Friday, 29 January 2010

Call for papers: qualitative research in psychology

January 2010
Qualitative Research in Psychology

Special Issue: Pluralism in Qualitative Research in Psychology

Guest Editors: Nollaig Frost and Sevasti-Melissa Nolas

Qualitative research methods in psychology are widely accepted. Single method approaches (e.g. narrative analysis, discourse analysis, ethnography, grounded theory, thematic analysis, interpretative phenomenological analysis) can be found on their own or in combination with quantitative methods. Less well-explored and debated is the combination of qualitative methods with each other - an approach that can be termed ‘pluralism’. This combining of ontologies and epistemologies gives rise to both benefits and creative tensions and provides a focus for inquiry into enhancing awareness of researcher impact.

The aim of this Special Issue is to provide an international forum within which the disparate array of questions that are arising about a pluralistic approach to qualitative research in psychology can be posed and debated. Recognising the potential that this approach offers for accessing the different layers and dimensions of a complex and constructed social reality brings with it both curiosity and questions about its ontology, epistemological tenets, theoretical frameworks and practical applications.

We invite contributions from those working with a combination of qualitative research methods in psychology. We are interested in submissions that address a range of ontological, epistemological and practical issues in pluralistic qualitative research in psychology including, but not limited to, the following questions and topics:

How are reflexivity and/or subjectivity managed (or not) in qualitative pluralistic research? What does pluralism do to either?
What is the relationship between pluralism and polyvocality in the research context? Does pluralism guarantee polyvocality?
How does pluralism relate to epistemological (in) coherence? Are there tensions? What are the consequences?
Is pluralism unattainable? Discussion of pluralism in theory and in practice
Practical considerations: research design, data analysis, data synthesis.
What challenges does pluralism pose to the paradigm of the lone researcher?
What are the roles of transparency, rigour and reflexivity when working pluralistically?

While we do not want to narrow the possible contribution we imagine that contributors are likely to be working in a range of applied psychology domains including but not limited to: social, community, health, forensic, and clinical psychology, psychoanalysis, and psychotherapy. Contributors are also likely to be involved in applied forms of research that call for an eclectic and creative use of qualitative research methods. Papers should place a strong emphasis on conceptualising and discussing the issues arising from pluralistic qualitative research in psychology and not merely provide methodological solutions.

To be considered for publication, papers must be electronically received by the Guest Editors by 19 April 2010. Please submit papers as Microsoft Word email attachments to both Guest Editors ( and Please prepare manuscripts according to the guidelines for submission of Qualitative Research in Psychology

Call for articles: action research

Call for Articles
Special Issue on Action Research
Journal for Social Action in Counseling and Psychology

The Journal for Social Action in Counseling and Psychology (JSACP) is planning a special issue on change-oriented research, or action research, and invites authors including scholars, researchers, community members and students to submit manuscripts in English or Spanish.

One of the main avenues for the participation of university-based counselors and psychologists in social change for social justice is through participatory action research. There are as many types of action research as there are practitioners, but all have in common an interest in linking systematic inquiry to the process of change in a particular setting with some degree of participation by community members. We want to open up a space not only for the presentation of successful action research projects, but also for reflection on the following sorts of questions or topics linked to action research:
· How can the participation of community members in the initiation, design and conduct of the project be as meaningful as possible? What obstacles arise in trying to achieve this aim?

· How do action research techniques need to be modified for use in settings that are not typical organizations or communities, such as virtual communities, professional associations, or communities of practice?

· How do action researchers resolve the tension between meeting the goals of academic publishing on one hand and the aims of the change project on the other, especially since things rarely go as planned?

· What are the lessons that can be learned through action research about the nature of system change for social justice?

Manuscripts are due by August 1, 2010 and will be reviewed by peers. Guidelines for submission can be found at We specifically seek articles that describe the complexities of social change work and the lessons learned from hard experience. Most aspects of the work deserve further systematic reflection, ranging from the personal struggles of activists and group process issues in grassroots organizing to analyses of change processes related to power and policy in macrosocial structures. The Journal is open to a variety of formats for addressing such topics: research articles, interviews, essays, autoethnography, etc.

