Session: Wednesday 9th July PM (14.15 - 15.30)

Title: KEY LECTURE Sharlene Hesse-Biber: The 'Thing-ness' Problem of Mixed Methods Research (Chair: Rosalind Edwards)


Professor Sharlene Hesse-Biber (Boston College)

Abstract Details

Contemporary mixed methods research veers away from a 'loosely bounded' to a 'bounded' concept. I deploy the concept of reification, defined as taking an object/abstraction and treating it as if it were such that it takes on the quality of 'thing-ness', having a concrete independent existence. I argue that the contemporary reification of mixed methods as a 'thing' is fuelled by three interrelated factors: (1) The growing formalisation of mixed methods as design; (2) The movement towards mixed methods guidelines for 'best' practice; and (3) The deployment of 'pragmatism' as the 'philosophical partner' for mixed methods inquiry.

Sharlene Hesse-Biber is a professor in the Sociology Department of Boston College and Director of the Women’s & Gender Studies Program. She has published widely on the impact of sociocultural factors on women’s body image as well as on methodological and methods issues, including the role of technology and emergent and mixed methods in social research. Her monograph, Am I Thin Enough Yet? (Oxford, 1996), was selected as one of Choice magazine’s best academic books for 1996. She is author of The Cult of Thinness (Oxford, 2007) and Mixed Methods Research: Merging Theory With Practice (Guilford Publications, 2010). She is the coauthor of Working Women in America (Oxford, 2005) and author of The Practice of Qualitative Research (Sage Publications, third edition expected in 2015). She is the coeditor of Approaches to Qualitative Research (Oxford, 2004), Feminist Perspectives on Social Research (Oxford, 2004), Emergent Methods in Social Research (Sage, 2006), and The Handbook of Emergent Methods (Guilford, 2008). She is also the editor of The Handbook of Feminist Research (Sage, 2007, 2012), an AESA Critics’ Choice Award winner and selected as one of Choice magazine’s outstand¬ing academic titles for 2007.

The level of the session is: Accessible

Presentation details

Presentation 1

Start time: 14:15

Presentation title:KEY LECTURE: The 'Thing-ness' Problem of Mixed Methods Research

Author: Professor Sharlene Hesse-Biber (Boston College)