Below is an archive of past CQ seminars, with the most recent seminars first. Recorded presentations can be found here.
2022 - 2023
March 24, 2023 – Doing new materialist research: from ontology to methodology
Speaker: Nick Fox (Department of Behavioural and Social Sciences, University of Huddersfield)
Organizer: Sarah Elton (Department of Sociology & CQ Fellow, Toronto Metropolitan University)
Abstract: With growing interest in new materialist and posthuman approaches, it is timely to explore in detail how these ontologies translate practically into social research methodologies for social inquiry. This task has been made complex by the differing interpretations of the new materialist theories by social theorists, with different conclusions about the shape of a new materialism-inspired methodology. This paper aims to fill a gap in the literature by setting out a methodology using one specific thread within the new materialisms: Deleuzian ‘ethology’. Inspired by Spinoza’s Ethics, Deleuze established a conceptual toolkit for ethological inquiry, comprising ‘relation’, ‘assemblage’, ‘affect’ and ‘capacity’. This talk considers how this toolkit translates into a straightforward research methodology. This entails developing a perspective on setting a research question, methods for data collection, methods of data analysis and finally, presenting study findings. The paper concludes with some reflections on the task of translating philosophical theory into social science methodology.
February 3, 2023 – Like a “finger pointing at the moon”: How theory guides feminist, interpretive, and anti-colonial research
Speakers: Yoosun Park (School of Social Policy & Practice, University of Pennsylvania) and Stéphanie Wahab (School of Social Work, Portland State University)
Organizer: Rupaleem Bhuyan (Faculty of Social Work & CQ Fellow, University of Toronto)
“Just as a finger pointing at the moon is not the moon itself…” Thich Nhat Hanh
In this spirit of the Buddhist teaching referenced above, in this seminar, Stéphanie Wahab and Yoosun Park consider methodologies of resistance through the use of feminist, interpretive, and anti-colonial theories in research. Informed by Foucault’s historical discourse analysis and Derrida’s textual analysis techniques, Dr. Park will present excerpts from the “Key Words in Social Work,” a critical discourse analysis project that examines what concepts like ‘culture’, ‘resilience’, and ‘trauma’ do in social work. Using a slow scholarship approach, Dr. Wahab will recount the year(s) she has spent theorizing with colleagues to conceptualize “the Braid that Binds Us,” a framework that attends to the impact of neoliberalism, criminalization, and professionalism on domestic violence work in the United States, and consequently shaped an entire research project. Both scholars will reflect on how theorizing drives the research questions they pursue and how resistance to neoliberalism within the academy shapes their choice of methods, multiple types of data collected and generated, and inductive and deductive analysis.
November 8, 2022 – “Utopias of writing qualitatively by a Mexican researcher”
Speaker: Dr. Leticia Robles-Silva
Abstract: “Writing qualitatively” has been not only a challenge in the Latin American academic world, but also one of its greatest weaknesses to place the scientific production of those who carry out qualitative research in the not only international but even national scientific production. This lecture recovers the reflections of a Mexican female researcher who aspires or dreams of being in a world of Latin-American academic-writers whose scientific papers have quality and will be for social emancipation, that is, that are published, circulated internationally, used nationally or regionally to transform reality with social justice. Utopia whose function is a critique of our ways of “writing qualitatively”. Three topics are of interest. The necessary and indissoluble link between the research method and the exposure method, that is, writing is part of any study and therefore has epistemological and methodological precepts for scientific writing. Two, the role of theory in the interpretation of the data and its consequent way of writing the interpretive findings. Finally, the role of the forms or literary figures of emotion, to give richness to the argumentation and their empirical evidences when we are describing the findings.
October 7, 2022 – “Critical Qualitative Multiple-Case Study: A Methodological Mouthful”
Speaker: Tieghan Killackey.
Abstract: There is a long tradition of using case study methodology in the social and health sciences to explore, describe and explain phenomena and social processes that provide holistic and contextualized understandings. In this presentation I outline the development of a critical qualitative multiple-case study methodology and the utility of this methodology as a theory-based approach to studying complex social phenomena. This critical approach draws on both post-positivist and interpretivist constructions of case study methodology and functions as a canvas to create tailored, theory-based methods for exploring and understanding healthcare practices. Specifically, I draw on my experiences conducting a multiple-case study guided by feminist ethics and focused on the concept of relational autonomy, to provide an in-depth analysis of advance care planning (ACP) and critically examine the function of this practice within our current healthcare system. Overall, this session will highlight how case study can be a critical, yet malleable methodological device which can be shaped to examine a wide range of topics and used by scholars working with diverse theoretical perspectives.
2021 - 2022
May 10, 2022 – Can we stop calling it ‘cute?’: Theorizing drawing as method in critical qualitative health research
Speaker: Katie Mah
Abstract: In health and rehabilitation research, drawing is adopted as method for reasons of participation, innovation, accessibility and, in the case of young people, child-friendliness. In this session, I reflect on what is lost when drawing as method is conceptualized in such limited terms, and what is gained when theory is brought into the picture. In this presentation, I introduce the critical arts-based research methodology I developed as I theorized drawing as method in my PhD dissertation. This work is grounded in the later work of Michel Foucault (1926 1984) concerning discourse, power/knowledge and the subject, builds on Gillian Rose’s theorizations of visual research methods, and extends Marilys Guillemin’s empirical work with drawings. Using my research with young people ‘at risk’ of and living with concussion as an exemplar, I demonstrate how engaging theory enabled me to shift my understanding of drawing as method over time, while enabling the co-production of a more nuanced and complex understanding of youth concussion.
January 21, 2022 – Still Arriving?! Decentering the “Post” in (Post)Qualitative Inquiry
Speaker: Josephine Wong
Abstract: In 2013, Patti Lather and Elizabeth A. St. Pierre co-edited a special issue in the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education that invited scholars to explore “what comes next for qualitative research” as a response to the neoliberal repositivisation of research. This “post” movement draws on poststructuralist perspectives, especially the works of Deleuze and Guattarri, and aligns with posthumanism and new materialism. In this CQ presentation, Wong argues that qualitative research has yet to ‘arrive’ and encourages a critical dialogue to decenter the “post” which remains premised on Western epistemic dominance. Arguing for epistemic justice, Wong invites recognition and appreciation of indigenous onto-epistemological paradigms that exist in Africa, Asia, North America and around the world to facilitate a shared methodological arriving. To illustrate the possibilities in collective being-doing-becoming qualitative research, Wong draws on her community-based action research.
December 8, 2021 – Implementing Emancipatory Research Approaches: Anti-Colonial Strategies For and About EDI and Anti-Oppression Work
Speaker: Ruth Rodney
Abstract: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) and Anti-oppression (AO) policies are implemented in research to acknowledge and address intersecting systemic barriers for marginalized populations. Many grant applications for example, now include questions about EDI as a mandatory section to ensure researchers have considered how research designs perpetuate discriminatory practices. Commonly researchers ‘check all boxes’ on these applications, which include i) consideration for diversity in research teams, ii) opportunities for training and development, as well as iii) a focus on inclusive research teams. What, however, does EDI and AO look like in praxis and how/is EDI and AO adhered to in the research field? In this session, I reflect on my current study that examines the experiences of racialized women workers who work within EDI and AO policy led women’s organizations in the gender-based violence sector and highlight tensions that have arisen throughout the recruitment and data collection phase. Drawing on Indigenous and Black critical feminist theories, I describe how some of these tensions have been resolved and the possible implications for those who are engaging in critical qualitative research in terms of moving beyond simply meeting the expectations of EDI requirements. Moreover, I discuss how the research process has been a site of transformative resistance and emancipation for a team of racialized women researchers and community members.
October 18, 2021 – Ethnography of data politics: Rethinking risk, value, and justice in HIV prevention science
Speaker: Dr. Amaya Perez-Brumer
Abstract: This presentation describes the deployment of ethnographic methods to interrogate the data infrastructures underpinning queer risk epidemiology in Peru, the leading clinical trial site globally to test PrEP among people categorized as MSM and transgender women. Therapeutic technologies (i.e., pre-exposure prophylaxis [PrEP]) alongside personalized diagnostic innovations (i.e., self-testing) have accelerated HIV prevention science and shifted epidemiologic focus from individuals “at-risk” for HIV to those “most at-risk.” The emphasis on enumerative evidence on those “most at-risk” in this context has deeply implicated people categorized as men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women, making epidemiologic risk data derived from queer bodies central to HIV prevention science globally. Drawing on 24 months fieldwork, this “ethnography of data politics” traces how queer risk data is created, contested, and mobilized. Findings advance understandings of how the construction and circulation of data indexes an uncomfortable entanglement between people, health, and capitalism at the center of HIV prevention science.
