerequisites are needed for this course, but it is strongly
recommended to do some preparatory readings (see bibliography for