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Applying theories in your own research

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Gardiner 006 and Gardiner 017

The Open University

Walton Hall

Milton Keynes

MK7 6AA

United Kingdom

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Introduction

So far, this 5-week seminar series has aimed to introduce a number of theoretical areas current in development research, namely:

  • Understandings of and applications of ideas about governance
  • Inclusive development – the different debates and ways it can be understood and used
  • Global justice – different theoretical approaches and their advantages and limitations
  • The capability approach as a way of evaluating the different freedoms that people have to realise what they value

The ideas embedded and debated in these concepts can be applied in many settings globally, including here in the UK. They may be useful to your area of research for your PhD – whether directly applied or adding to how you are planning to frame it. They may also encourage you to think critically about how you are indeed planning to frame your research theoretically.

So in this final seminar, we want you to consider actively how you might use the ideas and frameworks to which you have been introduced in the seminars in relation to your own research; and if these ideas and frameworks are not appropriate for what you are planning to do (or don’t add to what you are doing), to explain what ideas and frameworks you will be applying in practice.

Aims

At the end of this session you should be able to:

  • Articulate your theoretical and/or conceptual framing of your research concisely and clearly for a non-specialist audience
  • Respond to questions and comments from your peer group
  • Reflect critically on your own ideas and those of others

Preparation for the seminar

There are no additional readings for this seminar. Instead, we want you to prepare a short (5 minute) presentation to the group about the concepts and theories you are using to frame your research, referring to the ideas in the prior seminars as appropriate.

Five minutes is deliberately short and will encourage you to think hard about what you want to say and to do it concisely and clearly.

As we don’t know how many will come to the seminar and whether we will work in one overall or two separate groups or not at this stage, please bring 10 copies of a short handout for your presentation rather than using powerpoint. (Although there are two screens for the data projector in the extended seminar room, they can only show one powerpoint at a time.) Please put your name and the title of your research on your handout.

A suggested structure is:

  • Title of your research
  • What’s the problem?
  • What’s the gap in existing research/literature?
  • Your research question/s
  • Theoretical/conceptual framing
  • What you have considered using, rejected and why
  • What you are using and why

Structure of the session

  • Welcome and organisation of the session
  • Presentations (5 minutes) and questions and comments (10 minutes) (questions and comments may be extended depending on how many people attend)
  • Whole group discussion on the role of theory and concepts in research led by convenors

5. Previous seminars and readings

Inclusive development

Global Justice

Governance

Human development

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ij1bvg9feae3orq/Core%20reading%201%20The%20Capability%20Approach%20a%20theoretical%20survey.pdf?dl=0

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Date and Time

Location

Gardiner 006 and Gardiner 017

The Open University

Walton Hall

Milton Keynes

MK7 6AA

United Kingdom

View Map

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