Beyond Description: A Workshop on Moving from Description to Analysis in Qualitative Social Work Research
Format: After a brief introduction by student questioners, a distinguished panel of current social work faculty, including Karen Staller (University of Michigan), Deborah Padgett (NYU), Jane Gilgun (University of Minnesota), and Tina Sacks (Berkeley), will respond to queries covering three domains of qualitative analysis (discussed below). Panelists will describe the analytical processes used in their own research to answer the questions posed under each domain. Student questioners will also help facilitate discussion and incorporate audience questions and comments throughout the domains. After each domain is addressed, the current editor of Qualitative Social Work will offer guidance regarding expectations for the findings and discussion sections in qualitative publications.
Content: Panelists will present cases of their own research, covering a broad range of expertise in qualitative methods, including in-depth interviews, ethnography, and historical/archival research, in addition to grounded theory methodology. These studies will lay the foundation for a didactic conversation amongst panelists, student questioners, and attendees, with a focus on working through some of the roadblocks in moving from qualitative description to data analysis.
Panelists will discuss the following domains: (1) relationship between purpose of research, choice of method, and epistemologies underlying qualitative research; (2) specific analytical techniques employed by the panelists in their own work and their relationship to the qualitative methods employed; and (3) linking findings back to research questions, theoretical background, and conceptual framing, as well as thinking about the (sometimes contentious) political implications of findings in social work scholarship.