HomeFrom the epistemology of research to the PHD methodology

From the epistemology of research to the PHD methodology

De l’épistémologie de la recherche à méthodologie de la thèse

Heuristic or reflexive trajectories?

Parcours heuristique ou trajectoire réflexive ?

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Published on Thursday, November 05, 2015 by João Fernandes

Summary

In the past few years, seminars for young researchers in Social and Human Sciences have provided a growing space for reflection concerning research methodology issues, and more specifically corpus processing methods. Such a development in this field of research, along with an increase in the use of quantitative methods seems to express a need for a more grounded scientific base, such as that which the so called « hard sciences » are known for. Despite some recent publications, this subject remains a focus of attention among young researchers. Consequently, this seminar aims to bring its own contribution to this issue. At present, focus tends to be laid more on corpus and processing methodology as proofs of scientific respectability than on upstream processes such as choice of subject, hypotheses and research objectives. It is our intention during these sessions to address the question of the individual researcher’s positioning towards his/her subject and corpus, as it is an often underestimated topic in linguistics.

Announcement

Argument

In the past few years, seminars for young researchers in Social and Human Sciences have provided a growing space for reflection concerning research methodology issues, and more specifically corpus processing methods. Such a development in this field of research, along with an increase in the use of quantitative methods seems to express a need for a more grounded scientific base, such as that which the so called « hard sciences » are known for. Despite some recent publications (Bertacchini, 2009, Blanchet and Chardenet, 2011, among others), this subject remains a focus of attention among young researchers. Consequently, this seminar aims to bring its own contribution to this issue. At present, focus tends to be laid more on corpus and processing methodology as proofs of scientific respectability than on upstream processes such as choice of subject, hypotheses and research objectives. It is our intention during these sessions to address the question of the individual researcher’s positioning towards his/her subject and corpus, as it is an often underestimated topic in linguistics. Positioning oneself with regards to one’s topic is a double reflexive process as it implies a to and fro movement between epistemology and methodology, the one constantly influencing the other. Defining one’s epistemological positioning implies, on the one hand, a clear statement of how one will deal with pre-existing knowledge and, on the other hand, of how one might reconstruct such knowledge if judged inappropriate to one’s purpose (Demaizière and Narcy-Combes, 2007). This is a prerequisite to the formalization of  sound research methodology which « permits, drawing on a corpus of known principles or landmarks, construction of action (i.e. research) that is suited to the specific context in which it is implemented » (Demaizière and Narcy-Combes, 2007: 3) .

It appears that more often than not, young researchers take to collecting and analyzing data without explicitly engaging in this crucial step, one explanation being that their vocational training did not explicitly prepare them in this matter.

Applicants are asked to submit papers addressing one of the five lines of research identified below, in relation to this issue.

Deontology

In the field of Social and Human Sciences, ethics and deontology are key concepts to the elaboration of scientific research and to the construction of related epistemological reasoning processes. It is on this basis that several questions may arise pertaining to the necessary compromise that has to be found between needs for research and respect of corpus (Gadet, 2003) or to the influence a given scientific community might exert concerning the choice of research paradigms, and finally to the scientific recognition research might obtain (Vergès, 2009). These epistemological questions involve a debate about the nature of the scientific criteria used for validation of research (Gohier, 2004).

Positioning

Clarifying one’s own value system and positioning oneself in relation to a particular paradigm of studies are constitutive steps of a research project. One has to acknowledge that some degree of subjectivity is unavoidable. It is thus necessary to take a step back from one’s own subject of research in order to observe and analyze it as objectively as possible. One’s guidelines for research stem from one’s epistemological positioning, and they have an impact on methodological choices (Demaizière and Narcy-Combes, 2007). Clearly defining their positioning will enable young researchers to justify their choices, provide a framework to their research and foster interaction with their peers. It will also help them build and establish their authority.

Relevance

The concept of ‘relevance’ can present itself under various aspects in relation to different research standpoints. On the one hand ‘relevance’ can be understood as a synonym for ‘adequacy’, thus referring to the internal systemic coherence of related research processes (De Ketele, 2010). On the other hand, if it is the delivery context of research that is mainly taken into account, its relevance will be measured by the level of satisfaction expressed by its target audience (Simonnot, 2008). We can consider ‘relevance’ as a goal to be achieved in the shape of improved research results validated by peers, is a possible and advisable alternative between the two aforesaid extremes.

