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Event: Creativity and methodological innovation in the sociology of familial and intimate relationships

Western Sydney University, Paramatta city campus, Sydney, Australia, 29th November, 2019.

Cost: $10 TASA members and $15 for non-members.

As a long-standing core sub-discipline, the sociology of families and intimate relationships is deeply rooted in the established methods of qualitative and quantitative inquiry. But as the diversity and ambiguity of familial and intimate relationships are foregrounded, sociologists are arguing for less traditional, more experimental ways of interrogating their ‘facets’ (Mason, 2011), ‘parts of the jigsaw’ (Gabb, 2009), and ‘kaleidoscopes’ (McCarthy et al. 2003). The field is a vibrant focus of methodological and conceptual innovation as scholars draw on interdisciplinary, creative and technological advances to enliven methods and devise new ways of understanding and theorising families and intimate relationships. The challenge, as Gabb and Silva (2011) note, is building and adapting methods that capture the ‘vitality’ and specificity of familial relationships while also linking them into shared contexts and patterns of contemporary familial life. To this we suggest an additional challenge: the importance of extending sociological methods and sites of study beyond the metropole and decolonising research methods, sites and definitions of relationality.

This one day meeting will bring together researchers at all stages of their career who are seeking to forge responsive and creative methods for investigating familial and intimate relationships.  It is designed to facilitate attendees working together to share, interrogate and extend the methodological and methods approaches in their current work. We welcome explorations of multiple methods, innovative and traditional, with the aim of providing an opportunity to explore the possibilities and challenges of methodological creativity.

We will also host a hands-on collaborative workshop exploring creative approaches to methods, analysis and engagement—research that is embodied, situated, personal and political, that opens up diversity, accessibility and the co-existence of voices and ideas. This workshop will culminate in the collaborative productions of a zine, illustrating and building on the discussions of the day, and speaking to the future of creativity in research in the field.

Keynote presenters

Dr Quah Ee Ling Sharon

Dr Son Vivienne

Dr Ashleigh Watson

To increase the affordability of the event we are offering three scholarships to TASA members who are postgraduates (1 scholarship) or precariously employed (2 scholarships) and do not live in Sydney. These will be valued to a total of $319 per applicant

Expressions of interest

Please submit a 150 – 250 word brief including:

  • Name and institutional affiliation (if you have an institutional affiliation; not all of us do and you are most welcome to attend if you do not).
  • The methodological and methods-related interests, experiences and challenges you wish to discuss.

Please submit your expressions of interest to: Associate Professor Kris Natalier and Dr Ashley Barnwell: ;

Key dates

02/08/19 – abstract submission

09/08/19 – notification of inclusion

01/10/19 – participant registration