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  • 00:07

    SARAH MARIE HALL: I'm Sarah Marie Hall.I work at University of Manchester.I'm a human geographer with interests in feminist, social,and economic geography.I'm going to say a little bit today about human geographydissertations and the methods that many students chooseto use.From my experience of teaching so far, what I've often seenis that while students have all the best intentions when

  • 00:29

    SARAH MARIE HALL [continued]: it comes to dissertations, often there'sa little bit of a lack of planning and organization.What I see is that sometimes that lack of planningand organization can be seen into the methodsthat people choose to use.What can be really common with the methodsthat people choose for their dissertationsis that they might often go for quite quick fixesthrough surveys or interviews.

  • 00:51

    SARAH MARIE HALL [continued]: And there's nothing wrong with surveys or interviews.They often fit a purpose.But they often don't fit the purpose.So I encourage my students to thinkabout the types of questions that they're asking.Do they want to know about people's opinions,about people's experiences, or about people's emotions?And what types of data do you need to gather in orderto get at those questions?

  • 01:12

    SARAH MARIE HALL [continued]: The types of data that you might wantto gather to answer your research questionsshould then shape the types of methods that you want to use.I often encourage students to think more creativelyabout the research methods that they use.So think about how you can integrate different methodsto get at different parts of your interestsand of your questions.

  • 01:32

    SARAH MARIE HALL [continued]: So for instance, I try to encourage students to thinkabout ethnographic approaches.Ethnography means people writing.It's literally about understandingpeople's everyday worlds.And it's a methodology that I'm particularly fond ofand I encourage my students to think about using.What's really interesting about ethnographyand an ethnographic approach is that it often

  • 01:54

    SARAH MARIE HALL [continued]: involves different methods to try and tailor your researchdesign to something that really works for you and your ideas.Often observations are the basis.Observing people in their day-to-day lives.It could be in the park, it couldbe in the school playground, it could be in community centers,

  • 02:15

    SARAH MARIE HALL [continued]: thinking about what people's daily rhythms are like.And the great thing, I think, about an ethnographic approachis that you can bolt on different methodologies thatwork for you.So you might want to include photographs,memory boxes, objects, getting participantsto be engaged in different tasks as well to really gather

  • 02:35

    SARAH MARIE HALL [continued]: rich data that has textures to it.I've always really taken to heart a quote that people oftenattribute to Margaret Mead.And she was a really famous anthropologist.And she said that what people say, what they do,and what they say they do are all really different things.And for me that really strikes at the heartof why we need to use different methods to get

  • 02:56

    SARAH MARIE HALL [continued]: at different questions.Because what people will tell youthey do, what they actually do, and whatyou might see them do might all contradict each other.And there's something really interesting about watchingpeople rather than just asking them what their opinion isor what their experiences are.For me, what makes a really good dissertationis one that thinks about how the ideas, the theory, the concepts

  • 03:20

    SARAH MARIE HALL [continued]: really fit with the methods that you want to use.They're not tacked on, that they merge, and they fit together.And I think if you can think about your dissertationas a whole story that requires methodologiesto explore your questions, then you'll be on a good set.[MUSIC PLAYING]

Video Info

Series Name: Your Human Geography Dissertation

Publisher: SAGE Publications, Ltd.

Publication Year: 2018

Video Type:Tutorial

Methods: Methodology, Ethnography, Research design, Researcher skills

Keywords: dissertation; ethnographic methods; ethnographic research; research design; research methodology; research questions; research skills ... Show More

Segment Info

Segment Num.: 1

Persons Discussed:

Events Discussed:



Dr. Sarah Marie Hall, Human Geographer at the University of Manchester, shares tips on selecting methodology for a dissertation.

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Methods for Your Dissertation

Dr. Sarah Marie Hall, Human Geographer at the University of Manchester, shares tips on selecting methodology for a dissertation.

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