IMM Conference Group @ APSA

Events @ the annual American Political Science Association Conference

For event details beyond the APSA Annual Meetings,please visit the Events and Announcements page.

The 2017 Methods Café

Description: The 2017 APSA Methods Café gathers over 25 methods specialists (see flyer attached) in an informal setting conducive to small group discussions, networking, and mentoring support.

We extend an invitation in particular to doctoral students looking for assistance with any aspect of a research project, as well as to faculty with questions about researching and/or teaching these subjects. As a café visitor, you may arrive at any point, visit any table you like, and stay as long as you like.

We look forward to seeing you all in September!

Details:
Friday, September 1, 12:00 – 1:30 pm
2017 APSA Annual Meeting (room TBA)
San Francisco, CA

Host: Elizabeth Newcomer (The Graduate Center, CUNY)

Organizers: Samantha Ann Majic (John Jay College, CUNY) and Timothy Pachirat (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)

This year’s session topics are:

Archives:
Amel F. Ahmed, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Emily Hauptmann, Western Michigan University
Kenneth Kato, Office of the House Historian

Publishing:
Cyrus Ernesto Zirakzadeh, University of Connecticut
Jeffrey C. Isaac, Indiana University, Bloomington
Aaron Javsicas, Temple University Press

Critical Race Studies:
Anna Sampaio, Santa Clara University

Discourse Analysis:
Lisa Wedeen, University of Chicago

Ethics and Research Openness:
Sarah E. Parkinson, Johns Hopkins University
Elisabeth Jean Wood, Yale University

Concept Elucidation:
Frederic C. Schaffer, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Feminist Methods:
Mary Hawkesworth, Rutgers University

Funding:
Laura Blyler, Social Science Research Council

Interviewing:
James M. Curry, University of Utah
Lee Ann Fujii, University of Toronto

Postcolonial Studies:
Yasmeen Daifallah, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Ethnography/Participant Observation:
Noelle K. Brigden, Marquette University
Robin L. Turner, Butler University

Teaching Methods:
Cecelia Lynch, University of California, Irvine
Ido Oren, University of Florida

Researching Sexualities:
Dara Z. Strolovitch, Princeton University

Research Design:
Dvora Yanow, Wageningen University

Ethics and the IRB:
Peregrine Schwartz-Shea, University of Utah

Visual Analysis:
Mary L. Bellhouse, Providence College

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2017 Program Chair:

Lee Ann Fujii (lafujii@chass.utoronto.ca), University of Toronto

Call for Proposals
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The Interpretive Methodologies and Methods Conference-related Group provides a forum for the discussion of methodological and methods issues related to interpretive research, as well as issues arising from their position within contemporary political and other social sciences.

Interpretive methodologies and methods are informed by philosophical traditions such as hermeneutics, phenomenology, pragmatism, and symbolic interaction. Notwithstanding their differences, these traditions presuppose that the meaningfulness and historical contingency of human life differentiates the social realm from the natural one, with implications for how research is conducted. Although diverse in their modes of identifying or generating and analyzing data, research processes in the interpretive tradition are typically characterized by:

a) an empirical and normative prioritizing of the lived experience of people in research settings;

b) a focus on the meaning(s) of acts, events, interactions, language, and physical artifacts to multiple stakeholders; and

c) a sensitivity to the historically- and/or situationally-contingent, often-contested character of such meanings.

We call for paper, panel, and roundtable proposals that explore interpretive methodological issues or that apply interpretive methods (e.g., political ethnography, grounded theory in Strauss’s more phenomenological tradition, discourse analysis) in ways that demonstrate their “comparative advantage” for empirical research across all subfields of political science. Especially welcome are proposals that reflect on how political science itself is situated in the webs of meaning and historical context that it studies.

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For the 2017 Short Course, please see APSA Short Courses.

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2016 APSA Annual Meeting

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The Methods Cafe 2016

Fri, September 2, 12:00 to 1:30pm, TBA

Session Description

Since 2005, the Methods Cafe has gathered together experts on a variety of research methods who bring their expertise to those who wish to know more about that method, from students to senior researchers.

Cafe Host:
Danielle Pritchett, Rutgers University

This year’s table topics are:

Analyzing Visual Materials: Paintings, Photographs, Posters, …
Mary L. Bellhouse, Providence College
Vicky Hattam, New School

Archival Research
Ken Kato, Office of the Historian, US House of Representatives

Critical Approaches to Immigration and Intersectionality
Anna Sampaio, Santa Clara University
Ronald J Schmidt, Davidson College and CSU Long Beach

Critical/Cultural Media Analysis
Matthew P. Guardino, Providence College

Critical Disability Studies
Hirschmann, Nancy, njh@sas.upenn.edu, University of Pennsylvania
Arneil, Barbara, barbara.arneil@ubc.ca, University of British Columbia

Critical Historical Analysis: Methodological Issues
Robert Vitalis, rvitalis@sas.upenn.edu

Critical Security Studies
Mark B. Salter

Discourse Analysis
Joseph E. Lowndes, University of Oregon

Elucidating Social Science Concepts
Frederic C. Schaffer, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Ethics and Field Research (Interviewing, Participant Observation/ Ethnography; including IRBs and other review Committees)
Dvora Yanow, Wageningen University
Peregrine Schwartz-Shea, University of Utah

Feminist Methods
Mary Hawkesworth, Rutgers University, mhawkes@rci.rutgers.edu

Field Research (Participant Observation, Ethnography, etc.)
Jan Kubik, Rutgers University
Timothy Pachirat, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Robin L. Turner, Butler University

