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PhD Summer School 2018: Qualitative Methods and Data Analysis

PhD Summer School 2018: Qualitative Methods and Data Analysis


22.08.2018 kl. 12.00 - 24.08.2018 kl. 15.00


The purpose of this year’s summer school is to address different types of troubles and challenges when collecting and interpreting qualitative data and writing up the analysis. The course lectures will address various types of challenging research settings such as investigating and gaining access in specific types of organisations or milieus.

Qualitative research often takes place in settings or milieus in which the researcher may find difficult to navigate. At other times, the research addresses sensitive or tacit themes where informants appear reluctant, unwilling or unable to speak up and share information. Sometimes the research design and analysis of qualitative empirical data also fuels questions on what might happen when qualitative researchers base their research on the voices of others (i.e. the problem of representation).

The course will pinpoint strategies that different researchers have used in order to navigate and carry out successful research in difficult fields and their reflections on how to present their analysis of the empirical data from such fields. The course will also address how troubles and challenges may inspire methodological reflexivity towards delicate issues such as power and positionality in the research process, and how such reflexivity may be a source of data in itself.


Stine Tidemann Faber, AAU
Sune Qvotrup Jensen, AAU
Trine Lund Thomsen, AAU


Rhacel Salazar Parreñas 
Steffen Bo Jensen, AAU
Trine Lund Thomsen, AAU


English. Papers can be written in English or in Scandinavian languages.


3 points for participation, additional 2 points for paper. 

REGISTRATION and payment

Registration is closed!


Participation for PhD students enrolled at a Danish University: 1200 DKK (covering food and beverages during the three days), PhD students enrolled at other universities: 1500 DKK (covering fee, food and beverages during the three days). For both internal and external PhD students additional 500 DKK (which is inclusive 25% Danish VAT) is required for dinner at a down town restaurant on 23 August (optional, but highly recommended).


DGI Huset Nordkraft, Teglgårds Plads 1, 9000 Aalborg. Please find a map to seminar venue, hotels etc at this link


8-15 pages including reflections over approaches to data collection, analysis and presentation of qualitative results. We strongly encourage you to send in (parts of) a chapter or an article that you are writing on as a part of your dissertation – instead of producing a paper for this summer school only. Deadline for paper submission is 10 august 2018.


AUGUST 22, 2018
12:00 - 12:30 Registration and lunch
12:30 - 13:30 Welcome, introduction to the course and presentation round the table
13:30 - 15:00

Lecture I: Rhacel Salazar Parreñas: Accessing Hard to Reach Populations

The talk will challenge the common claim made by anti-trafficking activists on the impossibility of accessing trafficking victims. Drawing from my extensive experience conducting research with groups of migrant workers identified by the US Department of State as trafficking victims as well as the rich history of scholars accessing hard to reach populations, I detail strategies we can employ to immerse ourselves in the worlds of the  most vulnerable populations.

15:00 - 15:30


15:30 - 17:00 PhD presentations
AUGUST 23, 2018
09:00 - 10:30

Lecture II: Trine Lund Thomsen: Researching vulnerable groups; gaining access and applying ethics

10:30 - 10:45

Short break

10:45 - 12:15 PhD presentations
12:15 - 13:00


13:00 - 14:30

Lecture III: Rhacel Salazar Parreñas: The Politics of Studying Vulnerable Groups

The talk will focus on my experiences collecting data and conducting research on a group perceived as victims of modern day slavery, specifically migrant domestic workers in the United Arab Emirates. Themes addressed include a) challenges of interviewing victims of violence; b) ethics of being asked for assistance to do the “illegal” activity of assisting the absconding of abused domestic workers; c) positionality; and d) the politics of taking and giving back

14:30 - 15:15 Outdoor walk-and-talk
15:15 - 15:30 Coffee/tea break
15:30 - 17:00 PhD presentations
19:00 - Social dinner downtown Aalborg (for those who sign up)
AUGUST 24, 2018
09:00 - 10:30 Lecture IV: Steffen Bo Jensen: Researching violence and conflict
10:30 - 11:00 Indoor walk-and-talk with coffee/tea
11:00 - 12:30 PhD presentations
12:15 - 13:00 Lunch
13:00 - 13:45 Evaluation and end
13:45 - 14:00 Departure



Department of Culture and Global Studies and Department of Sociology and Social Work, Aalborg University


DGI Huset Nordkraft, Teglgårds Plads 1, 9000 Aalborg

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