The Journal for Social Action in Counseling and Psychology invites a wide array of articles and essays focusing on how we can be more effective as counselors, therapists, and psychologists in fostering system-level change for peace and social justice. The Journal's original mission statement can be found here:

JSACP is indexed by EBSCO and is available free of charge to readers all over the world. The first three issues of the Journal may be accessed for free at
Inquiries should be addressed to the editors at

Thursday, 28 January 2010

How not to write a PhD thesis - Tara Brabazon

Here is were you can find the whole of Tara Brabazon's top ten tips for doctoral failure. Summarised, don't do this if you want to successfully finish your Ph.D.:

1. Submit an incomplete, poorly formatted bibliography

2. Use phrases such as “some academics” or “all the literature” without mitigating statements or references

3. Write an abstract without a sentence starting “my original contribution to knowledge is…”

4. Fill the bibliography with references to blogs, online journalism and textbooks

5. Use discourse, ideology, signifier, signified, interpellation, postmodernism, structuralism, post-structuralism or deconstruction without reading the complete works of Foucault, Althusser, Saussure, Baudrillard or Derrida

6. Assume something you are doing is new because you have not read enough to know that an academic wrote a book on it 20 years ago

7. Leave spelling mistakes in the script

8. Make the topic of the thesis too large

9. Write a short, rushed, basic exegesis

10. Submit a PhD with a short introduction or conclusion

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

How to pass your PhD

Tara Brabazon: Road map to doctoral failure

In this ten-step guide, Tara Brabazon presents the don’ts and don’ts of the PhD process.

Part one: bibliographies

The canary in the mine

Doctoral students need to be told that most examiners start marking from the back of the script. Just as cooks are judged by their ingredients and implements, we judge doctoral students by the calibre of their sources.

The moment examiners see incomplete references or find that key theorists in the topic are absent, they worry. This concern intensifies when in-text citations with no match in the bibliography are located.

If examiners find ten errors, then students are required to perform minor corrections. If there are 20 anomalies, the doctorate will need major corrections. Any referencing issues over that number and examiners question the students’ academic abilities.

If the most basic academic protocols are not in place, the credibility of a script wavers. A bibliography is not just a bibliography: it is a canary in the doctoral mine.

UPDATE the link to the article appears to have stopped working and I can't find it anywhere on THES website but it was there! A search in google does find the page but clicking on it doesn't work either. If it comes back I'll put the link up again. Here is a link to the cached version which might disappear soon:

The Simpson's view of Grad students

Something to lighten your morning with, thanks to the Simpsons:

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Radio show on bail in America

There is a new three part series on the burden of bail in America's criminal justice system that should prove to be interesting listening. There is an accompanying article on the website linked above.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Evidence by La La & the Boo Ya

I couldn't resist posting this, partly because my friends made it, but also because it's about time people made statements about the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008, section 76 which bans people from taking photos of the police in novel and interesting ways.

This line is my favourite:

The law, creates an uproar,
the uproar justifies the law,

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

BSC Conference Leicester 2010 - First call for papers now open

* British Society of Criminology Conference 2010 - First call for papers now open *
Dear all,
The first call for papers for the British Society of Criminology Conference Leicester 2010 is now open and will close on Friday 5 February 2010. If you would like to present a paper at the conference then you will need to submit an abstract as soon as possible. To find out how to submit an abstract and to download a submission form please follow the link below:
We are also accepting papers submitted as a complete panel. If you would like to submit a panel comprising three or four papers presented by other colleagues please follow the link above to download the panel submission form.
For postgraduate students, the postgraduate bursary application form is now available. Please follow the link below to download the form and to check whether or not you are eligible:
For further details about the keynote speakers, the conference streams, the venue and the delegate packages and prices please visit our website: Booking for the conference will open in February 2010.
If you have any questions about how to submit an abstract or about the conference in general contact Helen Baldock (BSC Conference Co-ordinator): Web:

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Phil Wheatley to retire

I think this is true but apologies if it's not. Phil Wheatley, the Director General of NOMS has announced his retirement for some time in the comming year.