2020 - 2021
January 29, 2021 – Women’s Talk: A Critical Bricolage
Speakers: Dr. Ramya Kumar & Dr. Rona Macdonald
Abstract: Bricolage is both a methodology and a form of rigor in qualitative research, demanding examination of phenomena from diverse theoretical and methodological perspectives. In this presentation, we draw on notions of critical bricolage to explore the possibilities of working with counter-hegemonic forms of analyzing women’s talk. Ramya employs a Third World Marxist feminist methodology to interrogate neocolonial understandings of healthcare access and reform from the perspective of a group of women in Sri Lanka while Rona draws on critical discursive psychological approaches to connect Canadian women’s singleness accounts and deeply held sociocultural beliefs and values related to womanhood that continue to privilege marriage/coupledom and motherhood. After presenting the theoretical/methodological underpinnings of our research projects, we dialogue about issues and tensions relating to representation, language, the research process, and implications for our respective disciplines of (global) public health and occupational science & therapy.
September 25, 2020 – Growing Methods: Exploring how to work with plants as research participants in critical qualitative research
Speaker: Dr. Sarah Elton (Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Ryerson University)
Abstract: Posthumanist research shifts the research lens from the Euro-Western human’s self-appointed status as the earth’s supreme to invite nonhumans – animals and plants – to be the focus of qualitative study. However, it is not straightforward to trouble methodological perspectives that see non-humans as simply backdrop in order to make way for nonhumans like plants and animals in knowledge production. In this presentation I put forward a qualitative research methodology that helps to see plants as social actors, supporting health in the city. Reporting on my doctoral work I share a multispecies ethnography of gardeners and the plants they grow for food in Toronto’s Regent Park. As a critical qualitative health researcher I wrestle with questions that include – How to account for plants and their agency? What is evidence of vegetal politics? What is a multispecies ethnographer doing when decentering the human in relation to garden plants, beyond what is un-done ontologically?
2019 - 2020
February 25, 2020 – Mind the (methodological) gap: A journey into qualitative/quantitative interpretive spaces
Speakers: Dr. Janet Parsons, Dr. Clara Juando-Prats, & Natalie Baker
January 20, 2020 – Reconsidering the “TRC” in the Critical: Engaging with Critical Methodologies in the Era of Truth and Reconciliation
Speaker: Dr. Lana Ray (Lakehead University)
Dr. Ray has previously worked in public and not-for-profit sectors, including as the Director of Policy and Research at a provincial Indigenous organization. Her work seeks to advance Indigenous social, cultural and political realities through resurgent and decolonial praxis.
December 4, 2019 – Embodied Mapping: A visual-based, new materialist methodology for investigating the contemporary contexts of technologised biomedicine
Speakers: Dr. Rory Crath (Assistant Professor, Smith College School for Social Work) & Dr. Christian Rangel (Wilson Centre for Research in Health Professionals Education, University of Toronto Health Network)
Abstract: A school of critical sexual health scholars argues that biomedical and digital technologies need to be understood not as mere objects of use, but as having agentic capacity to effect new senses of the self and transform social/sexual health relations and outcomes. Such a call to grapple with the multidimensionality of technologies, their affects and effects poses a challenge to current methodological frameworks. To address this challenge, we introduce a novel visual methodology called “embodied mapping” that builds on the arts-based method of body mapping. Drawing from new materialism scholarship, embodied mapping extends the scope of inquiry of sexual-health research and conventional qualitative methods. It does so by interrogating the capacities and properties of sexual agents, technologies and readily available discourses on sexual health and HIV prevention as co-constitutive within the sexual-health-technologies nexus itself. Embodied mapping’s research process is collaborative and emergent; researchers, together with an artist and research participants co-create a visual collage tracing the thick moments of sexual/health encounters. Embodied mapping’s methodological and analytical capacity to approach health phenomena as performative and immanent to the research process could open new sightlines for comprehending and intervening in this globalised era marked by an increasing technologising of health care delivery.
September 24, 2019: Celling Sex – Using Cellphilm methodology in critical qualitative health research
Speaker: Dr. Katie Macentee (Post-doctoral fellow, Dalla Lana School of Public Health)
Abstract: Cellphilm is a participatory visual methodology that takes advantage of the ubiquity of cellphone technology. Cellphilming recognizes and values people’s everyday media practices and how they use cellphones (and other mobile technology) to consume and produce visual media via public and private mediums such as selfies, Instagram stories, vlogs, citizen journalism, subversive surveillance etc. In this presentation I introduce cellphilm method and locate it within broader participatory visual methodological traditions and theory. Adopting and adapting cellphilms in my research with young women who trade sex in Toronto – Celling Sex – I explore how ‘ethical aesthetic’ (Mandrona, 2016) and media literacy theory inform analysis of the Celling Sex participant’s cellphilms.
2018 - 2019
April 23, 2019*: Don’t mind the mess: Reflections on doing a Foucauldian discourse analysis of pandemic influenza news coverage
* this talk is being rescheduled
Dr. Laena Maunula (2017-2018 Dissertation Award Honourable Mention)
Abstract: Foucauldian discourse analysis is characterised not by a prescribed set of analytic steps, but rather by using Foucauldian theoretical frames which lead to asking certain questions rather than others. Drawing from a study of risk discourses within H1N1 coverage in the Canadian print news media, in this session I reflect on the methodological ‘messiness’ of Foucauldian discourse analysis, with a special focus on generating a meaningful yet manageable study sample from news media data.
March 22nd, 2019: Troubling ruling discourses of health: Teaching, doing, and writing institutional ethnographies
Dr. Fiona Webster (Western University; IHPME, University of Toronto),
Dr. Eric Mykhalovskiy (Sociology, York University),
Colin Hastings (PhD Candidate, Sociology, York University)
Abstract: Institutional ethnography (IE) is an approach to the sociological investigation of ruling relations that has become popular in health and health sciences research in Canada and beyond. Drawing on their experiences of teaching and doing institutional ethnographic research in multiple settings, the speakers in this panel reflect on the following questions:
What is IE research and what makes it critical?
What is the relationship of IE to other traditions of social inquiry?
What characteristic challenges do institutional ethnographers face in seeking out funding, carrying our research, and publishing findings?
What challenges are faced teaching IE to diverse groups of students?
What is the future of IE research on health and health care?
February 12th, 2019 * – ‘You’re going to traumatize me and bring back all these bad memories’: Hearing about harmful research practices in a national qualitative study about ethical issues in sex work research
*This talk is being rescheduled for the 2019-2020 term
Dr. Adrian Guta, School of Social Work, University of Windsor &
Dr. Victoria Bungay, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia
Time: Tuesday, February 12th, 2019, 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Abstract: This presentation revisits longstanding debates in the empirical research ethics and qualitative methods literature about whether asking sensitive questions to vulnerable participants is harmful. We draw on findings from a national study about ethical issues in sex work research which included in-depth interviews with 17 university-based sex work researchers, 16 representatives of sex worker organizations and 53 community members with lived experience of sex work. With a focus on the narratives of the community-members, we explore their understanding of what constitutes ethical engagement and research practice and identify tensions between community norms and standard research practices. In addition to presenting findings from the study, we explore methodological challenges with asking about ethics and the conflict we experienced over how to respond to requests from organizational and community participants to intervene on their behalf to stop what they deemed to be harmful research.
January 16, 2019 – Different Eyes: Critical reflexivity in rapid site-switching ethnography
Dr. Jacqueline A. Choiniere, Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director in the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, at York University;
Dr. Jim Struthers, Professor Emeritus in Canadian Studies at Trent University, and member of the Trent Centre for Aging and Society
Abstract: We offer insight into using rapid site-switching ethnography in our exploration of promising practices in long-term residential care. Our different eyes belonged to 26 interdisciplinary and international colleagues, and several graduate and postgraduate students, as we conducted research in 6 different countries. Our reflexivity informed how we set up the project, and how we conducted our research (including ethics issues), and documented our findings. In our presentation we will draw on the example of how an Historian and RN/sociologist – starting from very different places – came to see much more – and see it differently – by the end of the project than we had at the beginning. We strongly suggest that what we learned has relevance beyond this particular method – rapid site-switching ethnography – and contains important lessons for all qualitative research initiatives.
