How did it become possible to produce The Wire

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					The Social Life of Methods

Paper Abstracts
In alphabetical order

Privacy On-Line: Something Must Be Done/ Must Something Be Done?
Alison Adam, Danijela Bogdanovic, Michael Dowd & Eileen Wattam, University of Salford

This paper reflects on the research methods used in an interdisciplinary, multi-partner project
on on-line privacy, funded through a UK Research Council programme. The basis of the
project, resting on the wider programme‘s aims, is that there are privacy issues involved in on-
line interactions which individuals and on-line service providers do not currently understand and
that such issues can be researched and made sufficiently definite such that policy may be
created and imaginative solutions, possibly involving software, may be designed.

As the social scientists of the project we identified project participants, drawing from
appropriate demographics, and set about organizing and running focus groups, interviews and
on-line privacy diaries. Nailing down privacy problems has proved to be difficult. Across a range
of ages and on-line experience, our project respondents revealed themselves as expert, often
very imaginative users of information and communications technologies well able to handle
multiple social, administrative and financial activities on-line most of the time. Did they see on-
line privacy as a problem? It is tempting to suggest that they did after we researched them. On-
line privacy manifests itself in situated, contingent ways ranging from those who display little
concern to those who already have quite heightened concerns in particular contexts where
being asked about it possibly reaffirms those concerns. Either way the research acts as a
sensitizing device for something which may or may not have been a ‗problem‘. However the
project, within its wider programme, set against Digital Britain (and Digital Europe) initiatives is
part of a substantial hinterland where on-line privacy is seen as a key problem to be solved in
the journey towards a Digital Britain. In this paper we reflect on the ways in which our research
methods contribute not just to the articulation of the problem but to the creation of the problem.

Composing with Evanescent Notes: Practicing Sociology in Industrial Projects
Emmanuel Anjembe, Grenoble University & Céline Verchere, CEA Grenoble

Faced with the « requirement to innovate », design projects for technological innovations have
increasingly relied on the social sciences in recent times. This has led companies involved in
such projects to hiring sociologists within their organization to support the design process. This
results in the modification of company routines as well as the profession of sociologists. In light
of this phenomenon, sociologists are faced with a two-sided dilemma. On the one hand, they
have to deliver a sociological answer that fits with a technological question. While on the other
hand, they have to create their inquiry field out of practically no solid basis: there is neither a
concrete technological device available nor any existing users to observe. Our study explores
the work of a multidisciplinary team hosted at the Grenoble MINATEC-CEA and working in the
field of innovations in nanotechnology. We will draw on two case studies to present the
particular methodology which they have developed: the ―composition methodology‖. It is based
on the projection of usage and the elaboration of users‘ figures during the design process. We
will demonstrate the need and limits of resorting to the use of visual aids to create a common
language across communities of practice. These prove equally valuable as means of
translation of sociological knowledge into technological tools. Finally, we will question the role
of sociologists within those projects. By doing so, we want to highlight the need for a reflexive
dynamism for the practicing sociologist as a way to maintain a critical approach to the process.

Market Research Devices and the Assembling of Lower Middle Class Identities in Chile
Tomas Ariztia, Universidad Diego Portales

Based on a performative approach to social research methods (Osborne and Rose 1999; Law
2009), this paper explores how markets research devices enacts lower middle class boundaries
in contemporary Chile. It is argued that market research professionals knowledge‘s and devices
(such as socioeconomic classifications and consumer typologies and research methods such
as interviews and focus groups) not only contribute to describe and characterize different
―targets‖ but also play a central role in assembling a particular version of middle class identities
by performing their symbolic boundaries.

The paper attempts to connect three different theoretical approaches to analyze how these
market research tools enact class categories. Firstly, Lamont´s works on the production of
symbolic boundaries (Lamont and Fournier 1992; Lamont and Molnar 2001; Lamont 2002).
Secondly, the literature on social categorization and classification as spaces in which social
groups are produced (Boltansky 1982; Star and Bowker 1999; Desrosieres 2004). Thirdly, a
cultural economy approach that understand markets relying on process of qualification (Callon,
Méadel et al. 2002) and cultural calculations (Slater (Slater 2002a; Slater 2002b).

Against this backdrop, the paper relies on a set of interviews with Chilean market research
professionals to explore two typical market research devices. First, it describes the role of
marketing socioeconomic classifications and typologies which are based on cultural and
economic differences; second, it explores the deployment of marketing oriented qualitative
research tools such as focus group and in depth interview, focusing in how these research tools
contribute to assemble a particular stereotyped versions of the middle class consumer (i.e
heavy indebted, compulsive). The paper finished discussing whether this type of markets
research devices -which has high visibility in a marked neoliberal society such as Chile- may be
considered one of the central pieces in the assembling of Chilean middle classes as a cultural

Taxonomic Morality: Alfred C. Kinsey and the Natural History of Survey Research
Stefan Bargheer, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

The paper investigates the sociological debate on the normative implications of processes of
quantification. It is argued that these implications differ between a statistical approach that
focuses on measures of central tendency, i.e. averages, and a taxonomic approach that pays
most attention to measures of dispersion, i.e. variation. Current theorizing in the field is almost
exclusively based on the analysis of statistical approaches used in the social sciences and
ignores their taxonomic alternative that is applied in the life sciences. The paper employs the
work of Alfred C. Kinsey as a case study on the application of the taxonomic method in both
biology and sociology. It traces the nexus between Kinsey‘s research on gall wasps and his
research on the sexual behaviour of human beings. The normative valuation that accompanies
his use of the taxonomic method is the logic of collecting. In a collection, objects, people, or
actions are valued along the lines of diversity and rarity. Following this logic, Kinsey ventured to
replace the distinction between the normal and the abnormal central to statistical approaches
with a concept of continuous variation characteristic of taxonomic approaches. The paper
contrasts the notion of ―statistical morality‖ in recent scholarship on quantification with a notion
of ―taxonomic morality‖ that can be derived from Kinsey‘s research. It raises the question why
the social sciences, unlike the life sciences, have neither consistently applied nor systematically
theorized the taxonomic method.

Designing Methods and the Knowledge of Culture
Rolfe Bart, Humboldt University, Berlin

Here, they can do what they want. Here, it is possible to be crazy, to play around with ideas, to
sketch and to build – one could think. However, the workshops of creative productions – the
laboratories of designers – do not just work with colours and shapes anymore. The bringing out
of form and visibility literally turns out to be not that easy. The process of designing and
shaping proves to be highly complex since designers are determined to develop innovative
drafts out of a context of numerous and often contradictory premises.

Designers face this complexity the following way: They approach the nature of the task
(problem) by designing and the collecting of solutions. At the same time, designers tend to
balance their interpretation of the problem with own solutions. ―The development of the problem
and its solution go hand-in-hand.‖ (Cross 2007), is how design theorist Nigel Cross (referring
back to Donald Schön) describes this connection, which he calls the ―problem setting‖.
Alternately, the designer defines the focus of his work and its context.

This process has consequences. Designing and shaping change the cultural memory. In the
course of its interpretive and shaping way of operating, Design constantly makes an addition
(Setzung) in the culture programme (Schmidt 2003). According to Cross, designers not just
design shapes or visual interpretations in the context of cultural prerequisite connections
(Voraussetzung); they also continually develop new perspectives of cultural conditions.
Up to now being forced to decide between the exegesis of design-developed artefacts and the
consideration of the process of designing, design research is more and more challenged to
grasp designing processes in their cultural dependencies. Referring back to cultural
prerequisite connections, the design-creating process links the appearance of cultural artefacts
with the memory of the culture. With their work, designers not just transport the knowledge of
culture and society. Following their designing ethics intrinsically, they change the cultural
prerequisite connections and, by means of ever new sets, act as agents of culture.

What‟s in the Archive? Unintended Methodological Entailments of Archiving Data
Libby Bishop, University of Essex /University of Leeds

Archives holding qualitative social science data have been established relatively recently.
However, they are growing in the UK and abroad and are likely to expand further as more
funders adopt policies recommending or required data deposit. What is the relationship
between the archive as an emergent artefact and the evolving methods of social research?
The archive may be more than merely a passive resource; if so, does it have any capacity to
change research practices? Some have argued that the archive makes possible and even
promotes positivism by enabling ―replication‖ studies. Though few examples of data reuse
actually seem to subscribe to a positivist approach of validation, the omnipresent potential for
exposure of errors in the original research continues to loom large. Others have suggested the
archive is determinative: that the mere fact of depositing (and perhaps of withdrawing) from an
archive presupposes a realist, or foundationalist, epistemology. They argue that the archive
embodies a particular philosophical and epistemological perspective—of ―objective data‖—as
normative, thus imposing that view on all qualitative researchers, even those holding reflexive,
constructionist or other anti-foundational views. Finally, what happens if ―archivable‖ data
become privileged? That we attempt to archive good research should not imply that
unarchived research is less good. Ironically, the opportunities for wrong inferences may
increase as options for archiving proliferate in institutional repositories and self-archiving
systems. Considering the archive as both subject and object in the historical development of
research methodology can help to elucidate the issues.

„Seat of your pants‟: Towards a Reflexive Theoretical Model of Fieldwork Relations in
Ethnographic Studies on Young People
Shane Blackman, Canterbury Christ Church University

This paper sets out to develop a theoretical model to describe how ethnographic fieldwork
relations occur between the researcher and the researched. The focus will initially be on the
Chicago School emphasis on the importance of field studies put forward by Vivien Palmer
(1926) and Robert Park (1927) to urge the qualitative sociological researcher to get the ―seat of
their pants dirty with real research.‖ The basis for this model derives from ethnographic
research studies undertaken with young people in a range of different social and cultural
settings. I shall look across separate studies, including secondary school, parents‘ houses,
youth clubs, tower blocks, the street, park, beach and the workplace seeking to understand
how research relationships were lived out and ended. I shall draw up four sets of relations
between researcher and the researched: incorporation, resistance, idealisation and exit. Each
set of research relationships will be viewed from the perspective of the researcher and the
researched. Through applying George Marcus‘ (200: 264) belief in the value of the ‗multi-sited
research imaginary‘ it is possible to realise that Park‘s statement is based upon trusting your
own judgment and initiative, with the full awareness of Evan-Pritchard (1973: 3) notion that ―the
decisive battle is not fought in the field but in the study afterwards.‖ Through first living and
then writing the ‗seat of your pants‘ experience the ethnographer wrestles doubly with both the
lives of the research subjects and their own limitations in the act of crafting an interactive

The Use of “Tax Compliance Research” in Governance: Where, How and with Which
Karen Boll, IT University of Copenhagen

Within the last few years the Danish Tax Authority has supported research on tax compliance.
Concretely this has resulted in the establishment of a ―tax compliance office‖ in the central
administration. In this office different kinds of research are currently at play: Random audits of
tax payers, anthropological analysis of moonlighting, experiments with letters, psychological
theories about persuasive language etc.

The aim of the study is to understand what this research does in the Danish Tax Authority. How
do these versions of ―tax compliance research‖ present themselves in the tax office? And how
is the research used by the tax authority in its endeavour to govern? To put it crudely, some of
the research is very effective in making itself useable by answering the ―right questions‖ in the
―right way‖ and by using devices such as models, articles, personal appearances etc. to
distribute the research. And clearly this has led to changes. For instance; local tax inspectors
need not only to look at invoices but are also expected to evaluate the motivational postures of
tax payers and letters are rewritten with persuasive language.

In my study of ―tax compliance research‖ I am inspired by the actor network theory. I am
looking at the translation processes as the research enters the tax compliance office, as it is
rewritten into guidelines and as it might (or might not) influence the interaction between the tax
inspectors and tax payers. By looking at this translation my argument is that the ―tax
compliance research‖ participates in shaping the governance of the Danish Tax Authority. One
reason why this is interesting to study is the current focus on New Public Management. New
Public Management is often presented as a background for public sector reforms. However,
this study indicates that reforms in practice might be understood as effects of social science
research in action.

Emotions and Participant Observation in the Hospital
Grete Brorholt, University of Aarhus

A new way of doing and conceptualizing participant observation begins to emerge and
challenges the repertoire of celebrated and established methods of social science as
institutions become a more common site for anthropology and the social sciences. When the
anthropologist is studying work restricted by authorization, superior specialisation and paper
work, the anthropologist cannot and maybe should not participate. The research method
―participant observation‖ is challenged by research in institutions and among highly specialized
professionals. However, participation and observation takes another form that I suggest to call
―emotional participation‖.

I was doing participant observation in the operating theatre when the doctors and nurses I
followed had a ―near–miss-situation‖ that pushed them into a fight for the life of a young patient.
In the various forms of debriefing after this dramatic situation the professionals were concerned
with moral, ethic and emotional struggles- and so was the anthropologist. The situation makes
a dilemma of participation and observation clear and illustrates a need for developing the
concept of participant observation. Particular when policy, welfare and elite institutions ―at
home‖ become a more common site to study.

The situation I present sheds light upon what I suggest to call a concept of ―emotional
participation‖. In the presentation, I argue that participant observation is currently challenged by
the fact that participating in a highly regulated field is limited in action and emotional fluid. The
material for this presentation stems from my research on the daily work of doctors and nurses
for a Ph.D.-project regarding the changing psychosocial work environment in a Danish public
hospital. During fieldwork I participated and observed the daily work alongside doctors and
nurses when they sedated, operated, administrated, talked with patients, did paper and
electronic registrations, held meetings, had conversations, breaks etc. I also did interviews and
document studies.

