The Institute for Social Research presents its 2021 Spring Seminar Series with courses on research design and qualitative research methods, from May 5th through May 10th, 2021.

These qualitative research courses begin with a one-day seminar on the philosophy and methodology of social science research. This seminar is followed by a one-and-a-half day workshop discussing the wide range of applications of narrative analysis. One particular and very popular method of textual interpretation in qualitative research, discourse analysis, is fully discussed in the third session of this series.

These courses provide a hands-on approach to help researchers develop practical skills. They attract an interesting mix of graduate students, researchers from government and NGOs, faculty, and university staff. In our teaching we strive to provide a successful introduction to each topic, while offering new insights for more experienced researchers.

Pre-registration and payment of fees is required for all Short Courses

ISR Short Courses

Philosophy and Methodology of Social Science Research

Instructor: Professor Bryn Greer-Wootten
Date: Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Time: 9:30am-Noon; 1:00-3:30pm
Location: Course will be delivered via Zoom: details to be announced
Enrolment Limit: 15
Enrolment Minimum: At least five (5) registrants are required in order to hold the course.

There are many methodological possibilities that can be considered in the decision-making processes for carrying out social science research, for any phenomena of interest. The choices that are made must therefore be contextualized. Commonly, they are located within the philosophical criteria employed in social research, i.e., taking into account the ontological, epistemological and methodological aspects of any research project. These general principles are discussed in this Workshop, in the morning, with examples drawn from many social science areas using quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research designs. The afternoon group activity is based on an exercise for the questionnaire design elements of a survey research project, involving the reconstruction of the conceptual framework for a model ISR survey on ‘Canadians and their Pasts’.

This course presents the view that social science research is applied philosophy. As such it is likely to be valuable for graduate students entering into the research process for the first time, as well as for more advanced students wishing to refresh themselves as to what it is they are doing!

About the Instructor:
Bryn Greer-Wootten is a Professor Emeritus in Environmental Studies and Geography at York University. In 2002 he joined the staff of the Statistical Consulting Service, where he is currently an Associate Coordinator, and in 2004 he was appointed an Associate Director of ISR. He has taught and carried out quantitative and qualitative research, with a particular interest in survey research, especially for environmental and social policy, for over fifty years. Bryn has been the Editor-in-Chief of the international journal, Moravian Geographical Reports (Czech Academy of Sciences) since 2003.

Narrative Analysis Strategies

Instructor: Professor Katherine Bischoping
Dates:
Thursday and Friday, May 6 and 7, 2021 (one-and-half-day course)
Times: 9:30am-Noon; 1:00-3:30pm (Thursday day 1); 9:30am-Noon (Friday day 2)
Location: Course will be delivered via Zoom: details to be announced
Enrolment Limit: 15
Enrolment MinimumAt least five (5) registrants are required in order to hold the course.

The first morning seminar will begin by introducing how ‘narrative’ can be defined and why narratives and narrative analysis (NA) matter to social scientists. We will then explore broad research questions that NA is typically used to answer — such as: What does the past mean in the present? or What do narratives do for our selves? — and connect them to realist or constructionist research paradigms. The afternoon seminar on the first day will introduce NA strategies applicable to the finer details (e.g., pronoun choices, metaphors) of any kind of text, regardless of whether it actually contains a narrative. The second morning seminar will open with identifying the NA strategies most pertinent to each participant’s research plans and conclude by examining insights that NA offers for being reflexive, i.e., for thinking through how we, as researchers, are implicated in the knowledge we produce.

These seminars blend together conceptual work with hands-on practice using data ranging from a murderer’s confession to research accounts, from news articles to interview excerpts, from famous speeches to participants’ stories of their own experiences.

About the Instructor:
Katherine Bischoping (B.Math. [Waterloo]; M.Sc., Ph.D. [Michigan]) is an Associate Professor of Sociology at York University. Her fascination with research methods has led her from statistics to applied survey research, and then to qualitative approaches in sociology and beyond, including playwriting. With Amber Gazso (York University), she co-authored Analyzing Talk in the Social Sciences: Narrative, Conversation and Discourse Strategies (Sage, 2016), and with Yumi Ishii (University of Tokyo) she co-edited a 2017 Special Issue of Oral History Forum d’histoire orale on Generations and Memory: Continuity and Change.

Discourse Analysis

Sorry, this course is full.

Instructors:  Professor Amber Gaszo (Sociology)
Dates: Monday, May 10 (half-day course)
Times: 9:30am-1:30pm (break time to be arranged)
Location:  Course will be delivered via Zoom: details to be announced
Enrolment Limit: 15
Enrolment Minimum: At least five registrants are required in order to hold the course

In the first hour of this course, we will discuss the definition and meaning of “discourse.” In hour two, we will explore examples of discourse in diverse text(s): such as art and other visual imagery; children’s literature; policy documents; in-depth interview data, etc. We will then devote time to understanding key differences and similarities among Critical Discourse Analysis as a social movement, Foucauldian discourse analysis, and ‘critical discourse’ studies writ large in hour three. We will specifically learn strategies of analysis for each perspective and apply them to one or more research and popular culture examples, in the last hour.

About the Instructor:
Amber Gazso is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at York University, joining the Department in 2006. She completed her PhD in Sociology at the University of Alberta and her MA in Sociology (specializing in Program and Policy Evaluation) at Western University. Her training in quantitative methods then changed into a fascination with qualitative research, most often used in her research about low-income families and their relationships with social policies of the welfare state, and published in journals such as Journal of Poverty, Social Problems, Critical Social Policy, etc. With Katherine Bischoping, she co-authored Analyzing Talk in the Social Sciences: Narrative, Conversation and Discourse Strategies (Sage, 2016).

Course Fees

All fees include HST.

York students
  • Philosophy and Methodology of Social Science Research … $62.15
  • Narrative Analysis Strategies … $90.40
  • Discourse Analysis … $45.20
York faculty and staff
  • Philosophy and Methodology of Social Science Research … $135.60
  • Narrative Analysis Strategies … $203.40
  • Discourse Analysis … $90.40
Full-time students at other post-secondary institutions
  • Philosophy and Methodology of Social Science Research … $113.00
  • Narrative Analysis Strategies … $169.50
  • Discourse Analysis … $79.10
External participants
  • Philosophy and Methodology of Social Science Research … $158.20
  • Narrative Analysis Strategies … $214.70
  • Discourse Analysis … $101.70

Refunds are available upon three business days’ notice prior to the course start date and are subject to an administrative fee.

Please review our policy regarding refunds.

Certificate of Completion
Available on request, full attendance is required.
A $5.65 administrative fee applies, for each certificate requested.

Registration/ Payment

You can register for courses by completing the on-line registration form, which is date-stamped.

You will get an email confirmation for your registration.   Credit card payment will be processed by our Administrative Assistant, Betty Tai over the telephone.

Email: btai@yorku.ca or isrcours@yorku.ca

Tel: 416-736-5061 Ext. 33024

Additional Information

For additional information regarding registration, contact Institute for Social Research (ISR) by telephone at 416-736-5061, weekdays, from 10:00am to 4:00pm.