September 21, 2018 – Sketching life: Understanding the complexities of health care access for young mothers through a relational approach with visual art
Dr. Clara Juando-Prats (2017-18 dissertation award winner),
Abstract: Young mothers who are living with low incomes and have little family and social support, strive to provide housing and food to their children while learning to navigate a social world that problematizes mothering at a young age. These circumstances negatively impact their overall health, at a time when their access to health care seems to be diminished. To understand this complex social issue, and the mechanisms of unequal access to, and use of, health care resources, I conducted a critical arts-based approach based on Bourdieu’s theory of practice. In this presentation I will address the theoretical implications of the discursive montage, a tailored, respectful, and delicate approach to the vulnerability and invisibility of young mothers with low resources. Engaging the women in this way not only permitted them to co-construct academic knowledge, it also fostered opportunities to help improve their lives and lives of other young mothers. The risks and power of practicing critical arts-based research with young people will also be discussed reflecting on what happens when we use visuals, from different social positions.
November 30, 2018 – The wound dwellers: Critical challenges in the medical/health humanities
Dr. Andrea Charise, UTSC
Abstract: The past two decades have witnessed the partial integration of arts- and humanities-based methods and materials into the objectives of clinical research and education. Under the banner of “medical” (or, increasingly, “health”) humanities, a range of research methods, practices, “soft” skills, and values-oriented competencies have been promoted as a corrective to the hidden curricula of medicine and health professions more broadly. In this talk I describe the promise—and pitfalls—of current theoretical and methodological practices in the health humanities, including the ascendance of “empathy training” as an objective for health research and education. With special attention to the Canadian context, I provide a critical examination of the theoretical challenges and concrete case studies that reflect both the state of the field, and the future directions health humanities might—or should—engage
2017 - 2018
April 25, 2018- Perspectives from new arts-based scholars on methodological innovation
1. Debra Kriger – Malleable Methodologies: Sculpting and Life-lining in Health Research
Abstract: Sculpting and life-lining (a particular kind of collage) are ways to achieve embodied, creative, imaginative and absurd ways of knowing. I used these malleable methods to understand how people make sense of the concept of ‘risk’ in health, and will present here on (a) their usefulness in researching complex ‘things’ and (b) the capacity of imagination as a tenet for critical qualitative health research. How does Dolly Parton relate to Jean-Paul Sartre? Come find out through this exploration of creating ‘things’ in critical qualitative health research.
2. Gerardo Betancourt – Hand Mapping: A critical visual methodology for eliciting life events and health trajectories with marginalized communities
Abstract: Advancing the work conducted by Gastaldo et al (2012) on “Body Mapping”, Hand Mapping takes the theoretical stance of visual participatory methodologies, and brings up a more defined mapping opportunity for voicing the narration of individuals life events, and life health trajectories. Hand Mapping uses the lines on the hand as a metaphor of a time line, and uses the fingers for analyzing five branches of topics (e.g., health issues, health literacy, lived experiences related to care). Hand Mapping constitutes an affordable qualitative methodology and an innovative way of investigating narratives’ visual representation, and KTE activities.
3. Dr. Clara Juando-Prats – Drawing as reflexive interpretive practice
Abstract: In my research with young mothers living in the margins, I’ve used drawing and sketching as a way to connect with young people, to elicit their experiences, to soften the aggressiveness of doing research with vulnerable populations, and to open a third space in which re-imagining the future and re-creating the present and past is possible. But incorporating drawing in my research practice is what has changed my ability to analyze and co-construct knowledge. Join us in this session to hear how you can draw to ‘see what you can’t see’.
April 4, 2018- The bits on the cutting room floor: Erasures and denials within the qualitative research trajectory
Dr. Leeat Granek, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev.
Abstract: While positivistic researchers follow the objectivity model where affect and relationships are seen as contaminating variables that should be controlled, qualitative researchers value emotion and relationships as central to both the purpose of the research and the conduct of it. How we embody these values in our work is by using a rigorous set of methodological guidelines that include memoing, reflexivity and explicitly acknowledging emotion and relationships in our reports. Despite these guidelines, however, many qualitative researchers also engage in erasures of our research processes. In this presentation, I discuss erasures at three levels – ‘off the record’, ‘off the books’ and ‘off the charts’ and conclude with suggestions about where and why these erasures occur.
March 28, 2018- Voice Lessons: Dis/Articulating ‘voice’ and the value of unpacking concepts in qualitative inquiry
Dr. Gail Teachman, Postdoctoral Fellow, McGill University
Abstract: What makes a good interview and who is the ideal interview subject? How do normative understandings of ‘voice’ mediate research results and impact? Can researchers ‘give voice’ to participants? Research that involves eliciting and analyzing participant accounts is often reliant on idealized conceptions of voice as the singular possession of an autonomous individual. This framing grants authority to some accounts while raising concerns about the authenticity of others. It also has the effect of privileging ‘voices’ produced through putatively ‘normal’ speech. In this presentation, I discuss these issues in the context of a study about inclusion with young people who have little or no speech. I share the unexpected challenges I encountered as I realized it was necessary to disarticulate, or disrupt, the logics underpinning conceptions of voice in qualitative inquiry. Drawing examples from the study and subsequent application in other areas, I demonstrate the value added through the critical dialogical methodology that resulted from this theorizing. In conclusion, I suggest the implications of this work for interview-based research generally, highlighting the dialogical relation that is all our communication.
January 23, 2018- ‘Dirty laundry’ & ‘false advertising’: Negotiating knowledge mobilization in community-based research (CBR)
Dr. Izumi Sakamoto (University of Toronto); Dr. Ronald Pitner (University of South Carolina)
Abstract: In community-based (participatory) research (CBR) multiple stakeholders are involved in making key decisions. Negotiating the multiplicities of voices comes with great challenges (and joy!). In this presentation, we focus on the dilemmas that can emerge during knowledge mobilization. Since every “community” is unique, there is no “one-size fits all” approach, and research teams must find their own way, based on their values, terms of reference, and specific circumstances. In our experience however, we have found that re-visiting CBR principles and learning about real-life examples in dealing with such dilemmas can help. To that end, four themes (including “dirty laundry” and “false advertising”) will be explored using examples from our own CBR projects. During the presentation participants will be encouraged to share their own experiences of similar challenges and how they sought to address them
December 11, 2017- Holding Firm: Power, Push-Back, and Opportunities in Navigating the Liminal Space of Critical Qualitative Health Research
Abstract: Critical qualitative health researchers typically occupy and navigate liminal academic spaces and statuses, with one foot planted in the arts and social sciences and the other in biomedical science. We are at once marginalized and empowered, and this liminality presents both challenges and opportunities. In this article, we draw on our experiences of being (often the lone) critical qualitative health scholars on thesis advisory committees and dissertation examinations, as well as our experiences of publishing and securing funding, to illuminate how power and knowledge relations create conditions that shape the nature of our roles. We share strategies we have developed for standing our theoretical and methodological ground. We discuss how we use the power of our liminality to hold firm, push back, and push forward, to ensure that critical qualitative research is not further relegated to the margins and its quality and integrity sustained.
November 24, 2017- Developing strategies for hire and promotion: A dialogue with Qualitative Health Researchers
Dr. Fiona Webster, PhD, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
Abstract: Under the leadership of Dr. Fiona Webster, a group of CQ fellows is developing a manifesto on the challenges faced by critical qualitative scholars in relation to hiring and promotion in academic, hospital and community-based research institutes. Based on a review of the literature and case studies documented over many years, a series of recommendations are proposed. The manifesto will have practical applications for those applying for jobs or being promoted in this field. CQ will disseminate the final version to health research leadership, in multiple settings, across Canada and internationally. The purpose of this seminar is to discuss the current draft of the Manifesto and elicit feedback through a dialogical process.