The Success Story of Sequence Analysis. A Fruitful Methodological Progress or Merely
a Catchy Tool?
Christian Brzinsky-Fay, Social Science Research Centre, Berlin
The introduction of sequence analysis into social sciences started in the 1980s, when social
scientists discovered that even social processes have an ordered (time) dimension that should
be analysed appropriately. One of them, Andrew Abbott, successfully introduced this method to
sociology. Within the first wave of sequence analysis, a couple of studies were conducted
having in common that they used only small number of cases, analysing short sequences,
having a descriptive focus and mostly were located on the macro-level. The algorithmic
calculations were conducted by user-written, stand-alone software programmes, and the
availability of longitudinal data was rather limited. The second wave of sequence analysis
showed up a lot of progression and, therefore, has switched increasingly to the micro-level,
while analysing social mobility processes, school-to-work transitions and life courses. Panel
data are widely spread and since 2006, a sequence analysis module for the software package
Stata is available.
This development was always accompanied by a tough scientific debate between advocates
and opponents of the methods, which were largely located in the two poles of the qualitative-
quantitative schism. However, despite this harsh critique, sequence analysis survived in the
canon of longitudinal methods, because of two reasons: first, the necessity for algorithmic
methods that are able to reduce complexity of huge datasets in a meaningful way, second, the
understandability of graphical depiction that is analogue to the time dimension, while doesn‘t
require much statistical qualifications.

Interventionist Research as a Network: Collective Production of Roles and Interventions
Nina Boulus, IT University of Copenhagen

In the past three decades, we have been witnessing a development in social studies which has
been described by STS scholars as the ‗participatory turn.‘ This refers to a move toward
various types of interventionist and action-oriented research. This turn to participation and
action emerged as a response to growing concerns with making STS ‗useful‘ and politically
relevant. The fundamental characteristic of interventionist and action-oriented research, is that
the researcher is deliberately and explicitly engaged in a process of change through
collaboration with a community partner. However, fostering such close collaboration comes at
the cost of greater dependency on the community partner and it brings about various
methodological complexities related to the research practice. This includes, for instance,
dealing with conflicting agendas and interest, juggling multiple roles, managing high and
evolving expectations, etc.

In this paper, I draw upon a three and a half year long interventionist research project about the
implementation of electronic medical records, conducted in close collaboration with the
community partner, a non-profit clinic in Canada. Following a self-reflexive and critical
epistemological stance, I trace the trajectory of the research collaboration and the different
roles and positions I occupied or acquired in a diversity of contexts and settings. To better
understand the complex nature of collaboration found within interventionist research projects, I
draw upon insights from Actor-Network Theory. I propose conceptualizing interventionist
research as a network of heterogeneous actors with different attachments that are established
and continuously reconfigured during the course of the research. Accordingly, people,
interventions, roles, authorities, commitments, access, etc., are interconnected elements that
form a network which functions as the apparently coherent whole which designates the
research project. Applying a network model allows us to focus on the collective production—the
conditions—through which actors, roles and interventions come to exist. Thus, interventions
and roles can be seen as network effects—they are produced, supported and enacted by the
network. Hence, the capacity of the interventionist researcher to act in a particular role is
neither located within the researcher nor the research project, but in particular socio-material
arrangements. Accordingly, roles and interventions are no longer simply fluid and flexible as
has been claimed by STS researchers; rather, these are products which are assemblages of
past and present connections. I illustrate how the creation and redefinition of existing roles is
shaped by past roles and interventions from previous settings. I investigate how the different
attachments existing in the network at different points in time produce and enable the ordering
and configuration of particular subjects with capacities to enact different roles and interventions
in a diversity of contexts and settings. I illustrate what happens when these attachments are
missing and how this influences the researcher‘s agency, her ability to act/perform in a
particular role. This paper responds to the need for a renewed conceptualization of
interventionist research; a need which is more pressing in the current research climate where
funds increasingly are going to such types of research.

"The Wire" as Social Science-Fiction?
Roger Burrows & Simon Parker, University of York

This paper examines the HBO television series The Wire as an example of a popular cultural
form that stimulates the sociological imagination. It provides some examples of how it functions
to do this. A brief case study of one character – ‗Snoop‘ – is examined in order to illustrate a set
of more general observations. It is suggested that The Wire, although still containing strong
narrative elements, provides an intriguing popular cultural example of what Andrew Abbott has
recently called a ‗lyrical sociology‘. The paper concludes with some reflections on what types of
methodological devices underpin this series such that we can legitimately conceptualize it as a
form of social science-fiction.

The Administrative Life of Kinship Charts: State Visual Practices in Post-socialist
Housing Restitution Trials in Romania
Liviu Chelcea, University of Bucharest

How should anthropologists make sense of the fact that states draw kinship charts of their
citizens? How are such charts different from those drawn by anthropologists, and what does
that say about kinship and state practices? This paper analyzes the way municipal
administrators and judges in post-socialist period Romania draw, interpret and legitimate the
kinship relations of people who submitted housing restitution claims. Kinship charts used to
belong to the core methodological repertoire in anthropology and especially anthropology of
kinship. Older kinship theory assumed that kinship simply is, simply by virtue of procreation,
regarding kinship charts as models of social structure. David Schneider‘s critique of kinship
studies during the 1970s, virtually eliminated kinship charts out the mainstream analytical tools
in the study of kinship. Even if anthropologists eliminated kinship charts as a key source of
evidence, they continue to have their own administrative life due to legibility concerns. Based
on the analysis of 43 restitution files which contain kinship charts drawn by city hall official and
judges, one may notice that what anthropologists call kinship ―trees‖ is an overstatement and
that ―bush‖ is more appropriate. There is a preference for descent against alliance relations.
Spouses are not represented in such charts. Also, the visual representation of juridical kinship
relations have also created new relations, independent of those lived by the kinship groups.
People who have not relate to each other as kin learn of each other and that they have to
cooperate in order to be successful in their restitution efforts. Such visual artifacts may be
regarded in this context as ―intermediary objects‖, which help produce kinship as a ―boundary
object‖ for various groups and networks and state practices.

Street Policy: Could Explorative Urban Behaviour Shape Spatial Planning
Lottie Child, Street Training & David Knight, University of East London

STREET TRAINING, developed by artist Lottie Child over the past seven years, is a method for
participatory performance based on the idea that our surroundings have a profound effect on
our thoughts, behaviour and ways of being - and that we can mobilise those aspects of
ourselves to have an effect on our environment. The method encourages participants to better
judge how to behave in public spaces, explore the boundaries between social and anti-social
behaviour to gain more knowledge of themselves, each other and the local environment. It
subverts conventional hierarchies by placing disadvantaged teenagers in the role of ‗trainers‘ to
educate shapers of public space, including police officers, policy makers and planning officers.

Street Training asks urban people two questions: what they do for safety on the streets and
what for joy. Gathering data on Joy was an initial impetus for the development of Street
Training methods as so few people (except people in Rio) had an existing concept of joy on the
streets. People‘s responses have been compiled into Street Training Manuals that borrow from
martial arts to dispense the collected folk wisdom as the ‗Path of Safety‘ and ‗Path of Joy‘.
Street Training has taken place in many cities internationally, most recently hosted by the
South London Gallery. For some time the project has had its own life through open source web
software and through participants becoming active street trainers themselves, building new
teams of ‗trainers‘ worldwide.

Seven years of the project have provided a rich evidence base for its benefits both on a
personal and social level, from self-help to resistance. In collaboration with urbanist David
Knight, the project is now investigating ways by which street training can intervene in the
processes of urban and planning policy.

The paper will begin with a brief history of Street Training to date and focus on the translation of
its immediate, personal-scale effects into the world of social and spatial policy. The paper will
suggest some answers through Child and Knight‘s collaboration and will be specifically geared
toward discussion with the social sciences.

Music, Desire, and the Transnational Politics of Chineseness: A Case Study of Diana
Yiu Fai Chow, University of Amsterdam

This paper was inspired by a reflection on my PhD project concerning young Dutch-Chinese
and popular culture. For my project, I have conducted a quantitative survey, covering a sample
of 200 respondents; it was an attempt to map out media use of a large group of people. My
other two case studies, on martial arts film and Chinese beauty pageant, were built on a
cultural entity – a film genre and a media event. I started to wonder: if I don‘t start off with a
group or a cultural entity, in other words, if I don‘t start off with persons taken as collectivity or
persons defined by an entity, what can I do? Can I just take one single person to formulate my
study? What if I take that single person not only as object but also as subject of my research?
What if I allow her or him not only to inform but to guide the trajectory of my study?

Taking my cues from Lash and Lurry‘s method of ‗following the object‘, I followed the person, in
this case, Diana Zhu, winner of a Dutch-Chinese singing contest on her journey into
transnational music industries. I followed Diana to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taipei, charting
her life course, interviewing those around her in her attempt to launch a debut album. In order
to understand how the political, institutional and personal are intertwined, I argue that a multi-
sited methodology that follows – both in time and space – one person, holds the potential to
unpack the complexities that propel a transnational politics of Chineseness. A shift toward the
person is also to open up the space, or some would call ecology or cosmology, to examine
practices not necessarily or primarily be linked to media or popular culture, such as family,

Touching Technologies: Tactile Engagement as Socio-sensory Exploration
Anne Cranny-Francis, University of Technology, Sydney

This paper uses the notion of touch to explore the ways in which new technologies generate
new ways of thinking and of being, engaging the embodied subject in a re-negotiation of
embodied consciousness. The study locates some of the key metaphors that have been used
to enable us as contemporary users to interact with new technologies, locating these as not just
intellectual or mental constructs but as engaging the user as an embodied subject, so that the
subject experiences the technological change through the senses, the emotions and the
intellect. It also uses one aspect of this engagement – touch – as an interrogative term, to
explore how this technological change transforms the individual subject.

The paper will focus on one example of this embodied practice – the transition from hand-
writing to keyboard use – to demonstrate how an exploration of sensory engagement enables
the researcher to understand the multiple and complex engagements of the user with this new
technology; why the technology may be so disruptive and disturbing for the user; how that use
can be understood as coded by gender, class, ethnicity and other parameters; and the reasons
that the engagement necessitates the transformation of not only habits of doing, but also of
ways of being, of thinking, and of self-perception.

Transformation, Calculation and Organization: The Baltic States: From Success to Crisis
Matilda Dahl, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research

In the world of today audits, reports and supervisory activities proliferate. Complex phenomena
such as democracy, economic progress or corruption are objects of scrutinizing activities.
Monitoring creates visibilities such as numbers and figures that are easy to grasp, at least
compared to the complex phenomena they refer to. All this can be seen as part of an Audit
Society (Power, 1997). States and markets have since long been under scrutiny by specific
organizations. Striking examples are the former soviet states that were scrutinized by the
international community to be accepted as EU members or the financial markets that are
constantly monitored by public and private organizations. Yet we tend to forget that monitoring
is an organized activity, performed by organizations and directed towards organizations.
This paper draws on studies of organizations that transform complexities into simplifications, in
particular through calculation and numberification. We tend to trust in numbers (Porter, 1995)
and it is not a surprise that economics, a discipline mastering the technique of modelling and of
creating numbers that depict – but in fact also construct – economic realities such as financial
markets (MacKenzie, 2003) has become widely used and relied upon.

Based on empirical studies of monitoring processes directed towards states (Dahl, 2007),
regions and markets this paper analyzes and compares calculative practices such as rankings,
ratings and indices and discusses how accounting ideals permeate new fields. In particular
empirical examples are taken from the economic transition and the economic crisis ten years
later in the Baltic states. The paper argues that calculative methods have a transforming role in
that numbers construct success as well as crisis. Scrutiny organizes activities and creates new

Equitable Payment, Measured Responsibility, and Bureaucratic Hierarchy: Back to the
Future with Elliott Jaques?”
Paul du Gay, Copenhagen Business School

This paper focuses upon the fate of the first major research and consultancy project undertaken
by the Tavistock Institute for Human Relation led by Elliot Jaques which spawned some
controversial principles and techniques for attempting to resolve conflicts within organizations.
The paper explores the development and operation of these principles and techniques to
assess to what extent and in what ways they ‘succeeded‘ or ‗failed‘, and what lessons they
might hold for contemporary attempts to solve similar and related problems.

Over a number of years from the late 1940s onwards, Jaques, a psychologist and
psychoanalyst, and a founding member of the Tavistock Institute, led a study of work and
management at the Glacier Metal Company, an engineering factory in London. In this and
subsequent studies Jaques developed a distinctive programme that became recognized in its
time as having as significant an impact on management and organizational thinking as the
Hawthorne experiments, but which is now largely seen as a footnote in the history of
Organization Theory(OT).
One of Jacques‘ main tasks was to investigate what would be generally accepted as the right
level of pay for a given role. From this evolved a key principle in his conceptual repertoire: the
notion of ‗the time-span of discretion‘ – the idea that the main criterion by which the importance
of a job is implicitly judged is the length of time which expires before decisions taken by an
person are reviewed and evaluated (Jaques, 1956). He also found that differentials in what he
termed ‗felt fair-pay‘ – what people in an organization felt they and others should earn – were
very highly correlated (0.9 at Glacier) with objective measurement of differences in time-span,
so that if a payment system was based on discretion differences between jobs/roles it would
generally be seen as ‗equitable‘ (Jaques, 1957). The third conceptual strand in his programme
related to the importance of bureaucratic hierarchy (Jaques, 1970, 1990), where his research
led him to argue that bureaucracy was the only form that could enable an organization to
employ large numbers of people and yet preserve both unambiguous work role boundaries and
accountability for work conducted by those occupying those roles. It was a properly functioning
bureaucracy, he argued, that would allow equitable payment based on measurement of
responsibility through time span capacity to operate economic competition, for example, without
the exploitation of labour.

