2 – Diversity & Community

The second seminar of the series, Diversity and Community, was held on 30 June 2014. Follow the link on the right to watch a recording of the event. Below are details of the speakers and their abstracts.

1pm – Introduction with Bridgette Wessels and Natcen

1.10pm – Jo Britton, the University of Sheffield

Title: Researching Intergenerationality: Exploring Methods for Researching Intergenerational Interactions and Relationships

Abstract: The concept of intergenerationality refers to the interactions and relationships between different generational groups. It highlights how, regardless of their age, people’s social identity is formed in relation to and interacting with people of other age groups. In recent years, researchers engaged in the study of children and childhood have developed an understanding that their key concern of exploring the circumstances of children’s lives requires a consistently relational social ontology. More widely, this increasingly significant relational conceptualisation of children and childhood is encouraging researchers to explore ageing, family and the lifecourse in ways that prioritise intergenerational relations and interactions. It is therefore becoming commonplace to think relationally in terms of devising research questions to form the basis of our research projects. The aim of this paper is to advocate the usefulness of thinking relationally in terms of our wider research design and methodology as well. It considers how particular types of research lend themselves well to researching intergenerationality and includes reflection on a research project that took as its focus intergenerational relationships between young and older people and was concerned with challenging stereotypes of both groups. The paper aims to promote discussion on how to create new and innovative inter- disciplinary ways to research intergenerationality. Thinking through this issue involves considering how to integrate research, theory and practice and complements the emerging international policy priority of promoting intergenerational solidarity.

1.35pm – Hui Ying Ng, National University of Singapore

Title: Assessing the Efficacy of a Support Group Programme’s Impact on Caregiver Wellbeing Through its Practices, Norms and Options: a Mixed Methods Study

Abstract: The search for a collective identity has long been associated with societal pressures that thwart the development of an integrated and continuous self (Johnston, Laraña, & Gusfield, 1994). With postmodernism’s manifesto of plurality, diversity and relativity having decapitated our desire for complete homogeneity within communities, and greater social and geographical mobility changing the very bodies which cross our paths, diverse groups of people exist everywhere we look, and yet do not count as groups at all. Following Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of habitus (1990) and Giddens’ (1991) notion of an adverse plurality of choices, options and lifestyles, we hypothesise that caregivers face a disjunct between their personal goals and the reality of caregiving, and that the support group helps to introduce new norms and options that reshape caregivers’ motivations for giving care. We apply the framework of self-determination theory (SDT), which states that humans flourish when they fulfill three aspects of basic psychological needs: autonomy, competence and interpersonal relatedness. Our aim is to understand how group formation relates to wellbeing amongst family caregivers through a mixed methods approach. We use self-report questionnaires, mediation and longitudinal analyses and inform these with a thematic analysis of qualitative interview data. Our research first evaluates the efficacy of the service for 80 caregivers between the ages of 21-64 years, and further illuminates how groups—even loosely organized ones like a short- term support group—might contribute to improved individual wellbeing. Our findings thus far suggest that general support groups do contribute psychological supports missing in the bustle of modern life.

2.05pm – Anlei Zuo, University of Hong Kong

Title: Socio-legal Analysis of International Intellectual Property Regimes from the Perspective of State and Personhood in Southeast Asia: Under the Context of Institutional Fragmentation of International IP Law in A World Society

Abstract: Under the context of institutional fragmentation of international IP law in this world society, the international IP law in Southeast Asia is in a flux with various international IP legal actors, including TRIPS, WIPO, TPP, RECP, FTAAP, TISA, FTAs, etc. With the new method of socio-legal analysis from the perspective of bottom-up state and personhood approach, this paper investigates the historical evolution of international intellectual property regimes in Southeast Asia and their interactions, paying particular attention to the analysis of authority as well as legitimacy of those international IP regimes and the competitive gaming on some specific IP issues. And this concept of state and personhood can provide unique view for empirically analyzing the international IP law and regimes in Southeast Asia, questioning the concept of the state in relation to other forms of social ordering (particularly here the international and regional legal rules). Then future institutional development of international IP law in Southeast Asia, mainly driven forward by China and US, will be discussed from the perspective of regime interaction as well as influences on state and personhood, with predictable trends and developmental conclusions on Southeast Asia’s international IP law.

2.35pm – Tiffany Webster, PhD student, Department of Biblical Studies, the University of Sheffield

Title: “But that’s not fair. We’re not privileged! We’re coal miners!” Exploring the recommendation to rethink the requirement for Contextual Bible Study participants to be ‘marginalised’.

Abstract: This paper begins by briefly describing the exegetical process of Contextual Bible Study (CBS) and how and where it has thus far been used, centring upon the works of Gerald O. West (in South Africa) and John Riches (in Scotland). Focus will then shift to existing ‘best practice’ guidelines for CBS, as described in prominent CBS handbooks and resources manuals. The primary focus of this paper stems from the criteria for participation listed in these handbooks, specifically the requirement for CBS participants to be from ‘marginalised’ contexts. To quote: “Contextual Bible Study is always situated within the social analysis and needs of particular communities of the poor, the working-class, and marginalised.”*

It is this paper’s contention that not only is the term ‘marginalised’ extremely problematic, but also, by using it as the criteria for participation, it discriminates against communities and individuals that, on a global scale, can be considered ‘privileged’.

This paper therefore proposes to revise the term ‘marginalised’ so that it focuses on a contextual understanding of the requirement that is based solely upon an individual’s lived experience. To better explain this revision, this paper will utilise original ethnographic and qualitative data from my own research into using CBS with South Derbyshire coal miners.

This paper not only seeks to expand CBS’s usage in mainstream society, but it also aims to benefit other academics that may also be grappling with similar problematic definitions.
*Gerald O. West and the Ujamaa Centre, Doing Contextual Bible Study: A Resource Manual, p. 8.

2.55pm – Final comments with Bridgette Wessels (Chair)


Submit your questions and comments via Twitter, using the hashtag #socmethods.

Follow the Methodological Challenges seminar series on Twitter: @socmethods