Interviewing: Interpretive Approaches
Samantha Ann Majic, CUNY-John Jay College

Sexualities
Joe Fischel, Yale University

Teaching Qualitative-Interpretive Methods
Laura J. Hatcher, Southeast Missouri State University
Ido Oren, University of Florida

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IMM Panels @ APSA 2016

Program Chair: Ed Schatz, University of Toronto

1. Roundtable. On the Ethnographic Proof

Thu, September 1, 2:00 to 3:30pm, TBA

Session Submission Type: Roundtable

Session Description: The controversy around Alice Goffman’s book “On the Run” (2014) highlighted the fragility of the ethnographic work since Goffman was sharply criticized about the accuracy and robustness of her empirical claims. As the Chronicle of Higher Education (June 16 2015) underscored, “the dust-up reveals anxieties that go beyond the censure of Ms. Goffman, opening a fresh debate over longstanding dilemmas of ethnographic research”. In a word, given that fieldwork is necessarily a singular experience, it is the credibility of ethnography as well as the robustness of its data that are clearly under attack.

Therefore, we do think that political ethnographers must figure out what makes ethnography credible and what an ethnographic proof is. It is all the more urgent since, quantitative methods and positivist epistemologies have a dominant position in political science.

Thus the proposed roundtable aims to address the way in which the effect of proof is produced in ethnographic work (during fieldwork as well as in the writing process). This question is not a new one (see Becker 1958). The controversy around Goffman’s book has nevertheless shown that it has to be raised again and in a new intellectual context.

Among the questions that we would like to raise and discuss:

How many cases do we need to produce the effect of proof? (Small 2009).
How do we treat the negative cases?
How long do we have to stay in the field in order to produce the effect of proof? (Marcus-Okeley 2007).
How do we know that we reach data saturation and how can we prove that we did during the writing process?
Should we, instead of trying to convince our quantitative and positivist colleagues, just speak our own language as Howard Becker suggested?
Do observation protocols are a useful tool? And which protocols? How can we use them?
How can we produce causal inference with ethnographic data? How can we go from how to why? (Katz, 2001)
How can we generalize our findings to other situations? (Glaser 2005).
How can we balance participant confidentiality with providing evidence of our claims? This question is even more important now with the Data Archiving-Research Transparency (DART) policy.
Can we use our field notes as a proof? How? (Emerson, Fretz, Shaw 1995).
How to use reflexivity to produce the effect of proof without falling into a narcissist approach that deals more with the ethnographer than with the participants?

The participants to the roundtable are political ethnographers working in different academic contexts (USA, France, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands) and doing fieldwork in different political contexts (the US, Italy, Germany, the Middle-East, the Netherlands, France).

Chair. Dvora Yanow, Wageningen University

Presenters

  •  Martina Avanza, University of Lausanne
  • Sarah Mazouz, Humboldt University
  • Timothy Pachirat, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • Romain Pudal, CNRS
  • Lisa Wedeen, University of Chicago

2. Interpreting Political Ideas, Beliefs, and Discourses

Fri, September 2, 2:00 to 3:30pm, TBA

[No description posted.]

 Chair. John Girdwood

Presenters

    • Pepijn van Eeden, Centre d’étude de la vie politique, A Schmittian-Latourian Lens in Discourse Analysis: Toward Radical Empiricism
    • Christian Rudolf Thauer, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Reading Thucydides: Approaches, Methods and Ontologies
    • John Girdwood, Three Independent Elements of the American Political Culture
    • Teresa Bejan, University of Oxford, and Calvert W. Jones, University of Maryland, College Park, Reconsidering tolerance: Theory and Practice for the 21st Century

3. Coloring the Field: Examining Positionality in Field Research

Fri, September 2, 2:00 to 3:30pm, TBA

Session Description

In this panel, we explore how one’s positionality in terms of race, gender, religion, sexuality and nationality greatly shapes the experience and outcomes of field research. Through our autoethnographic accounts of conducting field research, our panel aims to accomplish two things. First, panelists examine how issues of positionality, in particular the racial experience of the researcher while in the field, are often absent from the literature on qualitative methods. Second, we provide a theoretical and experiential grounding for a discussion on how the identity of the researcher plays a role in the strategies we employ in the field, as well as our access to and the type of data collected. In doing so, the authors seek to push against implicit disciplinary assumptions that the researcher is a white heteronormative male, and present an argument for why narratives by researchers of color should be included given the changing demographic of the academy.

Chair. Lee Ann Fujii, University of Toronto

Discussants:

    • Robin Turner, Butler University
    • Deborah Ann Thomas, University of Pennsylvania

Presenters

    • Lahoma Thomas, University of Toronto, What Does Race Have to Do With It?: Discussion on How Race Frames Field Research
    • Jessica Soedirgo, University of Toronto, Navigating the In-Between: Field Research as a ‘Reverse Immigrant’
    • Aarie Glas, University of Toronto, Location, Duration, & Interpretation: Positionality in Elite Interviewing
    • Eleanor Nicole Thornton, Creole Like You and Me: Reflections on Race & Transnationality in Field Research
    • Kevin Edmonds, University of Toronto, Negotiating the Haze: Identity and Fieldwork on the Drug Trade

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Past Meetings: Agendas and Minutes


Business Meeting Minutes, 2017
Business Meeting Minutes, 2016
Business Meeting Minutes, 2015
Business Meeting Minutes, 2014
Business Meeting Minutes, 2013
Business Meeting Minutes, 2012
Business Meeting Minutes, 2011
Business Meeting Minutes, 2010
Business Meeting Agenda, 2009