I met him once- although I doubt he remembers- bizarrely, we ended up having a pint together in Gonville and Caius bar (he paid!). He seemed like a nice guy who did want things to change- we talked about the probation service mainly and he said he was committed to cutting paperwork. He didn't have any ideas as to how but then, to be fair, neither did I when he asked me!

Does anyone have ideas on an ideal successor and what recommendations would you give him?

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Child imprisonment: Mr. Lansley's reply

On 19 December 2009, some of the Ph.D. candidates at the Institute of Criminology sent a letter to Mr. Lansley, MP for Cambridgeshire South whose constituency contains the Oakington immigration removal centre asking him to lobby the Government and his party to combat the rising numbers of young people being detained for immigration purposes, and to reduce the number of young people being imprisoned for criminal matters following the recent publication of research into the serious mental and physical health damages to children in prison, as reported in the most recent edition of Child Abuse and Neglect: the International Journal. Below is Mr. Lansley's reply:

"Dear Ms. Armstrong and Mr. Phillips,

Thank you for contacting me about the detention of migrant children.

I understand your concerns about the care of migrant children. This issue is incredibly difficult and emotive, and I appreciate your considered views on this. I know from those who have visited detention centres that it can be very uncomfortable seeing children behind bars.

Unfortunately up until very recently the Government said that it did not hold central data on the numbers of migrant children held in detention. However, my colleague, the Shadow Immigration Minister, Damian Green MP, has been successful in pushing the Government to collect data on the detention of children under the Immigration Act, and this has recently been published for the first time. The figures revealed that 470 minors were being detained with their families in June, with most being under five years of age. The provision of this essential statistical information will enable all those with an interest to monitor how effective Government policy is in this area.

Conservatives are looking at effective alternatives to detention for children, and we are very disappointed that the Government has been so half-hearted in pursuing this. It would be better and cheaper if we didn’t have to lock up children for weeks, and sadly, sometimes months. Other countries seem to have effective alternatives to detention and I know that Damian Green regularly meets with children’s charities to explore other approaches.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact me.

Andrew Lansley"

The conservative's policy on honesty in sentencing

I posted the following on my own blog yesterday and wondered what other PhD students thought:

The Conservatives have said that when/if they win the next election they will introduce ‘honesty in sentencing’ which will ‘ensure judges spell out clearly the minimum and the maximum time a prisoner can expect to serve, depending on their behaviour and whether they make “reparations” for their offences.’ I don’t really see how this will change things or whether it is likely to improve the public’s perceptions of sentencing patterns. In my opinion the public needs to know that the judiciary are not out of touch with the rest of the country and that several studies have shown that the public tend to sentence in line with, or more leniently, than judges. If this is what the Tories are worried about- which they should be- then they are going about it all wrong.

Firstly, when a judge sentences someone to life or an indeterminate sentence for public protection (IPP) they are given a tariff which is, in effect, the minimum amount of time they will spend in prison and is for punishment purposes- after this point prisoners must prove that they no longer represent a risk to the community before they get released which seems fair enough to me (although there were major problems with IPPs when they were introduced with people being given 14 day tariffs but spending years inside- fortunately this has been rectified). The Tories’ proposal won’t affect the amount of time the more serious offenders spend inside, nor will it improve/increase the knowledge the public has in terms of when that person will get released because this is based on dynamic matters of dangerousness and risk rather than static (in the sense that it is decided at the point of sentence) matters of punishment and retribution. With regards to less serious offenders who are given determinate sentences this will change things but… it’s not like judges make the release date up when they sentence someone- it is worked out based on a variety of factors such as length of sentence, time already spent on remand or HDC as part of their bail conditions, etc. Once the magistrate has passed her/his sentence then anyone with a good knowledge of the law can work this out. Okay, so the majority of members of the public do not have the knowledge to work this out but neither do the majority of the public get their information about sentences directly from the horse’s mouth- it comes from the media who do (or should) have the knowledge (if not the impartiality to do it correctly) to work these matters out. The public will continue to learn what the minimum amount of time someone will spend in prison is through their normal channels- i.e. the media and so the Tories proposals will do nothing, per se, to change things in relation to lower level offenders. It might make life a bit easier for offenders and their families because they will know, right from the word go what situation they are in but I suspect that offenders’ needs aren’t at the heart of this policy.