During the 1960s and 1970s Jaques‘s programme had considerable influence, though it was
never uncontroversial. However, as the theoretical orientation of OT shifted a new generation of
theorists derided his faith in rational administration and bureaucratic hierarchy, for example,
favouring instead flatter, more fluid and entrepreneurial organizational forms. Jaques was
accused of ‗managerial fascism‘ (2003). However, in the light of the Enron debacle, and the
ongoing credit crisis, for example, where attempts to circumvent bureaucratic procedures are
already well documented, and where questions of equitable and socially viable systems of
reward loom large, it appears timely to reconsider Jaques‘s concepts and operating

Made to Measure: Measuring the Internet and Its Social Impact
Scott Ewing, Institute for Social Research/Swinburne University of Technology

This paper draws on work by Hacking and others on the history of statistics and governmental
rationality and uses it to examine attempts to measure the internet and its social impact. We do
not ‗know‘ what the internet is today, let alone what it may be tomorrow. Back in 1995 when
statistical measurement of internet use began we had even less idea. Yet policy-makers have
a need to know and by extension an imperative to measure- how is the internet being
constructed as a measurable object and how is this measurable object changing the way we
see the internet?

This paper traces the development of three data collections established to measure the social
impact of the internet: National Telecommunications and Information Administration (US
Department of Commerce) data; Pew Internet and American Life Project; and, the World
Internet Project. It will investigate how each of the collections was initially framed by different
policy constructions, in part related to the framers interests in pre-existing technologies. For
example the NTIA‘s digital divide construction grew out of their interest in ‗universal service‘
and telephony. It will also consider the ways the collections are funded and organised and the
different methodological approaches taken by the researchers in each project.

Once established these data collections have come to play a role in making the internet
‗knowable‘- these datasets help to define what the internet is and, consequently, how we
conceptualise policy concerns related to it.

Making Methods Work: Epidemiology and Epistemological Transformations in US
Psychiatry, 1950-2000
Andrew M. Fearnley, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

That epidemiology became an important part of the furniture of American psychiatry owed
much to the US state‘s valorization of statistics after 1945. Nothing up to that point had
suggested the pertinence such methods would attain fifty years later. Before the 1950s many
psychiatrists eschewed statistics. Even today they are ambivalent: they receive only basic
statistical training, and lack an organization or publication for psychiatric epidemiology.
Nevertheless, epidemiological surveys proliferated between 1950 and 2000, and a profoundly
new style of psychiatric thought emerged as a result. This is a paper about how a once
marginal method stealthily became a crucial device within this scientific community; and the
epistemic changes that accompanied its introduction.

Occupying the junction between a discipline‘s epistemological ideals and its work patterns,
methods are crucial for all who wish to explain the processes by which modern science
changes. In the case of American psychiatrists, epidemiological tools were accepted only as
they fit with the profession‘s working habits. Making scientific methods work—or function—
required changes in practices, economies, and ideals of work. Focusing on three
epidemiological surveys—the US-UK Diagnostic Project (1961-1971), the Epidemiologic
Catchment Area Program (1980-85), and the National Comorbidity Surveys (1990s)—this
paper demonstrates how epidemiology was intercalated within American psychiatric precincts.
The paper is an account of the intricate way in which a method ascended in popularity within a
scientific discipline. It provides a chastening verdict for those who would think brute force is
enough to change methods. The paper also describes the ripples that have flowed within
psychiatry since epidemiology emerged. Far more than just numbers entered the discipline as a
result. Epidemiology also re-jigged psychiatry‘s ideals of epistemology and proof, and adjusted
the balance of power among the discipline‘s factions—abetting the use of
psychopharmaceuticals and diminishing the place of psychoanalysis. The procedures on which
these methods relied also encouraged a series of less obvious changes: hardening disease
categories, making acts of diagnosis more pronounced, and increasing practitioners‘ propensity
for evaluating therapeutic efficacy.

Rule of Experts? Technocratic Elites and Agendas of Governance for Finance before
and after the Crisis
Julie Froud, Mick Moran, Adriana Nilsson & Karel Williams, CRESC, University of Manchester

This paper is about the limits of expert knowledge and power in the context of a financial crisis
which has changed the agendas of governance for finance; it helps to explain why it is now so
difficult to reform banking and finance in the UK and USA in a world of competing l elites with
different agendas.

Before the crisis, the agenda of governance in finance was limited by a liturgy about the
benefits of financial innovation. All mainstream elite authority figures listed the many benefits of
securitization and derivatives in familiar reassuring words which were discredited by events in
2007-8. The scientisation of central banking and the proceduralisation of regulation, put UK
and US experts in a role rather like that of bishops blessing battleships in world war one. The
generals were the politicians for whom financial regulation was a valence issue and so politics
became a contest about who could do more for finance.

Afterwards, competing stories and multiple agendas confuse and frustrate effective reform
because the crisis cannot be turned into an intelligible and politically actionable story. Capitalist
elites go sectional as politicians and elite technocrats pitch stories which other groups reject;
while old fashioned position becomes a calculative constraint because where you stand now
depends on where you sit.

―How do I look in this?‖ is the concern of the elected political classes. In Britain and America
they tell stories which put them in a good light as saviours of capitalism; or tell stories which
put others in a bad light as in the show trials which scapegoated bad bankers. The political
classes default onto populism as politics becomes an exhibition game of serve and return
played on a media court so as to influence the mass audience not change the world. The
constraint on political calculation is electoral competition; differently organised in UK and UK
but equally inimical to reform. The UK problem is absence of purpose by an all powerful
executive which defaults onto cheap shots (e.g. Darling‘s bonus tax) The US problem is an
executive which knows what it wants to do but is frustrated by a legislature of politicians
building independent bases and winning individual electoral struggles.

―A reordered world‖ is the project of the elite technocrats after a crisis which challenges their
claims to expertise and has destroyed much of their intellectual capital. But the ruling experts
are divided between those who propose conservative and radical re-orderings. In the UK, a
politicised Treasury revives the old order by promoting shareholder value as the objective for
nationalised banks. Whereas, the scientised central bank and the FSA regulatory agency
envision a different world based on data and new expert theories. The constraint on
technocratic calculation is their deformation professionelle i.e. the requirement for intellectually
credible and coherent new accounts, possibly including a paradigm shift which will inevitably
take some time. Matters are further complicated by turf wars between technocrats in different
regulatory agencies

The political outcome is uncertain but the prospects of democratic control and effective reform
both recede as finance continues to privatise gains, socialise losses and extract reparations
from society. In this impasse, it would help to recognise the limits of expert knowledge; first, by
requiring simplification of financial operations not complication of knowledge; and second, by
recognising the weakness of technocrats without political allies and mass mobilisation.

What's in a Name?' An Historical and Cultural Journey into the Categorisation of CF/ME
Sharon Gallagher, University of east London

CFS/ME is a chronic illness underpinned by medical contestation, political and social debate.
This paper interrogates the historical context of CFS/ME, to situate the macro narrative and
examine the discourses of uncertainty.

Specifically, I trace the emergence of CFS/ME within medical knowledge in an attempt to
understand how medical and political institutions discursively manage and control CFS/ME via
a multiplicity of meaning. Drawing on the life history and photographic diaries of people
diagnosed with CFS/ME, I will evaluate the ways in which the personal becomes political. I
argue how the narrative method creates a means for aspects of the personal life deemed
invisible to be made visible. Finally, I discuss how CFS/ME may be part of a wider debate that
rejects the divide between the mind and the body.

Social Science, Participation and Governance of Human Tissue and Embryology
John Gillott, The Open University

For some STS and SSK theorists, participation of publics in the governance of natural science
research is a novel trend that has developed over the past 15 years. For some it is also an
approach to governance that has exciting possibilities for social science analysis and method.
At the same time there is also some uncertainty about the reality of novelty and change.
Reflecting on a series of public engagement exercises they had organised, Kerr, Cunningham-
Burley and Tutton worried about ‗the extent to which lay people can ever expose scientific error
and hubris, given that the layness we found was so fragile, easily compromised and so readily
aligned with expert positions.‘ In this and similar statements it is not hard to detect some
ambiguity and indeed anxiety about the role social scientists are playing and what is being
produced through their activities.

In this paper I will compare and contrast participation as analysis and a method in two
connected case studies, human tissue research and human embryo research, running over the
past ten years in the UK. I will highlight the performative role played by some social scientists
and social science methods in the generation of public controversy, in the management of
change and in the reconstruction of governance structures and practices. Should social
scientists be anxious, and if so, about what? Ontologically speaking, what kind of governance
has emerged from the interaction of old and new practices?
The Life and Trials of the Criminological Interview: Talking to Persistent Young
Offenders as They (and the Study) Grow Older
Emily Gray, Keele University

Using data from an ESRC funded longitudinal study of the first recipients‘ of New Labour‘s
‗Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme‘ (ISSP), this paper will present a case
study of three rounds of qualitative interviews and analysis with a cohort of persistent and
serious young offenders (Moore et al, 2004; Gray et al, 2005; Moore et al, 2006; Gray,
forthcoming). It will discuss how the process of interviewing and analysis have evolved over
each ‗wave‘; how different techniques and methodological approaches (thematic; grounded
theory; narrative; psycho-social) have evolved and impacted upon the relationships between
interviewer(s) and interviewees and how the outcomes of long-term evaluations of programmes
(such as the ISSP) are shaped by the methodological and interpretive tools brought to research
used to assess change. The case study sits alongside a broader consideration of how
contemporary criminological qualitative research on developmental processes are frequently
utilized in an anecdotal format, or used by policy makers for marketing purposes, giving way to
the supremacy of short-term quantitative results and leaving mixed methods research with an
unbalanced view of desistence. Finally, the paper considers the blind spots that the traditional
semi- structured interview creates, and the limits this places on our understanding of crime,
cultural identities and young people‘s use of public space.

Mobilizing the Social: Participatory Methods in International Development and Tanzania
Maia Green, University of Manchester

`Participatory‘ methods for conducting social research and for planning interventions are not
merely taken for granted aspects of development practice. They are institutionalized within the
social organization of countries such as Tanzania which orient their national strategies towards
what are defined as development objectives. Participatory methods in such contexts occupy a
privileged place in determining the parameters of the social and how it can be accessed
analytically. But they do more than this. In constituting a device for the production of
knowledge which is concerned with mobilization for social change they explicitly situate
agency within a particular method and in so doing collapse the divides between method and
subject, analysis and intervention.

This paper explores the role of participatory methods in contemporary Tanzania. It shows how
participatory methods are made into mobile institutions for mobilizing the social as both agent
of transformation and object of intervention, how the replicable attributes of what come to
count as methods facilitate this mobilization, and how knowledge is rendered `useful‘ through
these institutional and relational forms. Finally, the paper considers the globalization of
participatory methods within international development more broadly as an outcome of the
success of particular institutional forms for certain kinds of inclusive ordering in which subjects
are simultaneously agents and objects of development.

Data as Gift: Exploring the Device Capabilities of Research Ethic Frameworks in the
Social Sciences
Ana Gross, Goldsmiths, University of London

This paper argues that social scientists should revisit and debate the different (but similar)
Research Ethics Frameworks they are subject to, and raise fundamental issues about power,
ontology and the economy of data within their disciplines, particularly if we are to consider
Research Ethics Frameworks as socio-technical devices with the capabilities of enacting and
organizing particular versions of both humanity and sociality. Following Waldby and Mitchell
work on bioethics and tissue economies, the paper seeks to locate the discussion around the
dichotomy between data as commodity and data as gift in the social science field. It particularly
seeks to explore how Research Ethics Frameworks (centred on the notion of ‗informed
consent‘) have favoured a gift model which has nonetheless disentangled (what it entangles to
be) the private and inner subjectivity of the respondent, disposed of any economic value, into
data which can in fact be potentially circulated, exchanged and valuated in different forms; and
also importantly, to understand how these Frameworks have also served to fragment and
assign value to certain data traces and not others. The paper further examines the notion of
‗informed consent‘ as a concept that has perpetuated a particular representation of human-
respondents as autonomous individuals with a particular kind of consciousness and depth, but
also as a mechanism which has allowed for the conversion of privacy into property. Finally, it
asks whether the debate around these issues has been dormant because of a correlated lack
of technical innovation within the social sciences, as new technologies would necessarily
produce a reorganization of the elements and boundaries of what we consider are our units of

Designing New Emergency Provision Scenarios: An Incubation
Michael Guggenheim, University of Zürich

This paper discusses a new method „incubation―, which is based on ethnographic, performative
and visual methods. Incubation extends the existing repertoire of the social sciences to
describe and intervene in confusing fields where the weak and the strong, the good and the
bad are difficult to discern. It means the fusion of different interactions under high pressure
initiating a social inquiry. We create new situations, unfamiliar to both, the researchers and the
researched. This allows to perceive and modify existing power and knowledge asymmetries
and to reframe social and material relations implicated in the case.

We use this method in a project to inquire emergency provision practices in the event of
anticipated emergencies. The existing methods belong to the so-called grey sciences such as
logistics, heritage protection, household economics, allocation and regulation authorities,
quality managers, insurance organisations, but they also include everyday knowledge of
households to prepare for emergencies.

Our aim is to bring the various logics of these disciplines together into one arena, confront them
with everyday practices of emergency provision and develop from there new forms of
emergency provision. The project proceeds in three steps. First, we conduct performative
ethnographic fieldwork that investigates current methods to analyse and constitute emergency
provision. In a second step we develop an extended version of Delphi method. By doing so, we
intend to elaborate, together with emergency provision experts, both lay ones and
professionals, new disaster scenarios that specify different situations for which we may need
emergency provision. In the third step we, the team members themselves, will undergo a
metamorphosis from investigators to actors. We isolate from the environment and withdraw
from everyday life, to envision and experience the future that is inscribed in the objects that
have been gathered during research.

