A speaker's slant
Some impressions of the Being Human day: first up I'd say that the simple act of coming together as qualitative researchers is perhaps the single most powerful thing about a conference like this
Being in a room full of over a hundred people who get it is rather magical. It wasnt just a matter of hearing from people who puzzle over the same issues, have the same pressures and stresses and derive the same amount of joy from our profession. It also felt great sitting and talking about how we could be reaching out and helping each other as a community.
The call for us as researchers to be more human through our work was eloquently expressed by Sabine Stork and Kathryn Bailey from Thinktank. Rather than steering ourselves ever closer to perfect objectivity they made the call for a more expressive encounter, where conversation flows more naturally and us researchers can feel more free to simply be ourselves.
Shiri Atsmon from TNS looked at how technology can actually make us more human, more caring, more in tune with each other and the rest of the world. Surely the great driving force behind the social media explosion is the desire to communicate and connect, so its nice to be reminded of this as we wrestle with the more cynical expressions of our online experience.
It was also great to get the recruiters perspective. Again, we heard a call for a more human and less data driven approach, pen portraits rather than restrictive grids, indicative profiles of real people rather than abstract and hard to find expressions of a sample matrix.
Associate Director, BAMM
This article was first published in InBrief magazine, December 2015
Copyright © Association for Qualitative Research, 2015