12 Feb 2016

Welcome to Summer Seminar: Possibilities of 'Data' in Social Research

The concept of ‘data’ is treated dominantly as unproblematic in social research. “Data has become a key element of one of the main grand narratives of research. Data is survey responses, numbers, interview transcripts, artifacts, texts, observations, notes, images, and so on.” (Koro-Ljungberg and MacLure, 2013 p. 219). We usually ‘collect’ data, code and interpret data based on advice gained from textbooks and with the hope that something new emerge through this process.

In this summer seminar, we make ‘data’ unfamiliar. Through interdisciplinary engagements we interrogate what we do / can consider as [good] data in the context of social research: definitions, enactments and treatments of data.  We think this is an important issue in research at a time when data has gained the status of 'hard data' supplying 'hard evidence' and when the concept of data in many research projects is still treated as taken-for-granted.

Invited Lectures

We have invited critical scholars and methodologists to initiate conversations and to provoke our thinking on our use and abuse of data in social research. See:Invited Speakers.


Each invited speaker will assign a few readings to prepare with for the seminar. During workshops these articles will be discussed together with the presentations heard during the days and in relation to students’ own projects. See: Schedule

Each working group will keep notes on what was discussed which will then be solicited to participants together with presentation slides from invited presenters.

During the concluding session, discussion topics and questions from the parallel sessions will be brought back to the whole group of participants.

This seminar will bring interdisciplinary and most current thinking and problematizations on data in social science research to participants who will greatly benefit from invited guests’ expertise in a friendly and collaborative environment.


University of Tampere, Main Building, Kalevantie 4.

The main campus of the University of Tampere is close to the Tampere city centre, some ten minutes' walk from the railway station.

Zsuzsa Millei (JKK) & Antti Saari (EDU)
Contact: Zsuzsa.millei@staff.uta.fi - Antti.w.saari@staff.uta.fi

Photo credit: Henri Cartier Bresson - Brussels 1932.