This workshop will be focused on theory and practice of social research in post-socialist space. The aim is to generate a discussion about the major challenges and difficulties of conducting social research and fieldwork in post-socialist, conflict and post-conflict environments.
Our speakers will identify and explore: challenges of elite interviews; main challenges of qualitative research in intense political environments such as Russia, Ukraine and Central Asia; dangers and obstacles of conducting fieldwork in conflict and post-conflict zones; issues around gender, positionality and ethics in qualitative research of post-soviet identity and culture; how conditions of fear and distrust can affect fieldwork; issues related to the insider/outsider position of the researcher and working with people coming from different generations and ethnic backgrounds; the importance of local language knowledge in fieldwork. Contributions from the audience about their experiences of fieldwork will be welcome
The workshop is organised as part of ‘Platform Ukraine‘, a multidisciplinary project aimed at analysing and improving the understanding of the Ukrainian crisis of 2014 by creating a unified resource and network of academics studying the post-socialist space. Platform Ukraine is based at University College London – School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES).
My methods case study ‘Semi-structured elite interviews in a nested analysis framework: Studying presidential activism in Central and Eastern Europe’ has been accepted for publication with SAGE Cases in Methodology, a unique collection of over 500 case studies for use in the teaching of research methods (more information here).
In my case study, I use the research design of my PhD thesis and my fieldwork experiences to shed light on the challenges of integrating qualitative interviews into a nested analysis framework. You can read an abstract here.
Conducting Research Interviews: A Student-Led Methods Workshop 12 February 2013, UCL SSEES
On 12 February 2013, my colleague Erin Saltman and I will be holding a workshop on research interviews at UCL SSEES. The workshop is aimed at postgraduate research students who are either in the early stages of their research projects and plan to use research interviews or who are currently using interviews as part of their research.
The workshop will combine a theoretical and practical introduction to conducting qualitative research interviews with lectures from two expert speakers on their own interviewing experience. There will also be a roundtable with the speakers and experienced research students as well as plenty of networking opportunities. The focus of the workshop will be on conducting interviews in the regional context of Central and Eastern Europe and Russia/CIS.
Participation is free of charge and applications from all disciplines are welcome; however, participants need to be students of UCL, the University of London or CEELBAS member institutions. The deadline for applications is 6 January 2013.