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Why, when and how: Theory in Qualitative Empirical Studies
Provider: Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Activity no.: 3917-21-00-00There are 14 available seats 
Enrollment deadline: 28/04/2021
Date and time01.06.2021, at: 09:00 - 03.06.2021, at: 16:00
Regular seats20
Course fee5,160.00 kr.
LecturersKristian Larsen
ECTS credits2.40
Contact personAnnegrethe Hansen    E-mail address: ahan@sund.ku.dk
Enrolment Handling/Course OrganiserPhD administration     E-mail address: fak-phdkursus@sund.ku.dk

Aim and content
This is a generic course. This means that the course is reserved for PhD students at the Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences at UCPH. Anyone can apply for the course, but if you are not a PhD student at the Graduate School, you will be placed on the waiting list until enrollment deadline. After the enrolment deadline, available seats will be allocated to the waiting list.
The course is free of charge for PhD students at Danish universities (except Copenhagen Business School), and for PhD students at graduate schools in the other Nordic countries. All other participants must pay the course fee.

Learning objectives
A student who has met the objectives of the course will be able to:

1. Be conscious of motivations and incitements for choice of theory mediated between research subject (interests of researcher/you), research object (character of research area) and research environment (research milieu, supervisor)
2. Compare and discuss different theories, their status, compatibleness, statement power, scope and level of abstraction (grand theory, middle-range and micro theory) and how it applies to own project
3. Know and use knowledge about different dimensions in qualitative research e.g. genesis and structure; time, space and body; relations between fields (research, clinic, education)
4. Assess the appropriateness of the interrelatedness of paradigms, theories, methods, technicalities, research questions and empirical data material in research including knowledge about processes of deduction, induction and abduction
5. Have insight to conduct a qualitative analysis in accordance with acknowledged criteria of quality, validity and disciplinary integrity

This course aims to increase PhD students’ competences in use of theory in qualitative research. During the course we present, discuss and operationalize how different theories relate to empirical work and the broader research process. We will discuss strength and limitations of deductive, inductive and abductive approaches and how choice of theory is interwoven with knowledge traditions (paradigms), research question, work assumptions, methods, operationalization, coding and results. Inspired by French epistemological tradition (e.g. Bourdieu, Foucault) we will present concepts of ‘epistemological break’ and ‘construction of the object’. We will work in-depth with sociological and institutional theory, but also cultural theory, theory of learning and patientology. Special attention will be on use of theory as a central operation in empirical research. We will emphasize how critical research requires an ongoing reflectivity where every choice implicit or explicit, have implications on the other levels and phases of the research process. The last seminar will focus on academic writing, how analysis becomes text.

PhD students and research-year medical students working on a research project based on qualitative methods. Data collection must be in progress, i.e. we expect participants to work with their own empirical material. Sixteen seats will be available.

Relevance to graduate programmes
The course is relevant to PhD students from the following graduate programmes at the Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences, UCPH:

Public Health and Epidemiology
Medicine, Culture and Society


The course is a three days seminar. Seminar days are conducted as master classes with opening lectures and exercises. Participants will present their own research in three or four smaller groups with response from course teachers and other participants. Work in groups, project presentations and preparation to the seminars will be expected. In addition, a summary of your project, and reflections over the method is required, estimated to equivalate 7,5 hours work.

Course director
Kristian Larsen, senior researcher, University Hospitals Centre for Health Research, The Capital Region, kristian.larsen@regionh.dk, and professor, Section of Social Medicine, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, krla@sund.ku.dk

Leslie Dubbin, assistant professor, School of Nursing,University of California, San Fransisco, USA
Fran Collyer, associate professor, Department of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Sidney, Australia
Karen Willis, professor,La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia
Sasha Scambler,Kings College, London, United Kingdom
Inge Kryger Pedersen, associate professor,Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, and Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

1-3 June 2021

Course location
CSS, room 35.3.13
Some lectures will be on zoom

Please register before 28 April 2021.
Seats to PhD students from other Danish universities will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and according to the applicable rules.
Applications from other participants will be considered after the last day of enrolment.

Note: All applicants are asked to submit invoice details in case of no-show, late cancellation or obligation to pay the course fee (typically non-PhD students). If you are a PhD student, your participation in the course must be in agreement with your principal supervisor.

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