What is? Open Science, Emic/Etic, Memory for socio-political research

Wednesday 28.8.2019

at 12.30 – 14.00

Hall: D11 (Main building)


Chair: Pirjo Nikander, Doctoral School, Tampere University
What is? Open Science, Emic/Etic

Do you wish to broaden your general knowledge on the range of analytic approaches and methodological traditions? What is…? -sessions provide brief thumbnail description and discussion on specific methodological aspects to both qualitative and quantitative data, as well as updates on more generic researcher skills. Each speaker has 20 minutes to outline some of the key methodological points of the approach in question after which there some 5-10 minutes for questions from the audience and discussion. The Methods Festival includes What is -sessions both in English and in Finnish.

Speakers and presentations:

Henriikka Mustajoki
What is Open Science?

Ever wondered what is Open Science and how it impacts the research you? Here is your opportunity to get a short overview of Open Science and how your research may be affected by it. This talk will cover basic reasons for Open Science (fairness and equality; research quality; and societal impact) as well as different aspects of Open Science including Open Access (OA) publications and Open (FAIR) research data. The focus will be on the impact of the Open Science movement on the daily work of researchers.

Lauri Haapanen, University of Jyväskylä
Ville Manninen, University of Jyväskylä
What and why: Combining etic and emic perspectives

If research wishes to both describe real-life activities, and also explain them, it needs to present both what- and why-questions. These question can be answered with the help of complementary perspectives of etic and emic. An outsider’s perspective (etic) captures observable activities but cannot explain them. Revealing their intentions, then, requires adding an insider’s perspective (emic). In other words, emic data support the collection and analysis of etic data.

Conventionally, emic data sets have been gathered through interviews. This entails a methodological problem: Exploring routinized processes by presenting general questions is as if the researcher was “outsourcing” the task of generalisation to the informant. There is danger in this, as informants rarely possess the kind of methodological rigour that is required for such generalisations. To mitigate this inherent dilemma of emic perspective, it should be supported by etic data. Thus, the integration of etic and emic can benefit both data collection and analysis.

In our presentation, we will discuss the researcher-analyst’s etic and practitioner-informant’s emic perspectives, and the classic problem of integrating them. We will then present some illustrative solutions from our fields, linguistics and media studies. For example, researchers pursuing a holistic understanding of writing have combined the perspectives as follows: Immediately after completion, writers view and comment on their text product or video-recorded writing session and thereby provide researchers with information about their awareness of what they are doing and why. This is something that the writers are hardly able to recall plausibly without the support of the etic data. We conclude by highlighting the value of this integrative approach, despite its demanding nature: ”Methodological complexity is a good predictor of research gaps“ (Perrin 2019).


Memory for socio-political research
Zsuzsa Millei, Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, Tampere University

In this presentation, first, we delve into the different ways in which memory can be used for research. As part of this we pay special attention to the subjective nature of memory, how memory relates to historical research (e.g. witnessing, confirming historical truth, biographies), collective memory (social remembering), how memory connects the past, present and future, and the importance of social frameworks, contexts and emotions of remembering, all providing important considerations for the uses of memory for research and its analysis. Second, we look at a particular way of using memory, how everyday life in the past can be glimpsed through memory stories (memory of a particular event taking place for a short period of time) for cultural-political analysis. Through memory stories we can explore what societal norms, rules and expectations governed a past society. Through examples brought from my recent work on memories of childhood, we discuss the analytical moves we can take to analyze memory stories in order to gain access to historical socio-political discourses and practices in their operation and come to know about that society. We also consider the limitations and popular critiques of memory research.