October 16, 2017- From Hawthorne Effect to Participatory Reactivity in Observational Research
Dr. Elise Paradis, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto
Abstract: Observational research is often criticised for being prone to the Hawthorne Effect, defined as a research participant’s altered behaviour in response to being observed. In this article, we explore this concern by first reviewing the initial Hawthorne studies and the original formulation of the Hawthorne Effect, before turning to contemporary studies of the Hawthorne Effect in HPE and beyond. Second, using data from two observational studies, we investigate the Hawthorne Effect. Our research suggests that evidence of a Hawthorne Effect is scant. Moreover, the multiple and inconsistent uses of the Hawthorne Effect have left researchers without a coherent and helpful understanding of research participants’ responses to observation. Our own empirical research illustrates the complexity of observer effects, and suggests that significant alteration of behaviour is unlikely in many research contexts. We conclude by making recommendations for researchers, editors and reviewers.
September 27, 2017- Playing The Fool: An ‘aesthetic of relationality’ as a brave and vulnerable approach to performance-research
Dr. Julia Gray (2016-17 CQ Joan Eakin Award winner)
Abstract: Social and health researchers are increasingly turning to the arts, including performance, as ways to translate research findings into practice and policy. The often assumed linear and neutral trajectory between findings and performance, termed “an aesthetic of objectivity,” overlooks the multiple people implicated in the performance process, including the researchers, original research participants, artist-researchers, and audience members. In this presentation I offer a critical alternative – an aesthetic of relationality – as an aesthetic space within which the embodied interpretive work of artist-researchers is extended into spatial, relational contexts. Drawing examples from the research-informed play Cracked: new light on dementia (of which I am playwright/director), I consider the ways artist-researchers foolishly, or vulnerably-bravely, implicate their embodiment and imagination in relation to others, to engage in three interrelated modes of practice: playfully extending, foolish disrupting and inventive disrupting.
2016 - 2017
May 15, 2017- Critical mixed methods research: Learning from experience
Dr. Janet Parsons, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital;
Dr. Daniel Grace, Social and Behavioural Health Sciences, Dalla Lana School of Public Health;
Dr. Andrea Daley, Faculty of Social Work, York University
Abstract: This panel will address the question of whether critical qualitative approaches are compatible with mixed methods approaches, from the perspective of three critical qualitative health researchers who also use mixed methods approaches in their work. Dr. Janet Parsons will open with some critical reflections on what it means to do mixed methods ‘well’, how difficult this is in practice (particularly in an applied health research setting) and how rarely mixed methods research fulfills its promise of transcending paradigmatic divides – particularly in light of social structural constraints on researchers. Dr. Daniel Grace will follow with an example from his mixed methods research in the area of sexual health, drawing particular attention to what mixed methods researchers can learn from the experiences of our research participants with the various data collection methods we utilize. Finally, Dr. Andrea Daley will describe the decisions and processes associated with a recent study about the home care experiences of sexual and gender minority people, highlighting the extent to which the paradigmatic assumptions underlying this mixed methods project align with the ethics of social justice promotion. Together, and in dialogue with the audience, we aim to elucidate both the challenges and the potential of mixed methods research as approached through a critical qualitative lens
April 25, 2017- Focus Groups or discussion groups: Providing insights into the experience of participants and researchers in health services research
Dr. Azucena Pedraz-Marcos, RN, MSc, PhD, Sección Departamental de Enfermería, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Abstract: Focus groups have provided insights into a huge variety of research questions from different disciplines, being widely used in health services research. Focus groups are the technique that dominates the field in the English-written scientific literature, but there are different approaches to data collection in groups in terms of style of the moderator, presentation of questions/topics, and the way data are analysed (Barbour, 2007). In this presentation, I will briefly introduce a series of group techniques utilized in qualitative research to later focus on discussion groups, following Ibañez and the Madrid School of Social Theory. The discussion group is a qualitative technique that aims at reproducing in a micro-social scale what would be the macro-social situation, through the interaction of its participants in order to enable the generation of discourses/texts, which analyzed, identify and organize the social meaning of a specific field or theme (Pedraz, 2014). Based on my research about midwives´ experiences dealing with late stillbirth delivery, my presentation will address some of the features of planning and setting up discussion groups: group composition, number and size of groups, sampling frames, decisions about the room, the moderator, the recording, transcribing and running group discussions.
April 19, 2017- Taking the long view: Theoretical, ethical and practical matters related to the sharing, archiving and secondary analysis of qualitative data
Abstract: This talk will describe how (and why) a network of social scientists working on HIV in the UK shared and re-examined a diverse range of qualitative datasets. The work took place within the context of the re-purposing of anti-retroviral medications for HIV (ARVs) – from playing a key role in the treatment of HIV to having an increasing role in its prevention. We were interested in the social and biomedical landscape in which these chanes have taken place, and started out by reviewing and analysing a sample of transcripts from 15 qualitative UK studies undertaken across our research network with key populations at different phases of ARV implementation (1996-2013). This reanalysis of underused datasets enabled us to take the long view, while also unifying these datasets for the first time by applying common theoretical and methodological approaches. While offering some insight into emergent thematic findings of the study, the talk will focus mainly on the processes and procedures used and developed for this project, reflecting on some of the challenges and benefits that they presented. We also will take time to discuss a range of theoretical, ethical and practical matters related to the sharing, re-use and archiving of qualitative data.
February 28, 2017- ‘Sleight of hand’ or ‘selling our soul’? Surviving as critical qualitative health researchers in a positivist world
Dr. Alisa Grigorovich, Postdoctoral Fellow, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto;
Dr. Pia Kontos, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network; Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
Abstract: The commodification and corporatization of health research within the academy, research institutes, and professional and political sectors has ignited much attention and debate within the critical qualitative health field. Despite that we are seeing qualitative research more enthusiastically embraced in some places, the ascendance of practical/utility-based research with its emphasis on multi-methods and large team-based grants is increasingly making critical qualitative research more transgressive and difficult to practice. How do we survive in this arena? Does being politically strategic about the framing of our work necessitate ‘sleight of hand’? Are we ‘selling our soul to the devil’ by engaging in such strategies of concealment? We reflect on these questions by deconstructing a recent experience of ours collaborating with a large team of researchers. We offer interpretation of key events, interactions and processes (e.g. grant development, data collection, data analysis, publication), existential and material consequences, and discuss lessons learned and productive strategies for working at the margins of the health sciences.
December 7, 2016- The good, the bad and the ugly: Publishing critical qualitative health research in the health sciences and social work
Dr. Joan Eakin, Professor Emerita, Dalla Lana School of Public Health;
Dr. Eric Mykhalovskiy, Professor, Department of Sociology, York University;
Dr. Rupaleem Bhuyan, Associate Professor, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto
Abstract: This panel will explore issues that currently shape the publication of critical qualitative health research articles. The three presenters will consider publishing from the perspective of authors, peer-reviewers, and editors. They will deliver short presentations which will be followed by a 45-minute debate with the audience to collectively discuss challenges and strategies for publishing in social work and health sciences.
November 16, 2016- Navigating the waters: Moving from field text to research text in Narrative Inquiry
Dr. Louela Manankil-Rankin, Assistant Professor, Nipissing University Scholar Practitioner Program
Abstract: Narrative Inquiry is a research methodology that explores the situated lives of people through reflection and reconstruction of experience, using stories as the foundational basis for such an understanding. While there are a variety of ways to analyze narratives, this presentation addresses the particularities in data analysis using Clandinin & Connelly’s (2000) Narrative Inquiry. Retelling the process of my inquiry of how nurses’ experience living their values amidst organizational change with a focus on the analytic and interpretive processes involved, I address my reflective movements throughout my research journey, highlighting my research process from field text to research text and making explicit how analysis and interpretation are reformulated through their different phases. The presentation includes a discussion of challenges I encounter using this approach – for example, how the three-dimensional inquiry space shifts in analytical position at different points in the inquiry process and how an inquirer embodies the experience of her co-participants in the analytic journey – and strategies I have employed to address these.
October 26, 2016- Creative Analytic Practices: Onto-epistemological attachments, uses, and constructions within Humanist Qualitative Inquiry
Dr. Lisbeth A. Berbary, Assistant Professor, Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, Applied Health Sciences, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON
Abstract: Grounded in current shifts towards accessible knowledge translation, this seminar will follow my eight-point scaffolding for Humanist improvisational qualitative inquiry, beginning with theorizations of onto-epistemological attachments and ending with a discussion of the potential for creative analytic practices of representation. In particular, we will explore the current ontological shifts in qualitative inquiry, and consider how such shifts ignited the crisis of representation that enabled the use of creative genres such as screenplay, found poetry, and comics as accessible data representation. The presentation will conclude by reviewing my past and current feminist inquiries with American sorority women, drag kings, and bisexual women—each of which utilized creative representations to “do research differently” within traditional academic spaces.
