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The opinions expressed on this page are mine alone. Any similarities to the views of my employer are completely coincidental.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

IKEA wardrobes as a research method

A couple of posts ago I ventured the opinion that  sociology, as it actually exists, is not a coherent intellectual discipline. This seems obvious to me, but I know that a lot of people think it a provocative  exaggeration. After all universities have things called sociology degrees surely they have something in common?

Well let's consider the case of research methodology. That looks like a pretty codified area. After all there are text books purporting to tell you how to do research. Thought you knew how to do research? Wrong. You are way off the pace.  You need to catch up and retool and become cool. Perhaps participating in the Goldsmiths led Real Time Research network will help you to buck your ideas up. Throw away all your preconceptions and get yourself off to Coventry where you can sit in the middle of the Precinct inside what looks like a very small IKEA wardrobe (or wordrobe - geddit?). 

This was, apparently "...an extraordinary experiment in ways of artfully generating conversation and dialogue in public space...People were drawn to the devices, they provoked interest, curiosity and laughter" especially laughter I imagine. If you are minded to you can watch a 15 minute video of these intrepid "action researchers" in, well, action.

Harmless fun? Épater la bourgeoisie? All brought to you by a generous donation from the public purse via the ESRC's National Centre for Research Methods. And you wonder why sociology has a credibility problem?

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