Visualizing the Mass Collaboration of Wikipedia by Adopting Digital By-product Data
Zeyi He, University of York

Social researchers, especially social researchers working on online issues have seen new
opportunities to use digital by-product data to pursue their academic interests (Herring etc.
2005, Adamic and Adar, 2006); rather than transacting data from traditional interviews and
surveys. Many scholars have emphasized the limitations intrinsic to using traditional fieldwork
to explore online phenomena (Hampton, 1999; Lampe, Ellison and Steinfield, 2006). Other
authors have suggested that a crisis looms in online research because such traditional
methods for investigation may be unable to capture online dynamics (Marc. A. Smith, 1999;
Savage and Burrows, 2007). However, there are few studies which actually demonstrate how
digital by-product data can be used to complete our sociological hypothesis, which is the aim of
this paper.

This paper focuses on Wikipedia, which generously offers its entire storing data free for all
public usage. For studying Wikipedia, we can either adopt its abundant by-product data or
collecting and transacting data by accessing individual participant. Due to majority of
participants in Wikipedia are anonymous or using ―online name‖, , authors chose the former to
investigate the development of mass collaboration which has seen Wikipedia grow into one of
the most popular web resources through contributions from millions of amateurs. Using
quantitative analysis this research addresses the power law distribution in participation on
Wikipedia and formulates a function to represent the most significant factors in this distribution.
The time interval researched spans from 2001 to 2007.

The proposed paper not just measures mass collaborative process in Wikipedia but also offers
an overview of what is the normal trend for producing knowledge resources through mass
collaboration. More importantly, this paper exemplifies how to use digital by-product data to
visualize the development of online communities, a task which cannot be completed through
survey sampling.

E-government, the Proliferation of Digital Data and the Constitution of Social
Paul Henman, University of Queensland

Statistics – or the ‗science of the state‘ or ‗political arithmetic‘ – have for centuries been central
to the operation and conduct of state power. Digital information and communication
technologies developed in the twentieth century, which readily generate, circulate, calculate
and evaluate quantitative data, have facilitated the proliferation of state-produced statistical
data based on government administrative and national surveys from central statistical
agencies. Such data are increasingly mobilized, connected and reconfigured in ‗mash ups‘ and
models with statistics generated from business and academic ventures alike. This paper
examines how these digital data are reconstituting socio-political knowledge and practice.

Writers such as Foucault, Hacking and Ewald demonstrated the way statistics and statistical
analyses of the eighteenth century gave rise to and constituted the social body and its
dynamics, with the subsequent development of social (and economic) interventions based on
this social imaginary, including social work, public health and social insurance. In contrast, this
paper argues that contemporary digital data are giving rise to and constituting a fragmented
social body whereby social dynamics are differentiated along social fault lines. Instead of
statistical data revealing population-wide dynamics, these new data highlight separate social
dynamics for particular sub-populations, subsequently reconfiguring our social imaginaries and
governmental interventions. In doing so, the conceptual basis of collective/social modes of
governing are rapidly being replaced with differentiated and targeted modes.

The paper draws on several years‘ research of government use of ICTs in policy processes. It
concludes by outlining emerging developments in digital data use and its possible socio-
political consequences.

„In Clio‟s Eyes: The Field of the Cloth of Gold, History and the Act of Seeing‟
Andrew Hill, CRESC, The Open University

Taking as a starting point Vermeer‘s The Art of Painting (1666) with the depiction it offers of
Clio‘s (the muse of history) downcast eyes, this paper scrutinises the way in which the act of
seeing - the individual subject‘s experience of seeing from a first person perspective - has
typically been all but ignored in historical work (of whatever hue - indeed a similar claim could
be made about much work in the social sciences and humanities in general).

Taking the Field of the Cloth of Gold - the meeting in 1520 between Henry VIII and Francis I -
as its primary exemplar, the paper examines the reasons for this neglect, the issues it raises for
how historical events, processes and periods are conceived of, and the methodological and
epistemological challenges posed by attempting to bring the act of seeing back into history.

Photographer as Researcher: Notes from Experience
Liz Hingley, University College London

This paper focuses on the unique methodology employed in the photographic project ‗―Under
Gods‖ stories from Soho Road‘. It investigates firstly the photographer as a researcher who
sees and draws upon the evolving relationship between the photographer, their subjects and
the urban environment, and secondly the role of visual documentation in providing an
accessible educative research tool within academia and the wider world.

The ‗Under Gods‘ project explores religious life on Soho Road in Birmingham, one of the UK‘s
most culturally diverse cities, where over 90 different nationalities now live. The combination of
photographs, sound and quotes document the quotidian spiritual practices (both formal and
domestic) that play out on this one street, the site of some 30 religious centres for
denominations from throughout the world. As one community member stated, it is ‗religion
rather than race or culture that now defines the local communities. The terms Rastafarian,
Muslim, Thai Buddhist and Sikh are used to identify people rather than black and white.‘

Drawing on everyday ‗field‘ experiences, this paper calls attention to the logistics of visual
research design in complex urban settings, elaborating in particular upon the process of
engaging intimately with individuals and communities both behind and besides the lens. While
such projects may encounter obstacles – they often engender ethical issues that require careful
negotiation – they also have the potential to offer audiences deeper insights into the subject
matter by invoking with immediacy the ‗vision‘ of the ethnographer. With this in mind, the paper
questions the extent to which visual research limits or expands the possibilities for both data
collection and audience interpretation. The discussion concludes by examining the role of ‗the
visual‘ in bringing anthropology to a wider public.

Data Mining and Spatial Analysis: Enhancing our Social, Spatial and Temporal
Understanding of Cities via Mining Geo-Located Data
Andrew Hudson-Smith, Steven Gray, Fabian Neuhaus & Richard Milton, University College

The paper describes how we are harnessing the power of Web 2.0 and related technologies to
create new methods to collect, map and visualise geocoded data as an aid to further our
understanding of social, spatial and temporal change in cities. The authors begin with an insight
into the ‗Ask‘ survey system developed as part of the National infrastructure for e-Social
Simulation (NeISS) project. ‗Ask‘ provides social scientists with series of online tools to collect
and visualise data in near real-time allowing the creation of ‗mood maps‘ linked to a backend
geographic information system. We examine the systems use to date, specifically by the BBC,
and the implications of allowing anyone to survey the world, continent, nation, city or indeed
street via our social survey system.

The authors expand on the concept with the additional of data mining social networks such as
Twitter to collect, map and analyse social related data. Developed around the populist name
‗Tweet-o-Meter‘ we have developed a system to mine data within a 30 km range of urban
areas, focusing on New York, London, Paris, Munich, Tokyo, Moscow, Sydney, Toronto, San
Francisco, Barcelona and Oslo. The system mines all geo-located Tweets creating a vast
database of social science data and numerous challenges for both visualization and analysis.

The paper concludes by arguing that data mining has notable potential to aid our understanding
of the complex social, spatial and temporal structures of the city environment.

Repressive Relationality: Towards a Critical Political Economy of Contemporary
Information and Communication Technology Networks
Andrew Iliadis, Ryerson University / York University

The question of resistance to a new kind of repressive power at work in information and
communication technology (ICT) networks can be found in recent political crises associated
with successful social tracking sites like Twitter. Users have discovered another application for
the technology aside from the status updates that the service was built for by engaging
Twitter‘s network as an advocacy tool for mass political mobilization. Organizations such as
LabourStart have used the website which acts as an aggregator for advocacy groups that
are connected to the Twitter network. There have been countless other occurrences of the
seemingly random clustering of individuals around similar ICT technologies for political
purposes, just as there are new ―sovereigns‖ who, now posited on different terms, seek to
control the relationality of the network. The second part of the paper will address what Eugene
Thacker and Alexander Galloway describe as a new type of sovereign in terms of repressive
network relationality and whose power stems from the required ―report back‖ function of ICT
networks that require that users remain in ―constant‖ and ―continuous‖ contact, even if this
means giving up their personal information and producing quantitative data about themselves.
While the sovereign might adopt a different form in the networked society it continues to
maintain a privileged status in the governing of the social via quantitative data manipulation;
transnational corporations are attempting to exercise increasingly prolific sovereign decisions
over populations that were traditionally under the domain of the nation, from the privatization of
natural resources like water in Bolivia to the ownership of DNA databases containing the
genetic information of entire nations as in the case of Greenland. The paper will end with a
discussion of potential strategies for resistance in the global ICT network.

Drawing in the Twenty-first Century?
Mikko Ijäs, Aalto University

There are two interesting aspects on drawing. There is a notion of drawing as an action
belonging only to the framework of the art world and it is preferably done using conventional
materials and methods. On the other hand drawing might be seen as a co-active combination
of the Eye, Hand and Mind. When we go deeper into the aspects of this coaction we are able to
see totally new aspects on drawing.

Most of the pictures we see today are manipulated photographs. They are mainly digital images
manipulated with computer softwares. Hand is moving back inside the camera. Early
renaissance saw the dawn of camera obscura in where the artist‘s hand was literarily inside the
camera. Invention of chemical photography in the nineteenth century took the hand out of the
camera. Photographs became mechanical reproductions of reality, but not for long. Digital
photography and means of manipulation are transforming pictures of reality into manipulated

When we go to the movies we see magnificent illustrations from faraway places that have
never existed anywhere else than in the minds of the film makers. People drew those images,
they where not photographed. These drawings where made using modern digital drawing
softwares and computers with touch-screens that enable us to draw straight to the digital
surface. Digital drawing with mobile phones (like the iPhone) is the latest interesting way to
make digital drawings. Touch-screen technology is enabling our hands to be a part of the
interface. Some people think that digital drawing is too easy. I‘d say it is quite the opposite. Skill
of drawing is a skill of seeing the world.

Planning Futures and Discounting Outcomes: An Analysis of Safety and Quality
Improvement Methodologies within the NHS
Trenholme Junghans, University of St. Andrews

This paper describes and reflects upon some key moments in the life of a particular
methodological device, the PDSA cycle, as it currently flourishes within the British National
Health Service (NHS). Employed to enhance ―quality‖ and ―safety‖ in healthcare, PDSA
methodology (which stands for ―plan-do-study-act‖) prescribes an endless loop of iterative
learning, where every ―outcome‖ becomes the starting point of the next cycle. Based on
ethnographic fieldwork, the paper relates how one cohort of young medical professionals is
being trained in PDSA methodologies, and discusses some of the micropractices
(representational/documenatry, evidentiary, and practical) through which they vivify this device
in the pursuit of ―quality‖ and ―safety‖ in healthcare. Mindful that neither ―quality‖ nor ―safety‖
can be known in a directly referential manner – but only through chains of proxy signifiers – I
explore the tension between the need to ―naturalize‖ such contingent chains of signification (in
order to legitimate knowledge claims about safety), on one hand, and pressures to foreground
their contingent and provisional nature (so as to demonstrate the dynamic enactment of
constant ―quality improvement‖) on the other. Taking these considerations a step further, I
suggest that, much like audit practices as analyzed by Power (1997), the contemporary
currency of PDSA methodologies might derive from their particular disciplinary properties
coupled with their intrinsic resilience to referential stability. In conclusion, I explore some
implications of this conjuncture of discipline (in the form of vigilant anticipation of the future and
the discounting of the present) and an implicit linguistic ideology (which valorizes the
performative function of language over the referential/denotative), suggesting that it may
portend a nascent shift in the paradigm of medical knowledge/practice from one of ―diagnosis‖
to one of ―prediction,‖ and help us to situate such a shift in relation to broader political economic
tendencies often glossed by the term ―financialization‖.

Towards a Relational Approach to Brands and Branding: The Case Study of No-Brand
Brand, Muji
Nobumi Kobayashi, The Open University

This paper will consider the appropriate methods for studying brands and branding that focus
on relational properties in their circulation process. Recent research suggests that as a
promotional device, brands are considered to be the most important feature of consumer
culture today. Traditionally, brand research has focused on the relationship between the
producer and consumer, but recently, this traditional approach has been challenged by a
different approach. According to this new approach, all the other relationship involved in the
circulation process of the brand should also be examined. This is because the brand is to be
understood as a complex object; it is difficult to determine what it is and how it operates.
However, the latter approach has yet to become widely accepted, which appears to be because
it negates the efficacy of the practice of branding in effect. This paper aims to highlight this
problem through the historical examination of the Japanese retailing brand Muji, which was
created in 1980 to challenge the Euro-American centred concepts of brand and branding. In
doing so, the paper introduces two of the most innovative analytical tools in the social sciences
used in this research, Actor Network Theory (ANT) and Bourdieu‘s Field Theory, both of which
address the relational properties of social phenomena. Moreover, it attempts to demonstrate
that the dominant approach in brand research has been perpetuated by commercial interests of
those engaged in this particular approach.

Pillow Research: Multiple Diagnoses and Hidden Talents
Bernd Kraeftner, Judith Kroell & Isabel Warner, XPERIMENT!/Shared Inc.

In the talk we describe an ongoing research project that we call "pillow research" and that
investigates the question of methodology in the transdisciplinary field of „science and art―. It is
about our attempt to introduce artefacts (pillows in the broad sense of the word) into the world
of long-term care of severely disabled people. The (artistic) tinkering with those artefacts within
the clinical context should experimentally create conditions that contribute to the emergence of
unexpected spaces and moments: spaces of opportunities to enrich the dwellings of patients,
moments of unforeseen relations between private and institutional spaces, new roles between

Multiple tensions dominate the practices of everyday life on a specialized ward, and one faces
questions like this: Who takes part in the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients? What kind
of research – if any - do we prefer and how does it enact bodies, subjectivities of patients and
caregivers? And then, how should "we", as a group of researcher-artists, handle our
intervention in the field, our own errors and failures and the fragile continuation of our work?
How do we rank the importance of the development and training of skills, gaining hands-on
experience and the constant modifications of minute details of care? The talk will describe a
section of the pillow research group‘s work and its tinkering and ―performing shared
incompetence‖ with one exemplary pillow that should give us the opportunity to elucidate our
methodological approach.

