6th European Qualitative Research Conference in Health and Social Care
Talbot Campus Bournemouth University, September 4th to 6th 2006
Report by Professor Les Todres
|Mary & Ken Gergen perform at QRC 2006|
Bournemouth University's Centre for Qualitative Research hosted this conference and attracted a range of international, highly-regarded keynote speakers. This conference has convened every second year at Bournemouth University for over a decade. The conference welcomed one hundred and forty five scholars, practitioners and postgraduate students, all interested in a range of qualitative research methods in health and social care. Keynote speakers included Professor Uwe Flick, University of Applied Sciences, Berlin; Professor Trisha Greenhalgh, University College London; from the USA, Professor Kenneth Gergen, Swarthmore College and Professor Mary Gergen, Pennsylvania State University; and from University of Calgary in Canada, Professor Arthur Frank. All speakers are widely published and have international followings, attracting a wide range of researchers and postgraduate students including delegates from the Czech Republic, Australia, Netherlands, Canada , USA and a number of other European countries.
The themes of this year's conference were: Epistemological and Methodological Innovations in Qualitative Methodology; Empirical Studies which Access People's Meaning and Experiences; Dissemination of Qualitative Research Findings ; Educational Strategies for the Next Generation of Qualitative Researchers; Ethics and Values in Qualitative Research; From Research to Policy; and for the first time, a thread on Performative Social Science that ran throughout the conference.
Concurrent papers included topics on midwifery and maternity care, care of older people, mental health care, ethnography, pain research, and ethical issues in healthcare. As is often the case with a conference with such interesting concurrent sessions, it was often difficult to choose between the wide range of topics and issues covered. However, feedback from participants highlighted such choice as a strength. The conference organisers were very appreciative of all the contributions and participation of all delegates and felt that the calibre of papers was of a high standard. An interesting trend is the increase in Ph.D students who used this forum as an opportunity to share their developing and completed work.
Guests of the Centre at the conference included Drs. Katja Mruck and Guenter Mey of the Free University of Berlin, co-editors and founders of the online qualitative journal, FQS, and were available for informal discussions with interested delegates about their journal. Dr. Daniel Dominguez, of Spain's Open University (UNED) in Madrid, who had been visiting the Centre for six weeks, was also a guest at the conference. (See Daniel's reflections on his Bournemouth visit).
The conference dinner was this year held at the Harbour Heights Hotel in Sandbanks. Delegates enjoyed a barbeque on the terrace with panoramic views of the sea, whilst experiencing the live music of Joe Chiari's Jazz Trio. The evening was a great success, with excellent food and wonderful weather.
Feedback from conference attendees particularly welcomed the innovative introduction of the performative social science theme. Kip Jones, who introduced this theme to the conference, explains: "As collage-makers, narrators of narrations, dream weavers-qualitative researchers are natural allies of the arts and humanities. "Performative Social Science" represents the emerging synthesis of the arts and social sciences, presenting challenges to the very methodological-philosophical foundations of knowledge. At the heart of this matter is knowledge transfer." Presentations using tools from the arts and humanities were especially encouraged for this conference thread. Representations included performance, film, video, audio, graphic arts, new media (CD-ROM, web-based production), poetry and so forth. A special gallery space was provided for 'Poster' presentations representing performative social science. As a first attempt at gathering together scholars working in this new area of development, the 6th European Qualitative Research Conference offered a successful and meaningful forum for such innovative performance/presentations. We certainly hope to continue offering this strand in future years.
A further development in the evolution of this conference is the increasing presence of delegates from an interdisciplinary arena beyond health and social care, including education, management studies, and even mathematics. We believe that this trend towards interdisciplinary enrichment of will grow in future years.
The conference was convened by Immy Holloway, Kate Galvin, Kip Jones and Les Todres. They were extremely well supported by Claire Dikecoglu, the conference administrator, Stacey Mitchell, administrator to the Centre for Qualitative Research, as well as Eva Papadopoulou, Val Simcock and Debra Evans.
The Centre for Qualitative Research is a centre of excellence at Bournemouth University's The School of Health & Social Care, and supports students to become graduates and professional practitioners who in turn will enrich the lives of individuals and communities in their care. HSC is committed to generating and sharing knowledge which is research led.
An audio/visual photo montage of the conference is available at: http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=8319061715872281484&hl=en-GB
The conference was supported by Sage Publications .