APSA 2021 Methods Café
“The 2021 APSA theme, “Promoting Pluralism,” encourages political scientists to embrace methodological pluralism in their study of political, economic, and social upheavals and significant transformations that are occurring across the globe. Given the emphasis of methodological diversity, our proposed Methods Café brings together a group of scholars experienced in a variety of interpretive research methods, ranging from interviews to participant observation. At the café, these scholars are available to anyone who wishes to discuss the area of study or method they specialize in.
The café is not a panel or roundtable session where presenters prepare formal presentations on their topics and speak in sequence. Instead, it is an informal setting— “a café” with multiple tables [breakout rooms] to sit—that allows for one-on-one and group discussions, networking and support. Here, cafe “visitors” will find tables [breakout rooms] set up in the café meeting room; each table featuring the method being discussed at that table (e.g., “Interviewing”) and one or two “specialists” in that research method sitting at that table. Topics and the names of the specialists are listed below, and one or more hosts positioned at the room’s entrance [main virtual room] helps people figure out who is sitting where and further explain the process.
“Visitors” to the café are invited to arrive at any point in the time block allotted, visit any table they like, and stay as long as they like. A visitor might join a table and ask the specialist to talk about how s/he uses the method on offer at that table. If a conversation is already under way, others can join in or just sit and listen. One need not worry about having questions that are “too elementary”—it is fine to ask anything about that method, at any level!—and visitors may leave the [breakout room] table or main room at any time. Altogether, we encourage visitors to circulate among as many tables as they wish, and we ask only they sign in at each table they visit—our way of evaluating the demand for each topic. This year we are excited to add new tables such as Indigenous Interpretive Methods and Intersectional approaches to gender and sexuality.”
October 1, 2021 at 1:00PM–2:30PM ET
Interpretive Methodologies and Methods (APSA)