September 26, 2016- Madness in the Methods: Mad Studies, Storytelling, and the Politics of Peer Inclusion
Dr. Jijian Voronka (2015-16 Joan Eakin Award Winner), SSHRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers University, Newark
Abstract: Storytelling as a means of relaying our experiences is one way that as peer researchers we are expected to perform our knowledge. Drawing on critical autoethnographic methods, by analyzing the act of sharing my own personal/political narrative I show how at once my speech both undercuts and replicates the ‘from tragedy to recovery’ storylines that currently organize metanarratives of mental illness. Raising questions on the limits of voice and hearing, representational authority and the commodification of abject identity and experience, I offer critical reflections for both researchers committed to participatory imperatives, as well those of us included into such projects. This session draws from a four-year national ethnographic study on how the inclusion of ‘people with lived experience’ within mental health research and service systems is governed. Relevant especially to those invested in community-based research and practice, I discuss how the emerging field of mad studies challenges dominant approaches to mental health/illness, and questions the terms of our engagement as marginalized bodies brought in to inform research.
2015 - 2016
April 14, 2016- Critical Indigenous qualitative research: What is it and what are its methodological implications?
Dr. Earl Nowgesic, RN, PhD, Member (Ojibwe) of the Gull Bay First Nation; Assistant Professor, Social and Behavioural Health Sciences Division and Interim Director, Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.
Abstract: In this session, I explore critical Indigenous qualitative research – an approach influenced by a critical social paradigm (CSP) and an Indigenous research paradigm (IRP). A CSP has an idealist ontology that is based upon historical realism, and a subjectivist/transactional epistemology, where findings are ultimately determined by weighing the values of various people in a particular time and place. Specifically defined by Indigenous cultures, an IRP has both a relational ontology and epistemology and utilizes interpretative research methods that are appropriate to the lived experiences, including the culture, language, and traditional values, of Indigenous peoples. Using my work on the Indigenous Red Ribbon Storytelling Study, I discuss the ways in which I operationalize critical Indigenous qualitative research and employ Indigenous methods including Indigenous sharing circles. The study design, I argue, not only respects the values, beliefs and cultural practices of Indigenous peoples but supports research relevant to Indigenous peoples.
March 10, 2016- Stolen story, reclaimed memories: The politics of digital-storytelling data analysis
Dr. Manuela Ferrari, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University
Abstract: Qualitative researchers gather stories to understand how people make sense of events and, more broadly, their lived experience. Analyzing stories is complex as they operate alongside other stories and are shaped by context and structural forces. This presentation is based on critical lessons gained through a knowledge dissemination project that examined access to care for people who experienced psychosis: Re-Tracing ACE Pathways to Care in First-Episode Psychosis. The Re-Tracing Project used digital storytelling, as knowledge dissemination method, to capture the complexity, barriers, and subjective experiences of the journeys to, and first encounters with care. Digital stories are three- to five-minute videos produced with a mix of voiceover, music, and images to convey first person narratives. The Re-Tracing digital storytelling workshops created a space where storytellers had the opportunity to unpack their own story as well as ‘talk back to’ dominant discourses of access to care and, broadly, “madness.” Workshop participants described the process of making their digital stories as “cathartic” as well as offered them ownership of their experiences and stories – not available in clinical or other settings. Reflecting on my experience as the digital storytelling workshop facilitator and qualitative researcher involved in the project, I will discuss two key aspects of this process: Telling a story and, listening to a story. Throughout the presentation I will discuss, confront, compete with, and resist the act of analyzing a story. I will argue that as the Re-Tracing Project gave participants an opportunity for self-expression and sharing their emotions, memories, and stories using an arts-based medium, it creates unique changes to traditional data analysis.
January 29, 2016- How might ‘ecological thinking’ inspire and inform critical qualitative research and narrative methods?
Dr. Andrea Doucet, Canada Research Chair in Gender, Work and Care; Professor, Department of Sociology, Brock University
Abstract: Across the past four decades, Canadian feminist philosopher and epistemologist Lorraine Code has slowly assembled a revitalized approach to knowledge making, which she calls “ecological thinking”. This approach aims to reconfigure theory and method; to guide “transformative, responsible, and responsive epistemic practices” (Code 2006); and, more broadly, is “about imagining, crafting, articulating, endeavoring to enact principles of ideal cohabitation” (Code 2006). The roots of ecological thinking are wide and deep; it draws insights from the work of Deleuze and Guattari, Latour, Bourdieu, Foucault, Castoriadis, Ricoeur, and Haraway, as well as from phenomenology, feminist philosophy, and feminist new materialism. On my reading, ecological thinking is topologically performative, ontologically relational, and non-representational. Yet it also embraces Code’s painstaking attention to epistemic injustices, the politics and particularities of testimony and narrative, and the care and advocacy required to materialize new knowledges and imaginaries. Moreover, Code attends to reconfiguring concepts that are central to qualitative and narrative research, including situated knowledges, reflexivity and diffraction, subjectivity, narratives, testimonies, and researcher responsibilities. My presentation is guided by rhizomatic mappings (Deleuze and Guattari 1987) and “diffractive” readings (Haraway 1997; Barad 2007, 2009) of Code’s work. At the heart of this mapping and reading is my overarching question: How might ecological thinking inspire and inform critical qualitative research and narrative methods?
November 27, 2015- Mixed-Up Methods
1. Dr. Katie Dainty, PhD, Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital; Assistant professor, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto
Abstract: Dr. Dainty is a “reformed quantitativist” and has conducted several mixed methods research projects in health services and quality improvement. She will bring a practical perspective to the discussion which focuses on how her work has benefited from leveraging the strengths of both quantitative and qualitative design with the goal of developing a more comprehensive knowledge about the constructs she studies. Despite the tensions which others will discuss here today, it is possible to find a stance that bridges positivist and social constructivist worldviews and which doesn’t require research to be “driven” by one approach or the other.
2. Dr. Aleksandra Zecevic, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Health Studies, Western University
Abstract: Dr. Zecevic believes that mixing is the nature of being. As humans, we have two sides of brain that perceive reality in distinct by complementary ways. We combine vastness, energetic interconnectedness and focus on present moment of our right brain hemisphere with linearity, focus on details, methodical categorization and separateness from others, of our left brain hemisphere all the time. This mix helps us navigate daily life and solve problems. The pragmatic nature of a research question is at heart of choice which methodology to use to answer it.
3. Dr. Joan Eakin, PhD, Professor Emerita, Dalla Lana School of Public Health and Founding Director, Centre for Critical Qualitative Health Research, University of Toronto
Abstract: Dr. Eakin will argue that quantitative/positivist and qualitative/interpretivist epistemologies are contradictory. Mixing the two eviscerates the power of each, particularly by supressing ‘value-added’ qualitative analysis and reducing the potential for new conceptual takes on health problems. She suggests how mixed method research might be approached differently by shifting the orientation from ‘positivist qualitative’ logic to one that restores the critical, generative capacity of qualitative inquiry and re-purposes the meaning of numeric data.
October 16, 2015 – Presenting qualitative research findings effectively: Necessity not normative novelty
Dr. Alexander Clark, RN, PhD, FCAHS, Professor & Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta
Abstract: Presentations of qualitative research findings at defences, meetings and conference are common, important, but seldom done well. Drawing on genre-theory, this session examines the nature and distinctiveness of the “qualitative research findings presentation” as a distinctive genre. I will argue that effective presentations are only personally and practically important but also methodologically vital to, in and for qualitative research. Drawing on various fields from neuroscience to rhetoric, common pitfalls in presentations are identified and possible solutions, techniques and innovations proposed to help presenters adapt to their audience, express their personal style and preferences, and create future presentations that soar.
October 5, 2015 – Re-embodying qualitative inquiry: Choreographic notes and observations of children with diverse abilities and their movement at school
Dr. Coralee McLaren, RN, PhD, Assistant Professor, Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, Ryerson University; Adjunct Scientist, Bloorview Research Institute
Abstract: Recent neuroscientific research has identified important links between movement and children’s learning, radically calling into question traditional models of classroom design. In this presentation, I discuss how a novel theoretical framework and an artistic-scientific methodology disrupted my understanding of diverse bodies, their capacities and their movement at school. Drawing on key Deleuzian concepts and the work of choreographers Erin Manning and William Forsythe, I explore whether choreographic thought resides exclusively in the body, or whether its mechanisms and principles can be used to rethink ways of knowing, develop procedural strategies and mobilize language. By asking these questions, my aim is to develop a conceptually-derived framework that will inform the design of integrated classrooms and other play-learn environments. I conclude my presentation not with answers but with a set of choreographic notes supporting this goal.
