Training Programme on Unobtrusive Research Methods in Social Sciences and Humanities
The social sciences have a strong yet somewhat unrecognized tradition of using a range of methods of data collection/construction, which are now conceptualized as unobtrusive measures. These methods do not intrude into social settings, groups and individuals who are objects of enquiry. These works on existing texts like census, literature and cultural practices. Since intrusion by a researcher, as in questionnaire surveyor interview or participant observation, is not needed, findings do not suffer from reactions on the part of an individual or a people being investigated.
To sensitize young researchers about the possibilities of understanding such methods create, a weeklong interdisciplinary training program on Unobtrusive Research Methods was organized by the Institute of Development Studies Kolkata in collaboration with the Center for Social Sciences and Humanities, the University of Calcutta, between August 31 and September 4, 2004, and coordinated by Prasanta Ray, Honorary Professor, IDSK.
The faculty was drawn from disciplines like History, Sociology, Economics, Political Science, Demography, Women’s Studies, Literature, and Film Studies. The college-level teachers and research scholars too came from different disciplinary background. Nearly 40 researchers registered their names for the training programme.
The themes chosen were: Unobtrusive Methods, Reading Novel, Narrative, Discourse Analysis, Poetic Discourse, Discourse in Archive, Film as Text, Reading Painting, Metaphors, Words and their Meanings, Translation, Uses of Archives, Analysis of Existing Statistics and Triangulation.
The speakers were: Bamita Bagchi, Shamita Basu, Malini Bhattacharya, Mihir Bhattacharya, Bhasakar Chakraborty, Basudeb Chatterji, Ratnabali Chatterji, Subhoranjan Dasgupta, Anjan Ghosh, Samir Guha Roy, Avijit Mitra, Anuradha Roy and Prasanta Ray.