Frequency and variation

‘Frequency’ and ‘variation’ are notions that can be used in order to detect and scrutinize the ‘recurrence’ (as opposed to the ‘volatility’) of any given phenomenon in order to identify the presence of a system, be it in a linguistic, social or cultural contexts. The nature of collected data will thus depend in the first place on the type of frequency that was selected (textual, social, etc.), it being either of an ‘emic’ type (measured frequency) or of an ‘etic’ type (intuitive frequency). Frequency and volatility appear to be strongly related to the context of research. Indeed, interpretability of data and relevance of conclusions are highly connected with systems of representation (social, cultural, linguistic, etc.) in which any given phenomenon is embedded and from which it cannot be separated without loss of substance. A precise selection and description of research contexts are thus imperative steps in order to ensure a relevant handling of collected data.

Handling of data

The handling of data can be understood as a series of operations applied by researchers to so called ‘raw’ data with the intention of organizing it. This organization processes seek to regroup, simplify or even transfer these elements with the help of specific tools (Miles and Huberman, 1991). These operations are justified by the positioning of the researcher but they have to be compatible with both their research approach and the nature of the data collected. Preliminary ethical reflexivity combined with the mastery of various operational know-hows is thus indispensable for the successful handling of data. The tension between the two requires not only careful thought about ethics prior to data collection, but also mastery of various techniques of data treatment.

Bibliography

  • BERTACCHINI, Yann. 2009. Petit Guide à l’usage de l’Apprenti-Chercheur en Sciences Humaines et Sociales. Essai. Épistémologie et Méthodologie de Recherche en Sciences de l’Information et de la Communication. Collection Les E.T.I.C. Toulon : Presses Technologiques, pp 4-156.
  • BLANCHET, Philippe / CHARDENET, Patrick (dir.). 2011. Guide pour la recherche en didactique des langues et des cultures. Approches contextualisées. Paris : Éditions des archives contemporaines.
  • DE KETELE, Jean-Marie. 2010. « La recherche scientifique en éducation : Quels critères de qualité ? » In Education, Sciences and Society [en ligne], pp.21-39. Consulté le 04/03/2015 : http://riviste.unimc.it/index.php/es_s/article/view/38/9
  • DEMAIZIERE, Françoise / NARCY-COMBES, Jean-Paul. 2007. « Du positionnement épistémologique aux données de terrain ». In Journées NeQ, Méthodologie de recherche en didactique des langues, janvier 2007. Les Cahiers de l'Acedle, 4 [en ligne]. Consulté le 04/03/2015 : http://acedle.org/IMG/pdf/Demaiziere-Narcy_cah4.pdf
  • DEVEREUX, Georges. 1980. De l'angoisse à la méthode dans les sciences du comportement. Paris : Aubier.
  • GADET, Françoise. 2003. « Derrière les problèmes méthodologiques du recueil de données ». In Texto !, juin-septembre 2003 [En ligne]. Consulté le 18/04/2015 : http://www.revue-texto.net/Inedits/Gadet_Principes.html
  • GOHIER, Christiane. 2004. « De la démarcation entre critères d’ordre scientifique et d’ordre éthique en recherche interprétative ». In Recherches qualitatives, n°24 [En ligne] pp. 3-17. Consulté le 18/04/2015 :http://www.recherche-qualitative.qc.ca/documents/files/revue/edition_reguliere/numero24/24gohier.pdf
  • KUHN, Thomas Samuel. 1983. La structure des révolutions scientifiques. Paris : Flammarion.
  • MILES, Matthew B. / HUBERMAN, Mickael A. 1991. Analyse des données qualitatives : recueil de nouvelles méthodes. Bruxelles : De Boeck-Wesmael.
  • RINCK, Fanny. 2011. « Former à (et par) l’écrit de recherche. Quels enjeux, quelles exigences ? ». In Penser à l’écrit, mars 2011. Le Français aujourd’hui, n°174. Paris : Armand Colin / Dunod, pp. 79-89.
  • SIMONNOT, Brigitte (2008) « La pertinence en sciences de l'information : des modèles, une théorie? » in Problématiques émergentes dans les Sciences de l'Information, Hermes Lavoisier, pp. 161-182.
  • VERGES, Etienne. 2009. « Ethique et déontologie de la recherche scientifique, un système normatif communautaire ». In Larrieu J., Qu’en est-il du droit et de la recherche ?. Paris : LGDJ, pp. 131-149.
  • WEISSER, Marc. 2014. Le chercheur, sa recherche, ses méthodes : De quelques questions épistémologiques aux Sciences de l'Éducation. Collection : Pédagogie : crises, mémoires, repères. Paris : L'Harmattan.

