Short Course: The Methods Studio


The Methods Studio: Workshop—Textual Analysis and Critical Semiotics—and “Crit”
Dvora Yanow and Peregrine Schwartz-Shea
Interpretive Methodologies and Methods

2:00 pm – 6:00 pm

“The Methods Studio has two parts: a workshop and a “crit,” both described more fully below. The focus of this year’s workshop is “Textual Analysis and Critical Semiotics.” Following that, Part II, the “crit,” will entail discussion of interpretive methods in works in progress, selected via application [see below].

Part Ia [1.30-3.30] Workshop on Textual Analysis and Critical Semiotics Dr. Matt Guardino has been using critical semiotic analysis (drawing on Roland Barthes, Stuart Hall, and others) as well as quantitative content analysis in application to media texts. In the workshop part of the Methods Studio, he will provide an introduction and overview of this kind of semiotics. Dr. Guardino will begin with a short assessment of the interdisciplinary space of communication studies and political science and his own experiences moving across these disciplinary and methods spaces (from corpus approaches and coding to more critical-interpretive approaches). He will then turn to an introduction to critical semiotics, including mapping Barthes and Hall onto a wider range of theorists, theories, and/or approaches (such as critical and other forms of discourse analysis). He will show how this method may be used, drawing on examples from his own work.

Workshop leader:
Dr. Matt Guardino, Providence College,

Guardino, Matt. 2014. Neoliberal populism as hegemonic discourse: A critical analysis of US economic and social welfare policy rhetoric. Under revision. Others TBA.

3.30-3.50 Break

Part II [3.50-5.30] “Crit”: Exploring research projects [open topic]
This part of the Methods Studio adapts what is known in architectural teaching and practice as a “crit.” Three researchers, selected in advance through application [see below], will present their projects, focusing on questions about the research methods they are using and/or the ways they have written their methods sections. A group of more experienced researchers from a range of subfields and interpretive methods backgrounds will lead the discussion, but the intention is to draw also on the comments and questions of others in attendance, such that the discussion serves to educate all. Like the Methods Café, the Crit entails teaching and learning through discussion and example, rather than through lecture; but the Crit enables more prolonged engagement with each presented research project. It emphasizes supportive critique, with an eye toward publication and reviewers’ reactions. Last year’s Crit had a Ph.D. student, an Assistant Professor, and a Full Professor presenting their work.

Crit leaders: Workshop staff plus organizers and others attending:

  • Regina Bateson, MIT [interviews, participant observation, mixed methods; Comparative]
  • Laura J. Hatcher, Southeast Missouri State University [archival, visual analysis, interviews; law, rural politics, emergency management]
  • Samantha Majic, John Jay College/City University of New York [interviews, participant observation; discourse analysis; American, gender and politics]
  • Fred Schaffer, UMass Amherst [ordinary language interviewing; concept analysis; Comparative]
  • Ron Schmidt, Sr., Davidson College & CSULB [value-critical policy analysis, framing, critical discourse; racial and immigration politics, language policy]
  • Peregrine Schwartz-Shea, University of Utah [research design; IRBs; American]
  • Dvora Yanow, Wageningen University [field research; language and visual analyses; policy, organizational studies]

**All Short Courses will take place on Wednesday, August 31 at the APSA 2016 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA.