Knowledge and understanding of:
Key concepts needed to understand the complex relationships between personal lives and social policy.
Some qualitative research methodologies through which the historical and contemporary development and practice of social policy are understood.
The socially constructed and contested nature of research data and knowledge.
The ability to:
Organise, select, evaluate and present arguments and evidence.
Critically evaluate different forms of research evidence.
Practical and/or professional skills
The ability to:
Recognise the active relationships between policies, professional practices and personal lives, and that these are related to questions of difference and inequality.
Read, digest and synthesise material from a range of sources.
Write and present analyses in different forms.
The ability to:
Produce writing that makes use of a range of sources and is appropriately referenced.
Communicate effectively in writing using appropriate academic conventions.
Independent study skills
The ability to:
Improve your own learning, particularly the ability to learn from feedback and advice.
Reflect on the relationship between your learning on the module and your personal experiences.
Work to an agreed timetable and meet deadlines.
Develop an adaptable and flexible approach to study and work.
Identify and use sources of support.
Before beginning this assignment you should ensure that you have read Part 3 of the Research, Analysis and Assessment Guidance Booklet and listened to CDA 2, Programme 3: Issues for Research and Researchers and CDA 3, Programme 5:Preparing for TMA 03 and TMA 05. It is crucial that you are familiar with the different issues and questions considered in Part 3 before attempting TMA 05.
TMA 05 builds on and augments the skills that you practised in TMA 03. It is designed to give you the experience of carrying out a small-scale research study (based on two interviews) and analysing your findings.
The starting point of this study is the outline that you submitted to your tutor as part of TMA 03. After you have received feedback on this you will need to get in touch with your tutor for further advice.
Task one – the 2 scripts included already.
Task two- Task 2
Here you are asked to transcribe your interviews, carry out a thematic analysis of the transcripts, and reflect upon the interview process. You are then required to write a review that is divided into two sections as follows.
A reflection on the process of carrying out this research study – including your preparation and the interviews themselves – in the same way that you reflected upon your interview for TMA 03. This means that you should also reflect critically on your research topic and interview guide. It may be helpful to return to Activity 2.8 in Part 2 of the RAABto remind yourself of how to develop an in-depth reflection on the interview encounter.
A reflection on your thematic analysis of the interviews. You should consider how you identified the different themes in your interviews, what those themes were, and in what ways your themes could be related to the intersections of personal lives and social policy. Please note that you are not being asked to assess the validity of your evidence or to address the wider methodological issues raised in Part 3 of the Research, Analysis and Assessment Guidance Booklet.
Note: Your research topic title, interview guide and transcripts – this does not have to be the marked-up version – must be attached as an appendix to your review. Remember to protect the anonymity of your interviewees – do not give the actual names of interviewees.
Write an essay addressing the title: ‘Qualitative research helps us to identify how the relationship between personal lives and social policy is experienced’, in which you explore the ways in which the themes you have identified in Task 2 can be used to illuminate how the relationship between personal lives and social policy is experienced and how each constitutes the other.
This means you can link the findings from your interviews to the range of concepts, ideas and perspectives you have encountered so far in DD305.
When writing the essay you will want to consider how to conceptualise ‘personal lives’ in ways that are relevant to the themes you have identified.
As part of this may find it helpful to:
Revisit the other key concepts in Chapter 1 of the Course Companion, to see how they might relate to your research findings and the essay question. Your themes may also resonate with some of the concepts or topics in Sexualities(Carabine, 2004),Care (Fink, 2004) or Work (Mooney, 2004), and these connections could usefully be included in your argument.
Consider questions about the research process and how this shapes evidence about individual experiences, which are raised in Part 3 of the Research, Analysis and Assessment Guidance Booklet. You should include shortquotations or extracts from your interviews to illustrate the key points of your discussion.
What you will be assessed on in TMA 05
Your capacity to carry out this small research study according to the guidelines and advice given to you. No marks are awarded for carrying out the interviews themselves.
Your capacity to write up a review that reflects on:
learning from the process of planning and conducting this research (up to 25 per cent of the marks will be awarded for this part of the assignment)
undertaking a thematic analysis of your interview transcripts (up to 25 per cent of the marks will be awarded for this part of the assignment).
An ability to integrate your analysis into a coherent argument that answers the essay question (up to 50 per cent of the marks will be awarded for this part of the assignment).
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