Democratising Knowledge Production through Methodological Innovations

Welcome to second Practice Research Talks Webinar on 24th of May at 10-11.30 EET

Associate Professor Sui Ting Kong from Durham University will give her presentation online via zoom:

Democratising Knowledge Production through Methodological Innovations

Research methods are not politically neutral. While methods structure the interactions between academics and social workers, service users and community members, they also implicitly but firmly draw the line between the knower and the known, the observing and the observed and the legitimate and the illegitimate. Despite noticeable attempts to democratise knowledge production in social work practice research, less has been on addressing the politics of established research methods and pushing for methodological innovations. In this seminar, I will present on Cooperative Grounded Inquiry (2016) and Collaborative Focus Group Analysis (2021) plus theatre (2018), in order to illustrate how methodological innovations, informed by engaged feminist research and decolonising scholarship, can be a form of justice intervention – one can create safe space to (1) contest the notion of cartesian knower, (2) build a sense of community for knowledge making and to (2) embrace extended epistemology for telling silenced stories

Sui Ting Kong is Associate Professor in Social Work at Durham University. She joined Durham University in 2017 after working at University of Hong Kong for two years as postdoctoral fellow. Her academic interests are in feminist participatory methodologies, social work practice research and model building as well as violence against women.

Her research involves working with social work practitioners and service users, women who have experienced violence and Hongkonger diaspora. Through participatory or collaborative processes, Sui Ting explores ways to democratise knowledge production through methodological innovations. The methods/methodologies that these projects have developed include:
• Cooperative Grounded Inquiry (2015)• Collaborative focused group analysis (2020), plus the use of theatre (2018)• Collaborative Practice Research for Social Work (2022)

Sui Ting Kong`s keynote will be followed by a commentator speech by Meri Kulmala, director of the Helsinki Inequality Initiative (INEQ), University of Helsinki, and then open discussion.

Meri Kulmala, PhD in Sociology, docent in Social and Public Policy (University of Eastern Finland) and in Russian and Eurasian Studies (University of Helsinki) works as the director of the Helsinki Inequality Initiative (INEQ) at the University of Helsinki (UH), which is a research network in multidisciplinary inequality studies. She has led several research projects on child welfare and carried out peer-research with young care leavers transitioning into their independent living from different forms of foster care. Currently she is a principal investigator in two research projects: one focusing on young people, mental wellbeing and peer support in the context of social media, another on linguistic vulnerability in social work. Both projects involve elements of co-research. She is a founding member of the Finnish Co-research Network and an editor of the recently published, first Finnish speaking text book on co-research ‘Kanssatutkimus: Ihanteet ja käytännöt’ [Co-research: Ideals and Practices] by Tampere University Press (2023).     

Please join us on 24th May at 10.00 EET to listen and discuss online via Zoom:

(Meeting ID: 670 2897 7486, Passcode: 342912)