2014 - 2015
March 2, 2015 – Rethinking Risk in Critical Qualitative Research: Ethical Implications
Dr. Judith Friedland, PhD, Professor Emerita and former chair, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto
Shan Mohammed, RN, PhD, Lecturer, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto; postdoctoral fellow in psychosocial oncology, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
Elizabeth Peter, RN, PhD, Associate Professor, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing; member of the Joint Centre for Bioethics; Academic Fellow with the Centre for Critical Qualitative Health Research, University of Toronto
Abstract: The goal of this session is to explore vulnerability and risk issues in an interactive format such that the ethical concerns of CQ researchers can be examined and ways of mitigating risk can be explored. Throughout the presentation, examples from a study that involved participants with advanced cancer will be used to illustrate ethical challenges in critical qualitative research (CQR). Standards of research ethics often do not adequately address unique issues relating to the vulnerability of research participants in CQR. There are many groups that have been labelled as vulnerable or ‘at risk’ in research, such as children, the elderly, women, prisoners, those with mental health issues and those with diminished capacity for self-determination, ethnocultural minorities and those who are institutionalized (TCPS2). These groups are commonly participants in CQR given that often one of the foci of this research is on exploring power differences. A rigid response to perceived risk, however, can be paternalistic and can ultimately result in the diminishment of autonomy of these so-called at-risk groups and even to their exclusion. In addition, the positionality of researchers using CQR approaches is such that they are often physically, politically and socially more proximate to participants than in other forms of research. Ethically this is significant because these researchers can become aware of, or at times may even increase, the vulnerabilities of participants. Conventional principles of research ethics, however, tend to be derived from ethical traditions that emphasize impartiality and universality as opposed to attentiveness and social justice, providing limited guidance for CQ researchers in these situations.
January 27, 2015 – Reflexivity and the “acting subject”: Conceptualizing the unit of analysis in qualitative inquiry
Dr. Jay Shaw, PhD, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute-University Health Network
Abstract: Researchers’ theoretical beliefs about the “acting subject” structure the process of qualitative inquiry, building analytic strategies that highlight certain elements of explanation, meaning, and behaviour over others. As such, exploring what a human is and how we go about our daily lives is a fundamental reflexive strategy across qualitative methodologies. In this presentation, I draw on a comparative case study of transitions from hospital to home in London (England) and Toronto (Canada) to elaborate the implications for qualitative inquiry of different beliefs about (a) what drives human action, and (b) how “context” plays a role in everyday practices of living. Contrasting tenets from the practice theory of Pierre Bourdieu, “posthumanist” theory of Bruno Latour, and embodied cognitive theory of George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, I highlight how each theoretical position on the “acting subject” leads to different analytic strategies. I then explain how insights from these perspectives can be reflexively brought together to inform qualitative analysis, tracing them through an example of collaborative practice from our case study of patient transitions from hospital to home.
December 11, 2014- Discourse analysis: Tracing the emergence of discourse and its materiality
Dr. Tina Martimianakis, PhD, Education Researcher, Department of Paediatrics, University of Toronto
Abstract: In this presentation, I combine poststructuralist discourse analysis and lived experience to explore both how a particular discourse operates and its materiality. I used a Foucauldian approach to explore the social relations that maintain the visibility of certain forms of knowledge-production while obscuring others. I have looked at interdisciplinarity as a discursive ‘event,’ tracing in very broad strokes its emergence and its conditions of possibility. This was followed by an analysis of the ‘interdisciplined subject’ in the context of the University of Toronto. At the level of subjectivity, I posited that gender, race, class and other intersections of subject-positions find articulation through negotiations of power about ontological and epistemological issues. It is at the intersection of these negotiations, I have argued, that one can glean not only how a particular discourse operates, but also how it is experienced.
November 19, 2014 – The Body Published: Increasing Varieties and Diminishing Contrasts in Qualitative Research on Physical Culture and Health
Dr. Michael Atkinson, PhD, Professor, Kinesiology and Physical Education and Editor, Sociology of Sport Journal, University of Toronto
Abstract: In this talk, Michael Atkinson draws on fifteen years of Editor/Editorial Board experience, and peer review involvement at both the SSHRC and CIHR, to discuss major substantive themes, theoretical trends and granting preferences in/for qualitative research on moving bodies and physical cultures. More specifically, he examines dominant epistemologies and ontologies in body-based research on physical culture, exercise and sport, with a keen focus on the theoretical and methodological narrowing in the area. Michael outlines the contemporary politics of publishing qualitative research, the strained role of theory and concepts in our work, and the emerging role of the qualitative researcher as a public intellectual.
October 30, 2014 – Resonant texts and critical dialogue: An arts-informed participatory approach to interrogate cultures, identities, and power relations with young Asian women in Toronto
Dr: Josephine Wong, RN, PhD, Associate Professor, Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, Ryerson University
Abstract: Asians are the most rapidly growing racial minority groups in Canada. However there is a dearth of research on the sexualities of young Asian women. Existing literature tends to depict Asian women as “model minority,” or construct them to be “sexually conservative”; these stereotypes dismiss the need for sexual health research on young Asian women. The Cultures, Identities, and Voices (CIV) Study was an exploratory study that focused on how young Asian women make sense of their gender and cultural identities, and how their identity constructions affect their emotional and sexual health. A total of 14 young Asian women aged 18 to 23 took part in a series of three sequential group interviews. The study results demonstrate that research is both a process and an outcome. In this presentation, qualitative researchers will have the opportunity to learn the use of: (1) arts-informed resonant texts as a method to study identity construction; (2) sequential group interviews to facilitate critical reflection and dialogue for change; and (3) peer research associates as a strategy to facilitate collective empowerment in research.
September 25, 2014 – Word of mouth: Articulating text-based work processes in an institutional ethnography of mouth care in the intensive care unit (ICU)
Dr. Craig Dale, RN, PhD, CNCC(C), Postdoctoral Fellow, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto
Abstract: The challenge in institutional ethnography (IE) is to analyze the data in a way that brings the institution into view. I confronted this undertaking in my doctoral research, where I was concerned with two types of ICU nursing work: oral care and documentation. In this presentation I discuss how following a sequence of text-based work processes played a vital role in mapping the social relations of mouth care in the high-tech ICU context. As a source of contagion in critical illness, the mouth is now a sensitive margin between individual and institutional bodies concerned with the potential of local ICU infections having trans-local effects. My analysis argues that textual practices, as authorized methods of knowing and intervening in this matter, have paradoxical implications for patients, clinicians and the institution of health.
2013 - 2014
April 15, 2014 – Theory in, theory out? Reflections on theory building in a palliative care project
Dr. Mary Ellen Macdonald, PhD, Assistant Professor, Division of Oral Health and Society, Faculty of Dentistry, McGill University
Abstract: Ethnography is a ‘theory in, theory out’ methodology: the ethnographer’s research questions and emergent hypotheses are inspired by engagement with social theory. She then goes into the field where she iteratively is both guided by – but also challenging of – her theoretical premises. Coming out at the other end, she exits the field with contributions to both empirical as well as theoretical knowledge. But what happens when we can’t find a theoretical lens to lead us into the field? I recently had this experience doing research in palliative care. While there is lots of anthropological and sociological research on death, dying and bereavement, and also research on parenthood and childhood, the parental experience of losing a child has only been theorized as a psychosocial phenomenon; my quest was to understand it as a sociocultural one. It was out of necessity then that I embarked upon a ‘theory-building’ exercise. In this presentation, I will describe the theoretical hole I found in ‘the literature,’ [with discussion of what we take this phrase to mean] and the challenges that such a hole presents for the empirical researcher. I will also discuss how bringing together relevant theoretical fields with emergent empirical findings allowed my research team to conceptualize a theoretical scaffold which we took back to the data to test and elaborate. Through this process, we were forced to think about how particular disciplines “make” concepts, as well as how these concepts can be un-made and re-made through theoretical engagement.