Sustainable Living Experiments in/as Participatory Social Science
Noortje Marres, Oxford Said Business School
In recent years, sustainable living experiments (SLEs) have been approached as providing
opportunities for social scientific research by a variety of agencies in the UK. And, more
generally speaking, these experiments resonate with methodological and intellectual
commitments of post-war social research in more or less surprising ways. This paper will
explore this situation with an eye to the long-standing scepticism about the possibilities of
experimentation in the social sciences. Drawing on recent work on participatory experiments in
STS, I will approach these experiments as multifarious instruments – as a variable genres or
templates that are deployed accross a variety of contexts in the sciences, politics, art, and
business, and may serve to integrate these contexts or render them commensurable. Secondly,
the paper will engage with recent debates in the social sciences and humanities about
registrational data (Savage, 2007; Rogers, 2009), and their consequences for critical social and
cultural research. Sustainable living experiments present a relevant site for exploring this
phenomenon, as they are associated with claims about an emerging ―economy of habits,‖ and
involve the transformation of domestic settings into sites of data capture, and for interactive
forms of publicity more broadly. The paper will argue that SLEs can be defined as critical sites
of social research in the constructive sense, as here the relations constitutive of social research
are not only reconfigured but also contested and re-purposed in sometimes imaginative ways.

Data Sharing in the Digital Age: On the Science, Ethics and Politics of Open Access to
Research Data
Natasha Mauthner, University of Aberdeen

A major international data preservation and sharing movement is currently underway in which
databases of all kinds are increasingly being seen by governments as a critical scientific
resource. Open access to research data is becoming a matter of national policy with data
sharing policies now being adopted by research funding agencies across the globe. Publication
in scientific journals is now also becoming conditional on depositing research data within public
archives. In practice, researchers within both the social and natural sciences are ambivalent
about data sharing (Mauthner and Parry 2010). While most support the principle of data
sharing, many are reluctant to comply with data sharing policies. They are raising scientific,
ethical, moral and legal concerns over placing data within public archives, and engaging in
‗counter-practices‘ (Mauthner 2009) through resistance to data sharing norms and
requirements. While data sharing advocates recognise these concerns and counter-practices,
ultimately they view them as ‗computational‘ problems that are amenable to scientific, ethical
and political ‗fixing‘ and that pose no legitimate threat to the global data sharing project. This
paper takes issue with the very principle of open access to research data. It suggests that the
philosophical framework underpinning the contemporary data sharing movement fosters
scientific, ethical, moral and political practices that challenge the discursive construction of data
sharing as delivering universal goods. In light of this critique, the paper asks whether the time
has come to rethink open access to research data.

Good, average men: statistics, anti-statistics and the promotion of life assurance
Liz McFall, Open University

For Gabriel Tarde and Marcel Mauss among others, the capacity to imitate, prompted by
prestigious or authoritarian examples, is the core condition of the social. This capacity to inspire
emulation and imitation such that the line of least resistance subtly becomes buying the
toothpaste, smoking the cigarette etc became one of the most reviled attributes of advertising.
The trouble with this lies in the artificial isolation of advertising from its environment and in the
neglect of advertising‘s many failures. Drawing upon the history of industrial assurance
promotion, the paper aims to reconsider advertising‘s impact on mimesis by locating it as an
element within a socio-technical market device or agencement. From this perspective new
forms of conduct and consumption emerge through the dynamic articulation of a range of
elements which combine to make purchasing necessary, inevitable, habitual or unthinking.
Since the collapse of industrial assurance in the 1980s, means as successful as doorstep
finance in enjoining the poor have yet to emerge. The paper will briefly consider some of the
challenges of transforming financial products for the poor alongside the questions and
opportunities raised by pragmatist approaches to investigation and design.

Reaching the Parts Other Methods Cannot Reach? A Reflexive Critique of the Use of
Focus Groups to Research on Youth, Risk and Social Position
David Merryweather, Liverpool Hope University

This paper critically reflects upon the value of the focus group method in researching the
relationships between youth, risk and social position. As a well established method focus
groups were favoured for their ability to generate collaborative narratives about research
participants‘ everyday lives; in this instance young people‘s experiences of, and attitudes
towards, cultural practices understood as risk. Drawing on insights developed by Bourdieu, risk
practices were understood as being informed by the habitus related to social positions of age,
class, gender and ethnicity and the intersections of these. Using focus groups to this end
proved fruitful in illuminating how young people occupying different social positions define and
experience risk in different ways, and how risk practices cite and reproduce distinctions
between positions in social space. However, in conducting fieldwork a number of challenges
were encountered, both in terms of operationalising key concepts, overcoming practical
hurdles, and engaging with participants. The method took a life of its own in order for the
various demands to be met. This paper reflects on some of these challenges and their
implications for the use of the focus group as a means for researching youth and risk. This is
especially salient given that many distinctions between social positions occupied by youth are
blurring, while risk practices associated with these positions are becoming infinitely more
complex and varied. The paper discusses ways in which the focus group method may be
transformed so as to better encapsulate the ever-increasing complexity of young people‘s
everyday lives.

Accounting for Cultural Participation: Missing Cases, Hidden Values
Andrew Miles, CRESC, University of Manchester

In this paper I explore the role played by official measures of cultural participation and the
interpretive frames drawn from market-based segmentation research in sustaining a partial,
hierarchical and exclusive understanding of what it means to engage with culture. Presented as
democratic devices to inform the development and evaluation of cultural policy, I argue that
they are in fact configured and deployed in ways that render ordinary, everyday participation
invisible thus helping to reinforce the notion that only certain types of cultural tastes and
practices are legitimate.

Drawing on two large samples of in-depth interviews, one taken from a local study of leisure
and culture in Manchester and the other from a national study of participation and identity from
the 1958 Birth Cohort Study, I show how, in contrast, participation narratives reveal the
richness and significance of supposedly mundane forms of participation. Furthermore, these
accounts highlight how, by failing to properly consider the life course processes, meanings and
stakes of cultural engagement, counting and classifying approaches to participation fail to
detect the ways in which apparently ‗excluded‘ groups do interact with established cultural

More speculatively, I suggest that the emergence and deployment of the official measure of
culture in the UK reflects a particular tension in cultural policy making, which is rooted in the
social relations of the cultural sector and the influence of the metropolitan cultural elite. Here, I
argue that the failure of the ‗evidence-based practice‘ model in cultural policy is symptomatic of
a wider failure of technocratic versus gentlemanly expertise in the cultural arena.

The Social Life of Indicators: Measuring Criminal Justice in South Africa
Johanna Mugler, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology

The running of modern bureaucracies takes place within various departments, at the local,
provincial and national levels of government, at diverse venues and by way of myriad of
individual and collective actions. An ethnographic researcher intending to explore this
administration is immediately faced with a predicament: where is her field site? How can she
study the same objects in different places at the same time?

This paper discusses whether the focus on devices such as indicators, as used by the
administration, facilitates a better understanding of these large national institutions, by relying
on data empirically gathered, in South Africa during 2008 and 2010 from within certain criminal
justice institutions, namely the South African Police Service (SAPS), the National Prosecuting
Authority (NPA) and the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DOJCD).

As a first step the paper shows how indicators are extensively deployed in the administration of
the SAPS, NPA and DOJCD. I will argue that indicators are not a neutral, subordinate or a
reflective technique to represent reality and cannot therefore be treated as something outside
of social order and be described as of little anthropological value. Indicators are a constitutive
and formative part of institutional life. In a second step the paper focuses more specifically on
how the SAPS and the NPA, like most government institutions worldwide, now face growing
pressure to demonstrate accountability through the tracking of quantitative performance
indicators and verifiable accounts. It will show how indicators, a social scientific method of
knowledge production, further developed in the world of finance and business migrate to new
institutional domains less amenable to quantification.

The Magazine for Black South Africans: Meta-commodity as Marketing Device
Sonja Narunsky-Laden, University of Johannesburg

This paper addresses the central role played by the consumer magazine for black South
Africans as a successful marketing device which has been operative for the past 60 years. As
an agency of socio-economic change in South Africa, the significance of consumer magazines
lies in their presentational form as objects, artefacts, and meta-commodities in their own right,
and in the existing and new modalities of social, cultural, and economic action they promote,
constitute, and regulate in South Africa‘s urbanizing environments. As sites which market the
consumption of a range of tangible, intangible, and financial commodities, the paper focuses
specifically on the contribution of consumer magazines to rendering operational new, urban
market-formations, practices and patterns of consumption, and new options for the
‗management‘ of finance such as banking, consumer credit, savings, and debt.

The paper focuses on the way commercial magazines are becoming key contributors to
increasing banking penetration levels in South Africa by linking the market functions of financial
intermediaries such as banks and financial service providers with the economic practices
enacted by stokvels, which offer members collective savings and purchasing services, and
burial societies, assisting with the costs of catering for funeral services. By marketing new
financial services to growing numbers of black South Africans whose use of financial services
was hitherto minimal, consumer magazines for black South Africans clearly function as
material, social, discursive and technical ‗devices‘ through which individuals are able to
encounter new and transforming market-formations, becoming more actively involved in
bringing about socio-economic change in South Africa.

Methods and Boundaries: On the Method Assemblage of Cultural Primatology and its
Relationship to „Social‟ Science Methods
Richie Nimmo, University of Manchester

Taking its cue from John Law‘s (2004) innovative argument that methods are agents which
actively enact ‗the social‘, making some things present and others absent, this paper examines
the implications of the negative side of this formulation – the making absent of certain realities
by social science methods, in relation to a specific case. In particular, it looks at the mutually
problematic relationship between ‗the social‘ in social science methods, with its underlying
humanism, and the distinctive method assemblages of cultural primatology, which studies
nonhuman primates as fully ‗social‘ beings. Drawing upon Bruno Latour‘s (1993) seminal
account of the ontological architecture of modernity, the paper assumes that in very different
ways both ‗social‘ and ‗natural‘ science methods are deeply shaped by and perpetually re-
inscribe the persistent dualisms of modern knowledge, not least the social/natural and
human/nonhuman divides; in doing so they each give ontological identity to the other – they are
‗co-productive‘ (Jasanoff, 2004). Against this background, the paper extends Karin Knorr
Cetina‘s (1999) conception of scientific knowledge-formations as ‗epistemic cultures‘, in order
to grasp the complex and developing repertoire of cultural primatology as a hybrid
‗methodological culture‘ on the unstable and contested boundary between the social and the
natural. It shows how this liminal position renders it full of inner tensions and transgressive
potential, reflected for example its uneasy conjunction of experimental methods with field
observation. The paper reflects on what light the history of social science epistemology can
shed upon such dilemmas, as well as upon the reflexive implications for social science

Measuring Cultural Value: A View from DCMS
Dave O‘Brien, Department for Culture Media and Sport

Current debates around cultural value have presented a variety of ways to understand the
meaning and value of engaging with culture in contemporary society. Currently the UK
government has adopted methodologies that are based on frameworks drawn from economics,
particularly contingent valuation and associated methods. However there is still much debate,
particularly from within the arts and cultural sector, as to the validity of these methodologies
and their appropriateness for understanding culture.

In light of these issues the AHRC/ESRC fellowship has placed an academic within the UK‘s
Department for Culture, Media and Sport to assist on the latest research into cultural value.
This paper presents findings from that fellowship, exploring how attempts to construct valuation
methods have to negotiate and synthesise the worldviews of the arts and cultural sector,
government and also the academic community. The paper discusses the longstanding tension
between instrumental and intrinsic forms of value, before moving to consider DCMS current
thinking on the best ways to fully capture what individuals and communities gain from
participating in cultural activities. The paper places particular emphasis on the search for
validity within methods that are designed to satisfy the very different criteria of three contrasting

The paper will be of interest to social scientists working on methods for understanding value, as
well as for arts and cultural practitioners interested in how the government understands, and
gathers data on, the value of culture in contemporary Britain

The Role of Social and Human Science Methods and New Digital Technology in Socio-
economic Ecological Analysis: An Example of Interdisciplinary Research between Social
Anthropology Practices GIS and Value Mapping in Val di Ledro (Italian Alps)
Cristina Orsatti, Center for Innovation, Italy & R. Scolozzi

GIS have a bi-dimensional view. They can underpin social information while providing the
spatialisation of social information. They are good to organise territorial data but do not identify
the territorial context of reference, practices and dynamics of the place investigated, unless an
ecological analysis is performed and ecosystemic data are gathered. Dealing with the social
perception of space value mappings adds some insight to geographical analysis and the
cultural perception of space. However, space is not just or only ―physical‖ or ―natural‖ but social,
political and cultural. In this paper we wish to discuss the agency of social science in shaping
economic, social and cultural change, with the support of GIS and value mapping in the light of
field work in Val di Ledro (Italian Alps).

The exploratory pilot study started in the summer 2009 with anthropological and interdisciplinary
tools (interviews, participant observations, GIS mapping, statistics) in an area where socio-
economic studies are almost absent. From our field work, social anthropology practices and
categories have enhanced and improved geographical and eco system analysis at least in the
following ways:
      identifying places, perceptions and values
      developing a better under standing of the context to analyse and map
      providing ways of interpreting places and their mutual relationships

On the contrary GIS have enhanced social anthropological analysis by providing a topology of
practices. The importance of field work and contextual analysis are seen as an epistemological
necessity to examine how ―sited‖ territorial practices relate to ―global‖ dynamics of resilience at
different scales and to elicit world views and political economic models behind specific
development practices.

