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Session Overview
RN03_02: Methods of Analysis of Biographical Data
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Maggie ONeill, UCC
Location: GM.334
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Geoffrey Manton, Third Floor 4 Rosamond Street West Off Oxford Road

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Hearing, Heading and Holistically Analysing to 'See' That 'Unsaid' in Biographic Interviews

Hazel Rosemary Wright

Anglia Ruskin University, United Kingdom

In this paper I seek to share the benefits of holistic data analysis of biographical interviews, and of using both sociological and psychological perspectives, by offering several examples of occasions when this established new insights that went ‘beyond’ the words uttered.

As a researcher I had early learned to ‘do qualitative research differently’, to recognise when language was indicative of inner discomfort and capture this through conversation analysis (CA), to find ways to help participants unearth and share their newly sculpted truths. CA encourages data immersion and I find the lengthy involvement with each narrative frees the mind to think associatively and creatively, enabling new ideas to emerge; dramatically, as private epiphanies, more often seeping quietly into the consciousness.

For this paper I will share three specific examples. Firstly, an understanding gleaned after analysing 30+ interviews with adult students when, unable to write a focused education chapter, I realised I was missing the point entirely. Secondly, how searching for narrative structure – examples of emplotment – revealed that a seemingly irrelevant story was hugely informative about the person interviewed. And finally, a conversation about doctoral study where the student seemed only to want to tell me her family history. By letting the narrative run before asking why (it offered rich insights into class, gender and social regulation) and considering the interview holistically, we together uncovered the shackles of ‘imposter syndrome’, enabling her to breach these constraints. This was truly a case where biographical and therapeutic conversation converge, raising some interesting issues around the benefits and challenges of biographic interviewing and the importance of anticipating the unexpected.

Biographical Experiences of Transformation in the Cohort Born 1980-1990. A Case Analysis

Katarzyna Waniek

University of Lodz, Poland

Usually taken for granted “typologies” of contemporary Poles (“winners” and “losers”) in their simplified version do not really reflect complex and ambiguous biographical processes and their interplay with social processes in everyday life. Still, they have a real impact on social policies and media ways of explaining social reality. The analysis of the autobiographical narrative interview with Julia (compared with many other accounts of people born between 1980-1990) verifies this schematic image. It will be argued that the cohort (entering their adolescence period and later labour market) in a socio-cultural context framed by the dynamics of interrelated processes of political transformation, vibrant modernization, globalization, and development of neoliberal ideology has been the first one in Poland to be exposed to the deep and overwhelming biographical changes. They have been oftentimes connected with the feeling of biographical trap and the experience of precarious balance of everyday life that is a consequence of belonging to intensively multiplying social words with their divergent stocks of knowledge, clashing ideologies and conflicting moral standards. Additionally, we will deal with a biographical irony: Julia is both – a zealous propagator of allegedly universal attitudes of neoliberalism and a victim of this subtle mode of power. Her autobiographical account is not a story about the path to success, but about continuous efforts to maintain the precarious balance of everyday life and to deal with excluding logics of different social worlds as well as the constant necessity to suspend her own biographical plans. All these contradictions and tensions are seen in the renderings of many people born in the 80’s renderings, which are nonlinear, incoherent, emotionally overloaded and full of fading-out phenomena.

Global Migration And Local Communities: Social Solidarity And Collective Grievance With The Absent State In The Italian Island Of Lampedusa

Michela Franceschelli

UCL, United Kingdom

This paper takes its cue from the case of the Italian island of Lampedusa, to explore the question of how global migration affects the ‘social solidarity’ of local communities and, relatedly, what keeps their people together in face of fast social changes. Lampedusa, Italy’s southernmost territory, is the ideal context where to explore this question. As the first port of arrival for migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea, the island has turned from a tourist destination into a new symbolic place of the European migration debate. Based on interviews and ethnographic fieldwork, and disseminated by a film documentary, the research suggests that although Lampedusa is at the frontline of the European debate about migration, the concerns of Lampedusans are only marginally about migration. Instead, islanders address their grievance toward the Italian absent state, as expressed by a number of unresolved local issues, marking the island’s enduring marginality even under global attention.

Biographical Research in the Era of Big Data: СV Analysis of the Management Business Elite in Russia

Elena Rozhdestvenskaya

National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russian Federation

The report analyzes the educational and professional trajectories of social mobility of a special group of elites - general directors of leading companies (CEOs and directorates) of public joint-stock companies.The research methodology is a combination of cohort and event analysis. The study uses a CV or resume as a source of data: this is information about career trajectories, professional mobility and mapping of intra-industry and inter-industry relations of the social actor. The Moscow Exchange has been selected as a platform for the formation of the object of analysis of professional trajectories of the business and managerial elite with open information about open-stock companies-issuers. As a result, 646 CV (resume) of managers (CEOs) and members of the board / of directors from 50 public joint-stock companies were analyzed.The total sample was segmented by three main age cohorts: the eldest (60 years and above), the middle (41-59 years) and the younger (24-40 years).

The traditional type of career from the bottom up in one enterprise / corporation / industry with an increase in status and with a transition from the regional to the federal level is characteristic of more than half of the subsample of the CEO, these are mostly so-called technocrats, as well as the banking sector. The rest represent complex types of career, industry, position in the academy, the executive, and again in the economic sector. An important routing to the position of the CEO seems to be an early professional career with the experience of crossing the boundaries of industries and its subsequent conservation in certain leadership roles.

Second Order Sexual Harassment And Solidarity Networks In Universities

Ana Vidu1, Juanita Candamil2, Adriana Aubert3

1University of Deusto, Spain; 2University of Barcelona, Spain; 3University of Barcelona, Spain

Understanding sexual harassment from a wider perspective involves analysing Second Order of Sexual Harassment (SOSH) and its implications. From its first definition (Dziech & Weiner, 1990) SOSH raised awareness on the need to protect not only survivors but also those who actively support them. While sexual violence’ prevention and response actions have been broadly approached during the last decades, the role of SOSH for the overcoming of gender violence is still little explored. This paper pretends to fill this gap from the case of the Solidary Network of victims of gender violence within universities. It was created in 2013 facing the lack of institutional commitment with the first complaint against a professor for sexual harassment at a Spanish university. 14 victims dared to complain and followed the entire process, suffering from revictimization, among other effects. They could keep fighting because of the support gathered from other professors, who also suffered attacks because of standing with survivors, becoming second order of sexual harassment victims. While it is known that bystander intervention (Banyard et al, 2005) constitutes one of the most efficient mechanisms for action and prevention, bystanders protection is crucial. The efforts for combating sexual harassment have to contemplate SOSH while protecting direct and SOSH’s survivors. Aiming at contributing to overcoming sexual violence, the pioneer contribution described in this paper demonstrates the impact of approaching SOSH from considering biographical perspective as a way to empower survivors and to engage people into action; contributing to the agenda of sexual harassment eradication.

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