March 18, 2014 – Opportunities and Challenges within a Collective Case Study: Integrating Multiple Perspectives on “Successful” Community Reintegration
Dr. Michelle Nelson, PhD., Research Scientist, Bridgepoint Collaboratory for Research and Innovation; Adjunct Professor, Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, Ryerson University.
Abstract: Collecting data from related individuals through interviews is a common strategy in social research. While it may address criticisms about relying on single interviews to provide insight into group experiences, this strategy presents numerous methodological challenges… and opportunities. Using previous research – a collective case study designed to integrate multiple perspectives of a single individual’s experience returning to the community post stroke rehabilitation – several questions will be discussed: What are effective strategies to collecting multiple related perspectives on a single experience? What are the benefits and difficulties in hearing these multiple perspectives? Is a particular participant perspective central and therefore prioritized? How do researchers make sense of the similarities, differences and standpoints within the interviews? How do researchers report the findings – including dissonant data within a case?
February 2014 – … Evangeline, Five Years Later: Outlining a methodology of a poetics of witness
Dr. Nancy Viva Davis Halifax, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Critical Disability Studies and School of Health Management and Policy, Faculty of Health, York University; Kim Jackson, Phd student, Environmental Studies, York University
Abstract: In a recently released report Toronto waiting lists for subsidized housing hit a record 24 years (Wellesley Institute). People across Canada continue to be “un-housed”, “under housed”, “unsafely housed”…Home, for these individuals is, in others words, a distant dream. The idea of home and homelessness, the domestic and un/domesticated, have been the landscape of my research for over a decade. In this presentation I will outline an emerging methodology that is primarily rooted in the arts and the “poetry of witness”. Much of the past poetry of witness records war, genocide, occupied territory, political imprisonment; my work extends the purview of the poetry of witness to include what I think of as the neglected ordinary of homelessness – as proximal encounters with ordinary violence and occasional sweetness that require a dedicated audience. To demonstrate the methodology I will use a series of poems, which have emerged via this arts-informed and critical practice enacted over the past five plus years through working with and alongside women who live in my neighbourhood – mes voisines. The poetic form presented is, I argue, not merely a representation but also an experience and evidence.
January 24, 2014 – Minding our Words: Practices and Debates Surrounding Open Access and the Preservation and Re-Purposing of Qualitative Data
Dr. Joan Eakin, Dalla Lana School of Public Health;
Dr. Denise Gastaldo, Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing;
Dr. Brenda Gladstone, Dalla Lana School of Public Health;
Dr. Elizabeth Peter, Dalla Lana School of Public Health
2012 - 2013
March 27, 2013 – Linking critical discourse analysis and narrative inquiry: Boundaries, resistance, contradictions and tensions
Dr. Debbie Laliberte Rudman, PhD., Associate Professor & Faculty Scholar, School of Occupational Therapy & Graduate Program in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Western University
Abstract: Drawing data from a governmentality-informed study that employed both critical discourse analysis and narrative inquiry to examine the contemporary discursive reconstruction of retirement and retirees, this presentation considers various ways social and individual ‘stories’ addressing subjectivity and conduct can be interpretively linked. For example, such linking can be drawn upon to explore how discourses set boundaries in which individuals shape narratives regarding who they are and how they act in the world, as well as how narratives point to possibilities for resistance to larger socio-political discourses outlining ideal, possible, and healthy ways to be and do. In addition, attention to points of contradictions and tensions within narratives can inform critiques of the ways in which contemporary socio-political discourses informed by neo-liberal rationality neglect inequities shaped by social conditions and fail to include diverse possibilities for ways of being and doing.
January 23, 2013 – “It’s your body but…”: Politicizing young women’s personal narratives of HPV vaccine decision making using critical narrative methodology
Dr. Jessica Polzer, Francesca Mancuso and Dr. Debbie Laliberte Rudman, The University of Western Ontario, Canada
Abstract: The recent injection of voluntary Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination into Canada’s public health system provides a timely case study of how innovations in the management of risk for cancer produce particular gendered notions of responsibility for health. This presentation will focus on a recent pilot study which used critical narrative methodology to link young women’s personal stories of decision-making about HPV vaccination to broader discourses on the medicalization of women’s bodies and women’s health risks. The presentation will highlight the role of critical narrative methods in the critique of individualized notions of health-related decision-making and argue for the importance of such methods for the examination of how emerging technologies, and the public health practices they inspire, are implicated in processes of self-formation in the contemporary context of the proliferation and marketing of risk-based biotechnologies in women’s health. The contribution of critical qualitative research methodologies to theoretical development will also be addressed, with a particular focus on gendering and complicating the “entrepreneurial subject” that is presumed and privileged by critical theories of health risk.
November 21, 2012 – A spy in the house of healing: Challenges of doing critical qualitative research in clinical settings
Dr. Fiona Webster, Education Scientist/Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto
Abstract: Dr. Fiona Webster’s talk will draw upon her experiences of working as a critical ethnographer in health care settings in Ontario. Others have explored how qualitative research approaches are received within a field dominated by a biomedical science model and whether or not they are considered – by others – as a legitimate or credible form of science. This presentation will explore what it means to work closely with health care providers and patients in health care settings as a non-clinical researcher. It will also explore the designation of “scientist” and how this label serves to legitimize ethnography as a form of inquiry while at the same time undermining its ties to critical scholarship. As ethnography and other qualitative methods become increasingly popular in health care, the position of the researcher to her academic discipline and methodological foundations, as juxtaposed to her location within the health care setting, may continue to pose tensions in terms of authenticity, identity and ethics.
September 26, 2012 – Body-map storytelling as research: Documenting physical, emotional and social health as a journey
Dr. Denise Gastaldo, Associate Professor, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing; Associate Director, Centre for Critical Qualitative Health Research (CQ)
Abstract: Dr. Denise Gastaldo will present her work on adapting body mapping techniques used for therapeutic and advocacy purposes and adding new strategies to create a research approach that allows participants to narrate their trajectories and draw themselves among people and in the middle of events, routines, networks that shape their health. This asset-based method assumes participants are knowledgeable and have interest in sharing their stories to increase understanding or promote transformation. The final outcome of the body-map storytelling process is a mapped story composed of 3 elements: a testimonio (a brief story narrated in the first person), a life-size body map, and a key to describe each visual element found on the map. This technique can also help stimulate dialogue and share knowledge with general audiences given that the mapped story brings research participants’ stories to life through combined visual and oral media. As a product, mapped stories offer a creative and potentially visually compelling approach for knowledge translation and exchange. Dr Gastaldo will also present the 50-page manual she has created with colleagues, Lilian Magalhaes, Christine Carrasco and Charity Davis, to explain how they have used body maps in their research.
2011 - 2012
April 24, 2012 – Brokered Dialogue: A new research method for addressing controversial health and social issues
Dr. Jim Lavery, PhD, Centre for Research on Inner City Health and Centre for Global Health Research, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital and Joint Centre for Bioethics, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto;
Janet Parsons, PhD, Applied Health Research Centre, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital and Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto
March 16, 2012 – Qualitative analysis in gay men’s health research: Comparing thematic, critical discourse, and conversation analysis
Dr. Jeffrey Aguinaldo, PhD, Department of Sociology, Wilfrid Laurier University
January 25, 2012- “Think with your senses, feel with your mind”: A strategy for integrating and analyzing multisensory data in qualitative research
Dr. Pauli Gardner, PhD, Research Scientist, the Bridgepoint Collaboratory for Research and Innovation
November 23, 2011 – Qualitative synthesis methods: A decision tree for aggregating, integrating and interpreting islands of knowledge
Dr. Michael Saini, Assistant Professor, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto
October 26, 2011 – Critical dramaturgy: A methodology for studying a psychoeducational support group for children of parents with mental illnesses
Dr. Brenda M. Gladstone (2010-2011 Joan Eakin Award Winner), Ph.D., Researcher in the Community Health Systems Resource Group at SickKids and Adjunct Lecturer, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto
September 20, 2011 – Attending to the ‘active properties’ of texts: Using municipal bylaws as an entry point into trans-biopolitics and the negotiation of urban space
Dr. Melanie Rock, Ph.D., University of Calgary; Canadian Institutes for Health Research New Investigator in Societal and Cultural Dimensions of Health; Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions Population Health Investigator, Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research
2010 - 2011
March 21, 2011 – Synthesising social & discursive histories in qualitative research: methodological challenges
Dr. Krista Maxwell, SSHRC postdoctoral fellow, Department of Social Sciences, UTSC
February 15, 2011 – Returning the gaze: ethical-methodological approaches in a study with persons with intellectual disabilities
Dr. Ann Fudge Schormans, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, McMaster University
Dr. Adrienne Chambon, Professor, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto
January 10, 2011 – Theatre as hermeneutic methodology: A case study of the use of theatre in bioethics research
Dr. Kate Rossiter, Assistant Professor, Health Studies, Wilfrid Laurier’s Brantford Campus
[Date N/A] – Narrative analysis as a turn to theory and angles of vision
Brett Smith, PhD, Senior Lecturer, School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Leicestershire, UK
October 29, 2010 – Texts in Their Social Contexts: Including Critical Discourse Analysis in Qualitative Research Projects
Dr. Catherine Schryer, Professor and Chair, School of Professional Communication, Ryerson University
September 27, 2010 – Methodological Conventions in Transition – Shifting the Balance between Theorizing and Application
Dr. Sally Thorne, Professor and Director, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia and Associate Editor, Qualitative Health Research
2009 - 2010
April 27, 2010 – Doing research reflexively: The case of disability research
Dr. Chrissie Rogers,PhD, Reader in Education and Director of Research Degrees in the Faculty of Education, Anglia Ruskin University, UK
March 26, 2010 – UnMasking Power Relations: From Interview Research to Dialogue for Social Change
Dr. Blake Poland, Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
Dr. Francisco Cavalcante Jr, Faculty of Education, Federal University of Ceara, Fortaleza, Brazil
January 29, 2010 – Other ways of knowing: how does photovoice work?
