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Talking Treatments: using deliberative methods to engage citizens in the provision of health care

The project has two aims. The first is to explore the differences that exist between the views of various lay and expert groups about innovative health technologies such as therapeutic cloning. The second is to investigate the extent to which these differences can be reconciled through dialogue and interaction. The project will thus implement and test a methodology for eliciting different knowledges and promoting debate between lay and expert groups. The research will culminate in an innovative roundtable workshop in which experts, stakeholders and lay citizens will all be involved. The project thus aims to make an important contribution to the practice of public engagement and the use of qualitative methods in policy-debates.

Duration: May 2005 – Apr 2007 Principal Investigator: Dr Rob Evans
Researchers: Dr Susanne Langer and Dr Inna Kotchetkova

A Qualitative Sociological Autopsy Study of Gendered Suicide

This is a qualitative sociological autopsy study of gendered suicide. The project will be used to demonstrate the ways in which public data (media accounts), documentary data (coroners' records) and research-generated data (biographically situated interviews) can each be treated as qualitative evidence to critically engage with and make sense of social processes and phenomena.

The methodological focus is on:

  1. The application of multiple modes of qualitative data in analytical combination. The aim here is to develop methods for the construction of integrative bricolages of diverse qualitative evidence.
  2. The innovative use of qualitative inquiry to evidence and understand difficult 'events' with/for policy makers, practitioners, participants and the general public. There will be particular attention paid to engaging academics and policy makers who are more familiar with working with quantitative evidence in the application and understanding of qualitative data.

Duration:May 2005 – Dec 2006

Principal Investigator:Dr Jonathan Scourfield
Researchers: Dr Ben Fincham and Dr Susanne Langer

(Extra)Ordinary Lives: Children’s Everyday Relationship Cultures in Public Care

This project takes a collaborative, in-depth qualitative approach to explore ‘looked-after’ children’s everyday relationship cultures, identities, social networks and attachments. It will research the ordinary, everyday lives of children who face extra-ordinary life circumstances. Looked after children are consistently discussed in terms of range of social problems. Here we will aim to enable a group of these children to produce their own accounts and representations of their lives as they negotiate old and new settings, institutions, peers and carers, given the (often) multiple transitions and dislocations from families, friends and wider social networks and communities. It will explore the possibilities and challenges of enabling these children’s participation as active agents in the research process, from design through to dissemination.

Duration: June 2006 – Jan 2008

Principal Investigators: Dr Sally Holland and Dr Emma Renold
Researchers: Dr Nicola Ross and Alex Hillman

Watching, Listening, Reading and Clicking: Representing Data Through Different Media

This project will demonstrate:

  1. how to re-present complex multi-media qualitative data in different modes;
  2. how different qualitative research products can be used to engage the different audiences (including research users and stakeholders).

The project will produce a number of different kinds of representation (sound essay, photo-essay, filmic essay, print essay, hypertextual essay, hypermedia essay) around common research questions and foci, and present these to different reader constituencies for interpretation. The project will draw on an extensive multi-media, digital data set, already generated through fieldwork at a science discovery centre
It will use the analytical insights generated from an existing multimedia data set, assembled for a qualitative research study undertaken at a science discovery centre. It will produce six different representations:

These essays will then be given/shown/played to different kinds of audiences – including academic peers, higher education students and stakeholders, and their responses described and analysed.

Duration: Jan 2007 – Apr 2008

Principal Investigator: Dr Bella Dicks
Researchers: Dr Inna Kotchetkova and Dr Rachel Hurdley