The Narratives Behind the Numbers: Young People Answering Survey Questions about
Alcohol and Drugs
Jeanette Østergaard, The Danish National Centre for Social Research

The aim of this paper is to discuss how to take into account that behind every answer to a
survey question is a narrative. Or, in the words of Abbott (1997, 1998), how to incorporate that
sociological explanations should be concerned with social relations and social process (i.e.
narrative) at the same time as it aims to measure social reality (i.e. positivism). Inspired by
Becker (2007), I argue that two ordered forms of representation are performed when
conducting quantitative analysis based on survey studies. The first order of representation
refers to how participants respond or interpret a survey question and the second order of
representation refers to the interpretation of the statistical results. The key aspect is how to take
the first order of representation into account when interpreting the second order of
representation. Empirically the paper compares results from 12 focus group interviews where
young people tested selected survey questions later used for a representative survey about
alcohol and drug use collected among 3000 young Danes aged 17-19. Cognitive interviews
techniques - think-aloud and verbal probing - were applied to test the specific survey questions
in focus group interviews. The paper illustrates how these otherwise individualised interview
techniques are useful to bring out the narrative behind the survey questions when they are
used in a social setting that emphasises social interaction. This way the paper also makes a
methodological contribution to how to apply mixed methods when formulating and testing
survey questions. The paper ends by discussing whether insights of first order interpretation
are useful when researchers conduct second order representation, in particular if we, as Becker
argues, want to reflect on how a (survey) method is not only a neutral tool to capture ‗reality‘
but also a way of constructing the very objects studied.

Researcher as Director: Research in the Visual Frame
Marta Rabikowska, University of East London

Doing research with a video camera is both an act of fantasising and an act of political
persuasion. When chosen by a researcher to probe the method in a process of self-reflection,
film-making represents what we call today practice-based research. The aims and objectives of
such research play a role of the guardian – frequently being a disposer of the research grant -
who has to verify the allegiance between methods and conceptual framing, otherwise filming
escapes the supervision of academia and becomes a liberated activity performed for its own
satisfaction and the director‘s personal fulfilment. Nevertheless, a position of the academic
researcher who applies filming as a method of communicating research findings is that of a
director on location. It requires some knowledge of cinematographic effects, experience in
working with the actors and control over postproduction, but most of all it imposes the
awareness of the consequences of translating the object of research into the filmic audio-visual
discourse. Thus it differs from classical ethnographic video recording of practices, and from
creating filmic evidence that accompanies research conseptualised for textual dissemination.
Producing research in a cinematographic form has to be preceded by visualising the findings
on all stages: while they are being designed, collected and disseminated. Therefore this
process should be considered as the act of (pre)seeing and (pre)hearing of the results in which
our senses are involved and where knowledge of visual cinematographic composition is
In this presentation I will reflect on my own position of a director on location of film-based
research, where I have to make political decisions to articulate the theoretical underpinnings of
the script, focused on the everyday life of immigrants, whilst making decisions regarding the
filming style. I will compare two styles of seeing-directing: direct cinema, applied to a self-
funded project, and observational documentary, employed in a publically funded project, which
require epistemologically different forms of participation from the director and the ‗actors‘
involved. I will analyse the social relationships between them as the ground where methods
acquire social life and become part of cultural performance. ‗Seeing‘ through ‗the edit to come‘
will be defined as participatory ethnographic method, where ethics and aesthetics fall into a
political conjuncture, historically and ideologically charged. Finally, following Michael Renov
(1993), the editor of Theorising Documentary, I will argue for a critical video practice which
remains sensitive to the relations of power between the researcher and the object of research,
with the emphasis on the embodied experience of ‗seeing‘, and the polarisation between
poetical and political, articulated in the texture of representation.

A Measure for Human Dignity and Health: The Development of Quantitative Indicators to
Monitor the Implementation of the Right to Health
David Reubi, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

The paper examines recent international efforts to construct qualitative indicators to help
assess progress in implementing the human right to health. The paper starts by mapping out
the political topography in which these efforts have taken place. It studies, in particular, the re-
emergence of discourses on human rights and health from the late 1980s onwards. It also
examines the increasing importance of the practice of reporting in the field of international
human rights. While reporting has long been used in this field, the recent obligation for
governments to annually report on their efforts to implement human rights to ad hoc United
Nations‘ commissions have made this practice a key method to judge a country‘s ethical
credentials. The paper then analyses how experts in statistics, human rights and health policy
have constructed a qualitative indicator for the right to health. It examines, in particular, which
criterions they thought were reflective of an environment where human dignity and health are
respected and promoted and which criterions they thought were not reflective of such an
environment. It also studies the advantages and disadvantages of human rights indicators
envisaged by these different experts. The paper concludes by exploring what such an indicator
might mean for our understandings of human rights and dignity.

On Edge: Tools for an Anthropology of Precarity
Madeleine Reeves, CRESC, University of Manchester

This paper proceeds from two empirical dilemmas which have arisen during my research into
the illegalization of migrant labour in urban Russia. Firstly, how to do descriptive justice to the
gradations of legal residence and labour that my respondents described: of being ―legal
enough‖ to get by; of having ―clean fake‖ registration documents; of living as the ―ghost‖ of a
deceased (but still registered) tenant; or of having ―illegal‖ documents authorized by state
officials? Secondly, how to do methodological justice to the feelings that such legal precarity
create: of fear and uncertainty; of living and working ―on edge‖ with the ever-constant risk of
deportation; but also of hope and sense of abandon; of possibility and thrill. I argue in this
paper that whilst anthropology has increasingly dedicated attention to what De Geneova has
called the ―legal production of migrant illegality‖ through analysis of the economic and political
logics that illegalize migrant work and residence, it has been less concerned the ways in which
legal regimes and structures of feeling coincide, nor to the tools which we might use to ―sense
the political‖(Navaro-Yashin, 2003) in contemporary states, including in states that thrive on the
production of legal exceptions. The paper argues that part of the reason for this silence is
methodological: that critical migration studies has developed primarily through textual and
institutional critique, rather than from an exploration of the way in which precarity comes to be
embodied and lived: shaping bodily comportment, structuring habitual reactions and mediating
social relations with officials and friends. Engaging with the conference‘s thematic concern
with ―transformative practice‖, the paper asks what an anthropology of precarity might look like;
how we might attend methodologically to the varieties of lived experiences of migrant labour –
including work and life that is in-between ―legal‖ and ―illegal‖ domains; and how such methods
might contribute to critiquing the binaries (of legal/illegal; documented/undocumented) that still
tend to dominate in the classification and analysis of migrant labour.

The Political Life of Methods in the IIASA: The International Construction of Scientific
Governance during the Cold War
Egle Rindzeviciute, University of Gothenburg

The paper presents findings of a pilot study of the role of technoscience in the formation of
global governance as revealed in the case of the International Institute of Applied Systems
Analysis (IIASA), a body established during the Cold War for collaboration between communist
and capitalist blocs in areas of pressing ‖global problems‖. This collaboration could be achieved
only through the medium of a strong and neutral mediator. The role of IIASA was to generate
quantitative methods and computer-based technologies to be used by governments and NGOs
in ‖global governance‖. MacKenzie (2007) and Law (2009) suggested that technologies and
scientific methods are performative in the sense that they contribute towards enacting the
reality that they claim to describe. Porter (1995) argued that quantitative methods reinforce,
compensate and sometimes replace authority in policy making. Which methods, technologies
and sciences were recognised as ‖strong‖ enough to bridge the East-West conflict? On the
basis of archival research and in-depth interviews with scientists and administrators at IIASA,
this study analyses the history of IIASA as a mechanism which simultaneously constructed both
the political neutrality of the technosciences and the political itself.

I Spy with my Little Eye … Interpreting Visualizations
Caroline Roth-Ebner, University of Klagenfurt

Although techniques based on visual data are considered to be appropriate especially for
media research due to the aesthetic character of the media, visual methods are new
approaches in the field of qualitative research.

One example is the method of visualizing which is realized in addition to qualitative interviews.
With this approach, the interviewees produce drawings which answer particular questions after
the interviews. Afterwards, the drawings are explained verbally by the interviewees.
This contrastive approach provides the possibility to capture also unconscious messages.
Moreover, the pictures serve to illustrate what has been said in the interview or to discover

The challenge, however, is to cope with the visual data. The visualizations produced by the
interviewees are texts which implicate certain meanings. Due to the polysemantics of pictures,
they are difficult to decode. One drawing can contain more information than hundreds of sheets
of paper because they conceal a complex structure of symbols, meanings, thoughts, emotions,
values, biographical information, desires, dreams and fantasies. This leads to the question of
how to arrange for an interpretation which is close to the subjective reality of the interviewees
and makes a comparison of the pictures possible. My suggestion is a decoding concept,
consisting of a set of questions which leads to a systematic analysis of the visual messages.

Using the example of a study by myself which investigates media consumption among young
people in relation to their constructions of identity, the decoding concept will be presented in my
lecture. Additionally, epistemological questions concerning visualizations as sources of insight
are discussed as well as the role of the researcher who is constructing reality in the process of
seeing and interpreting.

From Community Studies to Community Studies: How a Methodological Innovation
Redefined the Social World of Post-war Britain
Robyn Rowe, London School of Economics and Politics

Established in Bethnal Green, East London in 1953, the Institute of Community Studies (ICS)
became a major influence on the direction of social research and policy, generating such
monuments as the Open University. With the purpose of conducting independent, policy-
oriented research around the needs of often-voiceless people – a new idea at the time – its
founding members developed the community study as a research tool ―to get at the detail of
people‘s lives‖. Before the war, community studies had become a popular amateur pursuit:
under the ICS the community study became a professional, systematic method with a specific
conceptual framework. Unlike those conducted by previous generations, the new community
study demanded total immersion in a local area. It drew on the language of psychology and
anthropology to enhance the precision of its description, which was supplemented with
quantitative data. The studies painted vivid and unexpected pictures of British communities,
they highlighted significant differences between received sociological theories of post-industrial
society and the realities of daily life, and, as I will argue, they shaped the way a generation
understood social research, the constituent parts of contemporary British society, and the
meaning of ‗community‘.

Though the contributions of some of the Institute‘s more famous individual researchers and
policy proposals have been recognized, the extent to which the ICS revolutionized research
and the implications of this revolution have remained unexplored. Focusing on the period 1954
- 1964, this paper uses a detailed analysis of a range of archival sources, many of which have
never been examined, alongside publications and interviews to show that the innovations, and
very foundation, of the ICS were significant sources of broader methodological and conceptual
change in social research. It further argues that an investigation of the goals and methods of
the new community study, as well as the reception and wider relevance of the studies
produced, provides a deeper understanding of a set of ideas that key British policy-makers,
social and cultural theorists of the past half century have drawn on in their use of ‗community‘.

Who‟s Performance? Government Transactional Databases and the Politics of
Evelyn Ruppert, The Open University

The UK Department of Education and Children‘s Services has implemented what is known as
the Every Child Matters (ECM) program. The ECM establishes protocols and practices for all
local authorities in regards to the design and operation of databases and assessment
frameworks for integrating and managing data on children and young people. The data is
drawn from numerous local and central government agencies such as education, health,
counselling and probation. Through information sharing across government agencies and
services, the developmental progress of children is tracked through three separate but
interrelated devices: the ContactPoint database, the Common Assessment Framework (CAF)
and the Integrated Children‘s System (ICS). Together the devices categorise children along a
continuum from having no additional needs to having additional needs or complex needs. The
location of a child on this continuum is a measure of the likelihood of the child committing
crime, failing at school, becoming pregnant in their teens, becoming ‗socially excluded‘ or ‗at
risk‘ of abuse or neglect. I will explore how the three devices register conduct and activities in
relation to governing authorities and work vitalistically - they assess the relative health of the
population of children and are then used to intervene and prevent or pre-empt children yet to
be. However, at the same time, I question whether these devices are measures of the
performance of the population of children or of the state itself. For while the ECM is intended ‗to
promote better outcomes for children, young people and their families,‘ I explore how these
devices indicate the will of the state and are recursive - the state defines and identifies relevant
measurements and patterns which are in effect registers of how the state has intervened (or
not) in the social. They are thus a measurement of the state‘s performance in relation to
children, a recursive account of how governments have intervened (or not) and shaped (or not)

Mobilizing Performance as Visual Method: The Kyle Project
Brian Rusted, University of Calgary

In an interview for the Journal of Visual Culture, Peggy Phelan was asked, ―what can
performance Studies tell Visual Studies…‖ (2003 p. 292). Phelan conceded the complexity of
the question and responded by way of an analogy: Visual Studies needs to clarify and maintain
disciplinary boundaries in ways similar to Performance Studies. She did not offer a
methodological response, what paradigms of performance might bring to the study of the
visual. This paper is an exploration of a methodological effort to bring performance to bear on
visual culture.

Launched in 1913, the S.S. Kyle travelled the Labrador coast transporting freight, passengers
and health services until it slipped its moorings and ran aground in the late 1960s. The Kyle
linked communities accessible only by water and in so doing earned a place in the folk memory
of the region. Built in Scotland and named after the Kyle of Tongue, the Kyle was one of what
came to be known as the ―alphabet fleet‖, coastal freighters that serviced Newfoundland and
Labrador during the colony‘s independence and immediately following its confederation with
Canada (Hanrahan 2007; McGrath 1984).