Dr. Lilian Magalhaes, PhD, OT Reg.(Ont.), Associate Professor, School of Occupational Therapy, University of Western Ontario
November 27, 2009 – Can Qualitative Social Science Make it in the Health Research Field?
Mathieu Albert, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Scientist at the Wilson Centre
October 9, 2009 – Not the real thing: Is telephone interviewing in qualitative research like phone sex?
Linda Rozmovits (DPhil), Toronto-based independent qualitative researcher specializing in health and social care
May 7, 2009 – Arts-based approaches to knowledge translation in health research: Exploring theater and dance
Dr. Pia Kontos, PhD., Research Scientist at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and Assistant Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto
Dr. Katherine Boydell, PhD., Sociologist and Scientist in Population Health Sciences at The Hospital for Sick Children and Department of Psychiatry and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto
2008 - 2009
March 27, 2009 – Meta-analysis and systematic reviews in qualitative research: Mission impossible?
Dr. Ellen MacEachen, PhD, Assistant Professor at Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto and Scientist at Institute for Work and Health;
Dr. Scott Reeves, PhD, Scientist at Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital and the Wilson Centre for Research in Education, Director of Research at the Centre for Faculty Development, St. Michael’s Hospital and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
February 26, 2009 – Hearts, bodies and identity: Towards a critical visual phenomenology of heart transplantation
Dr. Jennifer Poole, MSW, PhD, Assistant Professor,School of Social Work, Ryerson University;
Dr. Oliver Mauthner, PhD(c), Clinical Research Associate,University Health Network, General Division, Department of Cardiology and Transplant;
Enza De Luca, MN, Clinical Research Associate,University Health Network, General Division, Department of Cardiology and Transplant
[Date N/A]- Ethical reflexivity in community-based research: Unpacking the implications of engaging community members as co-researchers
Dr. Sarah Flicker, PhD, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, Ontario HIV Treatment Network Scholar;
Adrian Guta, MSW, Doctoral Student, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto; Brenda Roche, PhD, Director of Community-Based Research, Wellesley Institute
[Date N/A]- Conversation Analysis
Dr. John Heritage, Professor, Sociology, UCLA;
Dr. Tanya Stivers, Research Scientist, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, The Netherlands
[Date N/A]- The struggles of teaching and learning qualitative research
Dr. Ping-Chun Hsiung, Associate Professor, Sociology, University of Toronto;
Carol-Anne Moulton, PhD student, IMS, and Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto
With comments from Jennifer Wong, MASc (Industrial and Applied Engineering); Joan Eakin, Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences.
Pre - 2008
April 23, 2008- Qualitative Secondary Analysis: Asking a ‘new’ question of ‘old’ data
Brenda M. Gladstone, PhD (candidate), Public Health Sciences and Research Manager, The Hospital for Sick Children; Tiziana Volpe, PhD (candidate), Institute of Medical Science and Research Manager, The Hospital for Sick Children
The Privileges and Pitfalls of Conducting Narrative Research: Deconstructing My Collaborative Storytelling Methodology
Dan Mahoney, PhD, School of Nutrition, Ryerson University
October 12, 2007- Doing Research on Aging When Nobody Is Old
Stephen Katz, Professor, Department of Sociology, Trent University
What Actor-Network-Theory Taught Me About Narrative Analysis
Arthur Frank, FRSC, Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Calgary
Knowing, Knowing How, And Knowing How To Say: Transferring Knowledge Between The Academy And The Community
Adrienne Chambon & Deborah Knott, Faculty of Social Work & Health Sciences and New College Writing Centres
Data Co-production and Analysis: The Example of Video Diaries
Dr. Barbara Gibson, Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto, and Postdoctoral Fellow, Community Health Systems Resource Group, Hospital for Sick Children
What’s there and what isn’t? Thinking about Texts, Truths, and Analysis
Pamela Moss, University of Victoria
March 30, 2006- In praise of methodological messiness: (re)claiming the hermeneutics of inquiry
Dr.’s Ann Robertson and Jessica Polzer, Department of Public Health Sciences
The Ethics of Qualitative Research: Negotiating the Nature of Closeness and the Closeness of Nature
Dr. Elizabeth Peter, Associate Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto;
Judith Friedland, Professor Emerita, past Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy, and current member of the Health Sciences II Research Ethics Board and the Committee for Human Subjects in Research
Research Outreach in Qualitative Research
Denise Gastaldo, Associate Professor, Faculty of Nursing; June Larkin, Associate Professor, OISE; Joan Eakin, Professor, Public Health Sciences; Blake Poland, Associate Professor, Public Health Sciences
Sharpening our Focus: Focus Groups and the Challenge and Potential of Qualitative Methods
Dr. Rosaline S. Barbour, Chair of Health & Social Care, School of Nursing & Midwifery, University of Dundee
Where History Meets Qualitative Health Research
Dr. Claire Hooker, Postdoctoral Fellow in Public Health
Beyond the science fair: Exploring conventional constraints and representational possibilities of poster presentations
Anu MacIntosh-Murray, Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, U of T; Brenda Gladstone, The Hospital for Sick Children & Department of Public Health Sciences; Esther Ignagni, Department of Public Health Sciences
Shifting subject positions: examining expertise and citizenship in relation to human genetics
Sarah Cunningham-Burley, University of Edinburgh, Visiting Scholar, University of British Columbia
Methodology as cultural practice: dialoguing with the arts
Adrienne Chambon, Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto
Pompous pedants, medical monsters and humane healers: Learning from the representations of physicians in opera and literature
Linda Hutcheon, Department of English and Comparative Literature; Michael Hutcheon, Respirology, Faculty of Medicine
How are things? Making a place for material objects in qualitative research
Kathryn Church, Independent researcher
Making a mess and spreading it around: Critical reflections on the process of creating and performing research-based drama
Ross Gray, Psychosocial and Behavioural Research Unit, Toronto-Sunnybrook Regional Cancer Centre
Arts-informed research for public education: the Alzheimer project
Ardra Cole, Maura McIntyre, Department of Adult Education, Community Development and Counselling Psychology, OISE/University of Toronto
The Status of Qualitative Research as Evidence
Ross Upshur, Director, Primary Care Research Unit Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Science Centre Assistant Professor, Departments of Family and Community Medicine and Public Health Sciences and Joint Centre for Bioethics, University of Toronto
The quality of qualitative research: A critique of criteria used in the health sciences and a proposal for reconceptualizing the bases of judgement
Joan Eakin, Public Health Sciences; Eric Mykhalovskiy, Public Health Sciences; Leslea Peirson, Public Health Sciences
Telling health insurance stories: Towards a dialogic social science
Tim Diamond, University of Michigan
In search of Gudrun Goodman, Reflections on doing history and memory
Lesley Biggs, University of Saskatchewan