Practical informations

Schedule

  • Deadline for abstract submission: 30th of January 2016

  • Notification of acceptance: 28th of March 2016
  • Beginning/End of Registration (normal rate): 11th of April/29th of May 2016
  • Date of conference: 29th and 30th of June ; 1st of July 2016

Registration fees            

  • 50 euros (speakers)
  • 20 euros (others)

Submission guidelines

The abstract (2 pages maximum, bibliography, 12 point Times font, 1.5 line spacing included) should be submitted online as an anonymous text document on ScienceConf (personal account to create).

Two poster sessions will be organized. Poster applicants should submit a one-page abstract.

Communication modalities

The selected abstracts will be given as a 30 minute presentation (20 min talk + 10 min discussion).

Public

Young researchers in Language Sciences, Social and Human Sciences and Language Didactics are invited to submit an abstract: Master’s degrees, Ph.D. students and Post-Docs (having obtained their Ph.D. no more than 3 years ago).

Publication

Some papers will be considered for publication, after acceptation of final revised versions (after the conference).

Guest Speakers

  • HARMEGNIES Bernard
  • NARCY-COMBES Jean-Paul
  • RINCK Fanny

Scientific committee

  • ALEKSANDROVA Angelina (LILPA-FDT, Strasbourg) ;
  • BENNINGER Céline (LILPA-Scolia, Strasbourg) ;
  • CAVALLA Cristelle (DILTEC, Paris 3) ;
  • FAUTH Camille (IPS, LILPA-PC, Strasbourg) ;
  • GEIGER-JAILLET Anémone (LILPA-GEPE, Strasbourg) ;
  • GLIKMAN Julie (LILPA-FDT, Strasbourg) ; KASHEMA Laurent (LILPA-DDL, Strasbourg) ;
  • JACQUES Marie-Paule (Lidilem, Grenoble) ;
  • LACOSTE Véronique (Freiburg) ; LEJEUNE Gaël (GREYC-CODAG, Caen) ;
  • LONGO Laurence (LILPA-FDT, Strasbourg) ;
  • MANGIANTE Jean-Marc (GRAMMATICA, Arras) ;
  • MENESES-LERIN Luis (GRAMMATICA, Arras) ;
  • MEYER Jean-Paul (LILPA-DDL, Strasbourg) ;
  • NOBEL Pierre (LILPA-Scolia, Strasbourg) ;
  • PELLAT Jean-Christophe (LILPA-DDL, Strasbourg) ;
  • PUTSCHE Julia (LILPA-DDL, Strasbourg) ;
  • SCHLEMMINGER Gerald (PH-Ka, Karlsruhe) ;
  • SCHNEDECKER Catherine (LILPA-FDT, Strasbourg) ;
  • SOCK Rudolph (IPS, LILPA-PC, Strasbourg) ;
  •  STEIBLÉ Lucie (LILPA-PC, Strasbourg) ;
  • THEISSEN Anne (LILPA-Scolia, Strasbourg) ;
  • TOFFOLI Denyze (LILPA-DDL, Strasbourg) ;
  • TUTIN Agnès (Lidilem, Grenoble) ;
  • VASSILIADOU Hélène (LILPA-Scolia, Strasbourg).

Organization committee

  • Angelina ALEKSANDROVA (Université de Strasbourg) 
  • Cristian DIAZ (Université de Strasbourg)
  • Victor JANTE (Université de Strasbourg)
  • Anissa HAMZA (Université de Strasbourg)
  • Élodie LANG (Université d’Artois & Université de Strasbourg)
  • Laurent PERROT (Université Paris Descartes & Université de Strasbourg)
  • Laurence SCHMOLL (Université de Strasbourg)
  • Lucie STEIBLÉ (Université de Strasbourg)
  • Xuelu ZHANG (Université de Strasbourg)

Places

  • Le Patio - 22 rue René Descartes
    Strasbourg, France (67)

Date(s)

  • Saturday, January 30, 2016

Keywords

  • épistémologie, recherche, méthodologie, thèse, questionnement, positionnement, linguistique, didactique

Contact(s)

  • Elodie Lang
    courriel : elodie [dot] lang [at] univ-artois [dot] fr

Information source

  • Elodie Lang
    courriel : elodie [dot] lang [at] univ-artois [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« From the epistemology of research to the PHD methodology », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Thursday, November 05, 2015, https://calenda.org/344380

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