For two years in the 1940s, my father travelled on the Kyle and left photographs, diaries, and
home movies of the experience. At various times he tried to edit the film footage and revise his
diaries into manuscript form in a restless, unresolved process of translation: handwriting to
type, film to video, snapshot photos to digital media.
Today the S.S. Kyle is a rusting hulk visible on Google maps, and if 500+ Flickr images are any
indication, it enjoys a (fleeting) new life as a tourist spectacle, a spatialization of memory. The
Kyle Project is a performance of these resources, an attempt both personal and public to
engage memory, place and decay through the vessel‘s visual documentation and
transformation. How is it that the fluid, mobile character of memory is laid to rest by the identity
needs that produce a sense of place?

Drawing on emerging, creative research practices (Leavy 2008), the effort to bring performance
into conjunction with visual culture is informed by Ulmer‘s notions of mystoriography (1989),
Pollock‘s notions of performative writing (1998), recent elaborations of autoethnography
(Bochner and Ellis 2000; Pelias 2004), site-specific performance practices (Pearson 2007), and
digital storytelling (Couldry 2008). The paper demonstrates that making and using visual culture
are embodied social practices better

From States to Trajectories to Life Courses? What Sequence Analysis Can Discover and
What It Covers Up
Mike Savage & Simone Scherger, CRESC, University of Manchester

This paper reflects on the partial take up of sequence analysis in the Social Sciences and how
this method tries to visualise the life course. We consider the development of sequencing
methods in the work of Andrew Abbott and their potential for critiquing the ‗linear model‘ but
consider how they have actually being incorporated into the social sciences over the past two

We unpack what actually happens when sequence analysis is applied by referring to an
example from research: What kind of decisions do the different steps of conducting such an
analysis imply, and what do they mean in terms of reducing the complexity of ―whole‖ life
courses? What is left out and what is left in? This will be compared to how the method is used
in biology and to how other social science methods trying to capture life course processes
(including qualitative ones ) work.

„Here I stand, I can do no other‟: Consumer Research Methods and their Religious
Ontologies, 1900 – 1950
Stefan Schwarzkopf, Copenhagen Business School

Following and adapting Carl Schmitt‘s version of political theology, I argue that some
techniques of the consumer market order have their origin in secularized religious techniques.
One of the keystones of the political economy of market capitalism is the sacrosanct status of
the expressed wishes of the consumer. These wishes and desires, as statements expressed in
the market, have the same ontological status as the apostolic creed, the statement of Christian
beliefs, in the religious order of Christianity. Based on this hypothesis, I trace the role of
religious notions of ‗judgment‘, ‗consciousness‘ and ‗freedom of choice‘ in the making of
consumer research methods at the beginning of the twentieth century. I argue that those
research methods that relate to the political economy of market capitalism needed to make
intuitive sense to those who developed them and advocated their use in public life. Early
promoters of consumer research methods such as the questionnaire technique, the focus
group, consumer panels, consumer juries etc., relied heavily on religious rhetoric in order to
embed these untried methods in the capitalist market order and create public legitimacy for
them. By the interwar years, the political economy of capitalism increasingly demanded more
consumer focus. Companies came under competitive pressure to relinquish parts of their
controls over resources and transfer these controls to anonymous, aggregate consumer
demand by investigating consumers‘ preferences. At the same time, the moral economy of
capitalism was still very much structured around notions of authority and business leaders
abhorred the idea of referring decisions over market offerings to the anonymous crowd. Early
British and American advocators of market and consumer research often came from a specific
religious background and they used a protestant religious rhetoric, one that foregrounded the
almost sacred status of the individual consciousness and of individual judgment, in order to
create legitimacy around new, costly, untested, risky, and potentially unreliable social research
methods in a business environment.

The Device: What Kinds of Device Have Come to Play an Important Historical Role, and
Which Have Failed?
Ian Shaw, University of York

The focus of this paper is on the illumination an early historical episode throws on the nature
and implications of the affinity of social research and urban life. I revisit Frederick Thrasher‘s
iconic 1920s study of Chicago gangs by tracing the social networks within which he worked;
and reviewing the way he used data. This enables an illustration of three general claims. First,
it paints a probably unwitting picture of a community of civic and scholarly enterprise marked by
mutual reciprocity and a sense of shared endeavour even if not agreed standpoints. Second,
The Gang affords a record of urban research practice. In doing so, it points up the continuities
and sharp discontinuities between social science research then and now. Finally Thrasher‘s
work, along with other sociological research at Chicago in the 1920s, included a welfare and
interventionist mission. I will draw conclusions regarding social work theorizing of urban life,
and the relationship between social work and sociology.

Constructing the Social: Transforming Research Methods into Reflexive Practice and a
Praxis of Empowerment
Jeffrey Stevenson Murer, University of St Andrews

Research methods are forms of practice, socially embedded, linguistically constituted and
socially constructed. They are modes of praxis for inquiry, contributing to social understanding,
as opposed to the oft- presented language of object-like ‗tools‘ in a research ‗tool kit‘, whereby
questions of methodology are treated in purely instrumental or technical terms. By approaching
modes of inquiry as practice, the subjectivity of both the inquirer and the inquired can be
mutually enhanced. In such an intersubjective exchange the social quality of research can best
be realised, as methodology changes to praxis. This paper explores psycho-dynamically
informed methods of conducting research among hidden populations, who often avoid
participating in social research for fear of being objectified or reduced to a singular behavioural
practice or trait. It is this very act of objectification that destroys and denies subjectivity;
creating research strategies that preserve or even enhance the subjectivity of the inquired is
social research at its best. Such research necessitates the creation of open spaces for
respondents by not limiting the response ranges to pre-determined choices or prompting
respondents with a nod toward a normatively preferential choice. These open spaces can be
created through the idiom of engagement found in the psychodynamic therapeutic alliance.
This type of engagement focuses on the respondent, and just as any interview violates the
norms of ―polite‖ social discourse, the therapeutic alliance idiom makes no pretence to being a
regular conversation. It is a special kind of dialogue characterised by profound empathy and
careful and energetic listening of both participants‘ parts. Such a method joins the reflexivity of
social research called for by Pierre Bourdieu with the linguistic frames of Ken Gergen‘s social
constructivist social psychology.

Photography in a Minor Tradition: Afterimages of Steel
Dan Swanton, University of Edinburgh

The paper examines one way in which visual methods might be enrolled to deal with, and
enact, the multiplicity and liveliness of industrial remains in Dortmund, Germany. The paper
draws inspiration from two sources: Walter Benjamin‘s convoluted writings on the afterimages
of capitalist modernity in his Arcades Project; and images produced by Haiko Hebig – a
Dortmund photographer working in a minor tradition of ‗salvage photography‘ and a modern-
day rag picker scouring the remnants of the post-industrial landscape. Through Hebig‘s unruly
personal archive and the afterimages of steel it produces, the paper seeks to disrupt
conventional relations between visual material and text in social science methods. Using
photographs as a provocation or catalyst, the paper assembles a fragmented and stuttering
account that evokes the materiality, textures, co-habitations and memories of Dortmund‘s post-
industrial landscape. Hebig‘s images aggravate stories of another post-industrial landscape in
Dortmund: stories of exploitation and desertion as capitalism and modernisation pile up as the
detritus of history; stories of the decline of Germany‘s ‗molecular empire‘; stories of diverse
forms of social, biological and chemical life cohabiting; stories of different tactics of
remembering, preserving and erasing industrial heritage; stories about the liveliness and
obduracy of certain materials; and so on. The hope is that these afterimages inspire different
engagements with, and understandings of, the post-industrial landscape. They offer a resource
for attending to the lively materiality and many afterlives of industrial remains, and interfere with
the manufactured pasts mobilised in Dortmund to promote an urban renaissance.

„Any-instant-whatever‟: Analysing The Wire (Series 4) Through a Deleuzian Conceptual
and Visual Lens
Carol Taylor, Sheffield Hallam University

For Deleuze and Guattari (1991) philosophy is the creation of concepts which can be ‗put to
work‘ in the examination of a problem. Concepts are ‗intensities‘ which ‗work or don‘t work‘.
This paper outlines what a Deleuzian conceptual framework has to offer to an understanding of
visual texts. As such, it aims to put Deleuzian concepts to work in relation to extending an
understanding of visual methods in social science. The paper grounds its consideration of a
Deleuzian-inspired visual sociology with reference to Series 4 of The Wire.

The Wire is a HBO US television series which ran from 2002 to 2008. In the UK the series has
been shown on BBC2 to critical acclaim, it was a popular release on DVD, has been the subject
of an extensive Guardian guide, has been approved by academic sociologists as reinvigorating
public sociology, and has been the subject of a recent UK interdisciplinary social science
conference (CRESC, 2009). Set in East and West Baltimore, each series of The Wire focuses
on a wider set of characters, while remaining centered on those from the Black communities
whose social experiences are determined by the drugs trade, to explore the intricate networks
and complex relations between individuals, institutions (Police, Media, Education) and wider
local and global social, economic and political forces.

The paper draws on key texts from Deleuze (1986; 1989; 1994; 1999, 2006) and Deleuze and
Guattari (1987; 1991) to develop a framwork for the visual analysis of Series 4 of The Wire in
relation to subjectivity and social worlds, the micropolitics of social and cultural resistance, and
the problematics of visual representation of the multiplicities of ‗race‘ and gender in education.
To explore these themes the paper focuses on:
     The case of Prezbuluski and the norms, values and affects of becoming-teacher
     Rhizome, event and assemblage as philosophical tools to understand the relations
        between the molar and molecular in educational social practice
     Nomadology, subjectivity and strategies of resistance: context, location and immanence
        (‗race‘ and gender in the ‗alternative‘ school)
The paper considers the methodological advantages to be gained from using a Deleuzian-
inspired visual sociology and ends with some pedagogic considerations and recommendations
in using visual methods.

What Counts as Data? Capturing and Accounting for Affect and Non-linguistic Elements
in a Qualitative Research Project
Lois Tonkin, University of Canterbury

This presentation will draw on a doctoral study in progress of the experience of women in their
late 30‘s/early 40‘s who are 'contingently childless'; that is women who have always seen
themselves as having children but find themselves at the end of their natural fertility without
having done so for (at least initially) social rather than biological reasons. The incidence of
unintentional childlessness in women who have, as popular comment puts it, "left it too late", is
rising markedly in many western nations yet the experience is not well understood. It raises
issues around identity, embodiment, time, narrativity, beliefs about and metaphors of infertility,
and disenfranchised grief.

Individual and group interviews and participant- produced drawings have produced data rich in
affect. The challenge is to find methodologically creative and innovative ways to move beyond
the limits of text based methods to capture and account for responses – both conscious and
unconscious – that are often expressed non-linguistically; in tears, sighs, laughter, unexpected
links in the narrative and so forth. The discussion will be illustrated by examples from the study.

Software, Software Everywhere! The Dark Side of Data Digitization
Emma Uprichard, University of York

Recently, Savage and Burrows have argued that the ubiquitous processes of digitization of
data in the contemporary social world have led to an ‗empirical crisis‘ in the social sciences.
Here, their argument is extended to suggest that another impending crisis lies in the fact that
the ‗digital turn‘ involves the increased reliance on software as an intrinsic part of the analytical
devices that are used to understand the social. In particular, it is argued that both the rate of
change of existing software and the seemingly constant emergence of new software pose three
serious challenges to social scientists. First, as each new method in the context of a changing
social world ‗pushes‘ the need for new and software, researchers increasingly struggle to keep
up with these changes. Secondly, understanding the effects of this proliferation of digital data in
and on the social world arguably requires a multi-method approach. Yet in this increasingly
software driven world of methodological exploration, multi-method approaches become
increasingly problematic, as researchers strive simply to keep up with changes within one lot of
software. Thirdly, students increasingly risk being taught ‗outdated‘ modes of social research,
since the pedagogical implications of the digital turn require that teachers become ‗software
guides‘ at the same time as ‗method and methodology guides‘. Collectively, these problems
cause a recursive ‗time lag‘ between researchers and the world they are seeking to research,
and an inter-generational disjuncture between methodology teachers and their students. The
paper concludes by speculating how sociology might respond to these issues through a dual
focus on the inscription devices that are at the heart of a growing body of empirical social
research and the role of the methodologist in sociology more generally.

Watching TV: Frame-analysis of Ones Everyday Practice
Victor Vakhshtayn, Higher School of Economics Moscow

Peculiar feature of modern media studies lies in its inability to describe conceptually (and
grasp methodologically) the very situation of contact between ―recipient‖ of TV-message and
the message itself. Most of marketing based researches are focused either on ―content‖
(usually tested with focus groups) or on ―audience‖ (reified in survey results and people
meter readings). Methodological abyss separates ―researches of content‖ from ―researches
of audience‖. However that distinction hides from sociological gaze an interaction between
two active agents: televiewer and TV set. As soon as the triangle ―message – context –
recipient‖ is reduced to the dichotomy ―message – recipient‖ this heterogeneous interaction
is no longer perceived as relevant for research. Thereby situational context of such
interaction (a room with TV set working) appears as non-transparent black box (B. Latour,
J. Law, M. Callon).Our initial question: what is the grammar of heterogeneous and framed
―human – TV interaction‖? What are the frames (in E. Goffman‘s definition) and regimes of
involvement in them? How the process of agency distribution and delegation is organized?
What are the roles of human and non-human actants? In other words, what is the ―missing
mass‖ of media studies methods?

In purpose to answer these questions we organized a series of field experiments (with
support of ―Leo Bernet Group - Russia‖ media holding). Everyday practices of interaction
with TV were video-taped in Muscovites‘ apartments. We use key conceptualization of ANT
and frame-analysis as theoretical framework for empirical material interpretation. In our
conference presentation we‘d like to use these experimental results in order to raise question
about ―ontological policy‖ (J. Law) of media studies methods.