Setting out the maximum amount of time an offender will spend in prison is already done with determinate sentences although admittedly an offender will rarely (if ever?) spend the full period in prison. I don’t know why the Tories want to, in effect, put a limit on the amount of time offenders who are given life or an IPP spend in prison by spelling this out in court. I also don’t know why behaviour is the thing they mention that will be used in this assessment. The judge cannot know all permutations of ‘bad’ behaviour a prisoner will get up to. Will they have to quantify it by saying something like, “if you fail to gain enhanced prisoner status and accrue 3 adjudications in the first year you will have to spend an extra 3 months beyond your tariff in prison?” I very much doubt it. I would also have thought that the Tories would be much more interested in the risk that someone poses when they eventually get released and let this be the deciding factor in when they are released. But, then, as mentioned above, risk is a dynamic concept- it can’t be measured at the point of sentence to determine release because it changes. It just doesn’t make sense.

The judiciary can already spell out in court what reparations an offender must make. This can be done by giving the offender Unpaid Work so they have to do some kind of Community Payback (wearing bright orange jackets as they do so). All fines and convictions also have a mandatory victim’s surcharge which also means offenders make reparations in some way. How else, I wonder do the Tories propose, that offenders make reparations- are they planning on introducing restorative justice more formally into the adult criminal justice system? If so, good on them!

The Tories proposals, therefore, appear to be somewhat redundant in the grand scheme of things although, on the face of it, they do probably seem appealing to the majority of people and so this move can be seen as purely populist tactic. Fair enough, populism wins votes but it’s just such a shame that populism looks set to become (or, rather, remain) a key factor in criminal justice policy if/when the Tories regain power. Moreover, from a normative perspective, what does this policy tell us about the Tories’ approach to risk- the ‘new’ paradigm of penal policy. Risk is, as we have seen, dynamic but this dynamism doesn’t seem to fit with the Tories preferred form of populism- are we going to see a retreat from risk measurement and management in guiding sentencing towards more ’simple’ to measure and more staticfactors such as retribution and just deserts- as we saw under the last Tory government in the Criminal Justice Act 1991?

Any comments?

Arts in prisons conference

Arts in Prisons:
their impact and potential

A conference for practitioners and researchers

12-14 February 2010, Edinburgh, Scotland

This international conference will bring arts practitioners and academic researchers together to look at the impact and potential of arts in prisons, and to initiate and develop long-term links and working partnerships. Organised by the University of Edinburgh, the Anne Peaker Centre, and Motherwell College Offender Learning unit, this event provides a space for intensive reflection and discussion about how we account for the value and impact of arts interventions in
the prison context.

Speakers and panelists include:

Jackson Taylor (U.S. PEN Prison Writing project)
Grady Hillman (Southwest Correctional Arts Network/ Texas State University-San Marcos, USA)
Dr Jill Vincent and Dr Mimi Terrano (Anne Peaker Centre for Arts in Criminal Justice)
Dr Alan Clarke (PAN European Prison Initiative)
Dr Reinhard Nolle (University of Kassel, Germany)
Sara Lee (Music in Prisons / The Irene Taylor Trust)
Dr Katie Overy (University of Edinburgh, Music and the Brain)
Tim Robertson (The Koestler Trust / Arts by Offenders)
Robin Baillie (National Galleries of Scotland)
William Cleveland (Centre for the Study of Art and Community, USA)
Isabel McCue (Theatre Nemo, Glasgow)
Dr Andrew Miles (ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change)
Professor Mike Nellis (Glasgow School of Social Work)
Antonia Rubinstein (Safe Ground)
Simon Ruding (Theatre in Prisons and Probation Centres)
Meade Palidofsky (Chicago Music Theatre Workshop)
Dr Charlotte Bilby (University of Leicester)
Leonidas Cheliotis (Queen Mary, University of London)

See here for more info:

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Call for papers: social policy conference

Call for Postgraduate Submissions & Attendance

Social Policy Association Conference, 5-7 July 2010, University of Lincoln

This year, the conference will include events for postgraduates.

