The subtitle for the initiative, “Practising social research with new media”, indicates that Live Sociology was a forum for experimentation and innovation in, and with, research methods. I was fortunate to obtain an ESRC Training Bursary to attend the first year of the programme, which involved participating in a season of workshops and events over the course of one academic year. Designed for professional researchers as a series of masterclasses, Live Sociology offered participants a variety of advanced skills development opportunities including photography, the conduct of observational fieldwork in urban contexts, digital image manipulation and digital film-making skills using Final Cut Pro. More importantly, it created a community of like-minded researchers engaged in the practise of “live sociology”. The staggering of events over one year offered opportunities for reflection and dialogue, and sparked the development of an authentic community of practice.
Utopian Visions [PDF, 8.6MB]- a short text I wrote as a reflection on “doing” Live Sociology (text and images copyright Catherine Howell)