Researcher as „The Seen‟ and Implications for Methodology
Ariadne Van de Ven & Sanna Nissinen, The Open University

As a method, photography has a complex social life. When the social sciences discuss visual
data, how these data came into existence is often ignored. In this paper we argue that making a
photograph of another human being is of necessity an interaction between the human being in
front of the lens and the human being behind the camera. This interaction has an indelible
effect on the resulting photograph.

The orthodox view, usually expressed in the concept of ‗the gaze‘, is that the camera objectifies
and ‗exploits‘ its subjects. Unless the photographer goes to extraordinary lengths to be
‗invisible‘, however, the persons in front of the lens keep their individual agency over their
appearance, expression, gestures. In fact, the camera creates a stage around itself in which
the photographer is as much an actor as the people in front of the lens are: performativity
includes the photographer.

The concept of the gaze has essentialised the power relation through the camera as one in
which the photographer has all the control and the subject has none. In any photograph, both at
the point of its creation and in its life as visual data, there is a great deal that escapes the
intentions of the photographer, and this is precisely where the social life of this visual method
has its transformative potential.

These methodological issues and implications are explored through the photographs of Ariadne
van de Ven, who has been making photographs in the streets of Kolkata, and data from an
ethnographic case study of her work by Sanna Nissinen. The paper aims to explore the power
relations and the agency of the human and nonhuman actors in the process of image-making,
often unexamined in prevailing photographic and anthropological theories.

Alternative Public Understandings of Flu Pandemics: Looking for Data in Less Obvious
Farida Vis, Loughborough University

Whilst both the mainstream media and popular scientific depictions of pandemics are
worthwhile and important research topics, the proliferation of digital data has given rise to the
possibility for the analysis of valuable research material found in unexpected places. Scholars
should take the opportunity to explore such places, whilst encouraging themselves to reach
beyond the limitations of their traditional methodologies.

I am interested in these less obvious, yet powerful, knowledge practices engaged in online that
form part or our everyday experiences. Moreover, how they can be linked to wider
mediatizations of flu pandemics. Specifically, I will focus on contributions to such knowledge
practices by considering purchasing behaviour and transactional data on Amazon, the online
Any Amazon title includes information about books frequently bought together, what else
customers bought, reviews, books related to the topic, what customers ultimately bought after
viewing this item. There is the possibility to tag the book (for example ‗bird flu‘), which could
lead to lively discussion forums, collectively constructed lists, details of contributors and their

Considering these online transactions, and accompanying information networks, this paper is
influenced by Mark Deuze et al‘s recent contribution that proposes that we ‗begin thinking with
a view of life not lived with media, but in media‘. This so called ‗media life‘ perspective, ‗starts
from the realization that the whole of the world and our lived experience in it can be seen as
framed by, mitigated through and made immediate by (immersive, integrated, ubiquitous and
pervasive) media‘ (2010: 1)

Whilst work is required on how different publics come to understand and know about global
crises, how they are mediatized, and how different publics take an increasingly more
participatory role in this information gathering and processing, this paper sets out to gain an
insight via a different access point, by highlighting the important role of emerging online
knowledge practices born out of everyday transactional exchanges that influence our
understanding of global crises.

Overcoming the Challenges of Digital Video Data: Cross-disciplinary Methods for
Farida Vis, Loughborough University & Mike Thelwall, University of Wolverhampton

With the current proliferation in digital and online data, both textual and visual, social scientists
face a steep challenge. This paper focuses specifically on the new opportunities for visual
researchers within media and communication. With current rapid developments within the
global media ecology and the incredible rise of so called social media platforms such as
Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, media researchers interested in socio-cultural change have
the chance to exploit social media but may be limited by the traditional methodologies of their
field. This can be avoided by seeking methods from elsewhere and building collaborations with
those in areas where large-scale data processing is commonplace.

This paper highlights the methodological innovation that arose out of such a cross-disciplinary
collaboration on a project that studied video responses on YouTube. Focusing on corpus
selection, automated coding of metadata, downloading and archiving videos, it looks at the
software currently available for such analysis and highlights the limitations for such studies with
the field of media and communication. Through this collaboration limitations in both fields were
revealed, however. Whilst computer and information sciences are largely quantitative and able
to deal with very large data sets they are not well equipped to relate results back to specific
social issues or place them within a specific cultural setting. Media scholars therefore need to
lead this type of project, but also need to be sensitive to the availability of new types of insight,
such as from the range of types of textual data available for many YouTube videos. This
includes user comments as well as video creator and viewer demographic information. The
paper thus argues for the increased importance and necessity of such collaborative work, in
solving not only potential methodological obstacles but for developing new interpretative toolkits
to research social media as an important site for better understanding socio-cultural change.

The Science of the Syringe
Nicole Vitellone, University of Liverpool

In a special issue of the journal Addictions (1995) academics, researchers and health care
professionals debated the status of the empirical in socially orientated drugs research. A number
of researchers noted that our knowledge and understanding of drugs and drug users has
changed significantly since the 1980s. During the period post AIDS this shift is identified as a
consequence of the development of qualitative research methods. The qualitative turn in drugs
research involved a shift away form traditional epidemiological approaches to the pursuit of more
socially focused methods. Whilst qualitative research has yielded important data on risk behavior
the pursuit of new methods has not been without controversy. One of the main issues raised
concerned the scientific reliability of non-statistical data in addressing HIV transmission. In
response to the claim that qualitative data and social scientific research methodologies are
somewhat limited Rhodes and Moore (2001) pointed out that ethnographies of drug use in the
1990s provided the most challenging accounts of drug use in the twentieth century. In particular,
they argue medical anthropologists extend our understanding of drug use from the behavior of
individual users to socio-structural factors which are considered to be constitutive of drug use in
disadvantaged communities. In addressing the work of medical anthropologists and sociologists
this paper investigates the impact of qualitative research for the interpretation and analysis of
empirical data on syringe use. In particular, I examine the agency of qualitative methods for
producing knowledge of syringe users. In so doing I suggest Barad‘s (2007) methodological
approach offers critical insights for understanding the reality of injecting drug use.

'Now You See It, Now You Don't': What Kind of Visualization is an Installation?
Nina Wakeford, Britt Hatzius & Les Back, Goldsmiths, University of London

This paper will discuss a short research project on London cyclists, which was part of an
exploration of visual methods undertaken as part of the ongoing collaboration between People
and Practices Research (PaPR), a group based in the research section of Intel, and
researchers at Goldsmiths University based in the Sociology Department. Researchers at
PaPR were studying the meaning of time in relation to technological futures. During the one-
month project, called “Now You See It, Now You Don‟t”, fieldwork was carried out amongst both
bike messengers and bike commuters in order to investigate experiences of time and the city. A
variety of experimental methods were used in the collection of data, alongside more
conventional interviews and means of representing the lives of the participants in terms of
speed/slowness, mobility, work and the urban environment.

In this paper we show the variety of data collected, and focus on what turned out to be the most
distinctive aspect of the project – the act of presenting the research by travelling to Intel
corporate offices and creating an installation which comprised physical objects as well as still
and moving images, photographs and audio works. Building on the conventions within this
corporate research setting to produce digital rather than paper-based outputs (most usually a
set of powerpoint slides – Wakeford, 2007), we created a material intervention between and
within the office „cubes‟.

Sarah Pink has recently proposed a move towards a multisensory ethnography (2009).
Although our installation could be understood as fitting into this expanded sense of visual social
science practice, in this paper we also discuss the ways in which the installation functioned as
a way in which to destabilize the conventions around representation that are embedded in
much of visual sociology. In particular we focus on the multiplicity of different elements in the
installation and the specific conditions of site specificity that were used in its creation. Both the
visual culture of industry-based ethnographers (eg Anderson & Nafus, 2009) and the physical
structures of corporate offices were challenged by the installation.

Instrumental Ethnography and Intervention
Helen Verran, University of Melbourne & Brit Ross Winthereik, IT-University of Copenhagen

The popularity of ethnographic methods means that ethnography is no longer primarily carried
out by people with an ethnographic/anthropological training and it is no longer – not even within
anthropology - primarily carried out with the aim of collecting evidence for the origins and
complex sociocultural practices of a particular ethnos.
Ethnography has become instrumental in the sense that it has come to serve ends that lie
outside the purpose of contributing to discussions within the anthropological discipline. In STS
for example, ethnography often serves purposes defined in/by the world that is the object of
study (not the purposes of the scientific fields, in which it is employed as a technique for
knowledge production).
We may characterize the situation in which ethnography has become instrumental as a
services economy (Callon, Méadel and Rabeharisoa, 2002). In a services economy academic
knowledge has market value, which means that ethnography is often employed for
interventionist purposes, where the ethnographies are used to initiate change processes in the
fields under study. More often than not the choice for ethnography is backed by a firm belief in
the possibility of creating a situation, where all participants in a collaborative project can gain
from the ethnographic data produced even though they may use the ―raw data‖ for different
purposes (technology design, organizational change interventions or for social science

The purpose of our paper is to identify traits of an instrumental ethnography in STS and discuss
its ‗instrumentality‘. With reference to Steve Woolgar‘s (Woolgar, 1982) distinction between
reflexive and instrumental ethnography, feminist theory (Pyne Adelson, 1994) and newer
approaches in anthropology (Miyazaki, 2004) we suggest considering instrumental ethnography
a meaningful response to a global capitalist market where academic knowledge has a high
value. We argue that instrumental ethnography should not be considered a pale reflection of
‗real‘ ethnography, i.e. ethnography in anthropology, but it is a field that needs to move away
from a realist understanding of instrument, such as ‗the ethnographer‘.

In delimiting of ‗instrumental ethnography‘ as a methodological position within STS, we seek to
make an intervention that may better equip STS-ethnographers to enact differences about
differences made in the world. In line with anthropologist H. Miyazaki we seek to present ―a
modality of ethnographic engagement that is predicated not so much on objectification in the
sense of analysis or critique as on reception and response‖ (2004, p. 7, our emphasis).

Studying Social Norms: Comparing Methods in Sociology and Psychology with Agent-
Based Social Simulations (ABSS)
Maria Xenitidou & Corinna Elsenbroich, University of Surrey

This paper reviews the ways in which social norms have been studied in sociology and
social psychology focusing on the assumptions these were built on and the understandings
they helped to shape. We then consider the opportunities and challenges of using agent-
based social simulations (ABSS) to study social norms. We discuss how ABSS help to
challenge past ways of studying social norms and present particular agent-based models as
examples. Generally speaking, ABSS aims to capture social phenomena at both micro and
macro levels by investigating what macro-patterns may emerge from micro-interactions. As
regards social norms in particular, ABSS enables studying normative behaviour in a dynamic
way: as part of a complex of mechanisms and processes and as constantly shifting over time
and contexts. Finally, we reflect on the use of ABSS to study social phenomena, and
normative behaviour in particular, by scrutinising the agent-based models presented.

Making Ethnographic Collage: Toward Intermedial Ethnography
Ayaka Yoshimizu, Simon Fraser University

This paper reflects on my ethnographic study where I focused on poetic practice by Japanese
―war brides‖ in the United States and discusses multimodal ways in which I learned their
cultural knowledge, sensibility and epistemology of seeing. In my research, I found that in
singing their memories of homeland and everyday experiences of displacement in poetry, these
women often intertextually, or ―intermedially‖ (Lehtonen 2000; Fornäs 2002), borrowed visual
images shown on a satellite channel from Japan and translated it into their poetry in words.
While their poetry was expressed solely by words, it in fact constituted an intersection of a
number of different media texts. Furthermore, the women‘s poetry worked on my memory and
evoked a series of vivid images and invited sensuous reactions. Their poetry was experienced
like haiga, or haiku painting, an old Japanese art form that involves collaborative work by poets
and painters, although the images in this case were virtual ones and never realized in any
material forms.
Based on my findings, this paper points a direction toward multimodal and ―intermedial
ethnography‖ that is more sensitive than conventional ethnography to the transnational
experiences of cultural memory that is provoked in the encounter between the ethnographer
and the informants. In proposing this I draw on discussions on ―ways of seeing‖ that have
developed in the fields of visual culture studies (Mitchell 2002; Bal 2003) and visual
anthropology (Grimshaw 2001; MacDougall, 2006; Pink 2009). Here I suggest an active use
of available visual and non-visual materials in ethnography (e.g. words, photographs, films,
etc.) without essentializing relationships of the human senses to particular mediums.
Ultimately, I argue for ethnography that a) responds to the ways of seeing learnt from the
informants; b) is reflexive about the research process, and; c) allows creative, critical and
ethical engagements with the informants and its audience

Anthropology, Topology and Photography: Masaru Goto and the Japanese Burakumin‟s
(outcaste) Struggle for Social Equality
Ayelet Zohar, The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute

The discarded caste of burakumin is one of the most concealed taboos of Japanese society. As
part of the group‘s struggle for change, Masaru Goto‘s project nihonjin, burakumin offers a
complex strategy that reveals the painful situation. Goto, a photojournalist whose work is mostly
displayed in the printed media, chose an anthropological approach when working on this series,
a move that challenges the immediacy and directness of common photojournalism. Instead,
Goto used the methods of fieldwork and documented (quoted) interviews to complement his
images, so that the photographs and the texts are presented side by side to create sequences
of personal experience as a visual text that reveals the mundane and painful circumstances of
those who are denied of social freedom and equality. The anthropological method of the series,
combined with the topology of presence and the written information of the photographed, create
an inventory of the group as a collective that exists as part of the non-homogeneous texture of
Japanese society, beyond the collectively enforced myth of homogeneity and similarity. Goto‘s
socio-anthropological method of written interview and photographed reports, combined with the
topological strategy of the image collection is summed up to serve as an ethical critique of
Japanese society‘s agreed values, norms and practices.

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