We invite postgraduates to attend the conference and to participate in a range of events.

You can:

? develop a poster presentation
? present your research in a symposium
? get together with peers to submit a proposal for a symposium
? take part in a teaching and learning workshop
? come along to networking events with peers and established scholars.

You can submit a proposal to present your research

Proposals will be reviewed by a Programme Committee prior to acceptance. The closing date for the submission of abstracts and proposals is Friday 19th March 2010.

You will be asked to mark your abstract submission:

? Postgraduate Symposium
? Postgraduate Poster Presentation, or
? Postgraduate Networks

and email to

There will be a 50% subsidy in registration fees for Social Policy Association (SPA) or British Sociological Association (BSA) members. Details will be made available on the conference website:

You must be a member of the SPA or BSA to present your work and to take advantage of reduced conference fees.

Up to £40 travel expenses are available to all SPA postgraduate members on a first come first served basis, see the website for further details:

Monday, 11 January 2010

Job opening

Research Associate in Children's Policy

The listing can be found at:

The department is especially interested in candidates who are familiar with research literature on early childhood development; risk and protective factors influencing long-term developmental outcomes; familiarity with large data-base applications; statistical application packages; desk-top publishing; new/social media applications strongly desired.

This position is affiliated with the Department of Political Science at the University of Memphis and housed at The Urban Child Institute in Memphis, Tennessee. The institute is a privately funded nonprofit organization committed to improving the well-being of young children in Memphis by promoting optimal early brain development.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Call for abstracts: American Society of Criminology

The American Society of Criminology is ready to accept submissions for the annual meeting to be held in San Francisco, November 17-20, 2010 at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. There are several ways to participate in the meeting this year. You may submit a Presidential Panel Paper, Complete Thematic Panel, Individual Paper Presentation, Poster Presentation, Roundtable Submission, or Author Meets Critic Session. For more details about the submission types, see the Call for Papers linked to the submission site. Whichever type of presentation you choose to submit, all abstracts must be submitted on-line through the ASC website at

The deadline to submit a Presidential Panel Paper, Individual Paper and Author Meets Critic abstract is Friday March 12th, 2010. Poster and Roundtable abstracts and Presidential Panel Essays are due on Friday May 14th, 2010. No late submissions will be accepted.

You may submit ONLY ONE FIRST AUTHOR PRESENTATION and make only one other appearance as either a chair or discussant on a panel. Should you have to cancel your presentation after you have been assigned a date and time on the program, please notify your panel chair as soon as possible that you will be unable to attend. Please understand that our meetings have grown quite large, thus ASC cannot honor personal preferences for day and time of presentations.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact the committee at

Call for abstracts: British Society of Criminology

In 2010 the British Society of Criminology Annual Conference - entitled 'Human Rights, Human Wrongs: Dilemmas and Diversity in Criminology' will be hosted by the University of Leicester. The main conference will take place on Monday 12 July to Wednesday 14 July with the postgraduate conference taking place on Sunday 11 July.

Our guest speaker is the internationally renowned human rights lawyer and founder and Director of Reprieve, Clive Stafford Smith OBE. We also have an exciting line-up of academic keynote speakers comprising: Ben Bowling, Reece Walters, Lilie Chouliaraki and Jeff Ferrell and in addition, Laurie Taylor, from Radio Four's Thinking Allowed, will be speaking at the conference dinner.

For further details about the keynote speakers, the conference streams, the venue and the delegate packages and prices please visit our website: Booking for the conference will open in February 2010.

The first call for papers is now open and will close on Friday 4 February 2010. If you would like to present a paper at the conference then you will need to submit an abstract as soon as possible. To find out how to submit an abstract and to download a submission form please follow the link below: