What is Reanimating data? How to use archived materials to generate new knowledge


Bio: Rachel is a sociologist by discipline and Professor of Childhood & Youth Research in the School of Education and Social Work at the University of Sussex. Her research interests focus on the interplay of biographical and historical change and has included work on childhood, the transition to adulthood, new parenthood and intergenerational dynamics within families. She has a particular interest in gender, sexuality and lived temporalities. Her methodological writings include (with McLeod, Sage 2009) Researching Social Change: Qualitative Approaches and (with Berriman & Bragg, Bloomsbury 2018) Researching Everyday Childhoods: Time, Technology and Documentation. She is engaged in innovative ways of sharing and animating data utilising digital platforms, and has collaborated on a number of open archives and showcases for social research data include www.modernmothers.org and www.reanimatingdata.co.uk

Sharon Webb,

Ester McGeeney,

Rosie Gahnstrom,

Niamh Moore,

In this session we explore the idea of 'reanimating data' - working with archived social science materials as a starting point for generating new insights into a topic; in ways that enable the exploration of perceptions and experiences of social continuity/change. We will draw on our ESRC funded study Reanimating Data: Experiments with People; Places and Archives; showing what 'reanimation' might look like and how social history and sociology can be drawn into creative conversation that goes beyond current agendas of the 're-use' and 'secondary analysis' of data. The archive we are working with is the Women Risk & AIDS Project which collected sexual stories with young women in Manchester and London in the late 1980s. Our reanimation experiments have involved collaborations with young people; artists and activists as well as new generation feminist researchers. The session will involve working with material that includes discussions of sexual experiences that are often disappointing; sometimes non-consensual and occasionally pleasurable.