Lecture: Naturalistic research as a public issue? In cooperation with Amsterdam University Press (AUP) and Spui 25


Lecture (Dutch) 5 februari, 17:00 - 18:30

Naturalistic Research seems to get lost in the abundance of surveys and big data -Doing Qualitative Research advocates a return to this method. Globalisation, urbanisation, migration, and segregation call for interpretation from the inside. With Halleh Ghorashi, Fred Wester, Bart van Heerikhuizen, and the authors.

Anthropologists, ethnographers, sociologists, historians, psychologists, organisational researchers, psychiatrists, medical anthropologists, journalists - they all use qualitative methods - sometimes less, sometimes more - to gain their insights. Its traditional core is naturalistic research: studying social reality without disturbing it. That means to do justice to human perception; to thake their views seriously, to deduce knowledge from them, and to report these insights intelligibly. 

The craft of qualitative-naturalistic investigation threatens to get lost among the superficiality of digital surveys, the anonymity of big data, and the overkill of statistical techniques. Uncritical acceptance of the economist view of human behaviour puts naturalistic study under further pressure. Doing Qualitative Research advocates a return to the craft of naturalistic inquiry. Radical social developments such as globalisation, urbanisation, migration, and segregation call for an interpretation of society from within. 

Led by Bart van Heerikhuizen (Universiteit van Amsterdam), Halleh Ghorashi (Vrije Universiteit), Fred Wester (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen) and the authors of the book Doing Qualitative Research discuss the importance of qualitative research, the advantages of the naturalistic approach, and the argumant that this is the ultimate approach to socially relevant and intelligible social science. 

About the speakers

Halleh Ghorashi came to the Netherlands as a political refugee from Tehran. She received her doctorate in anthropology and, since 2006, is a professor of Diversity and Inclusion at VU University. In her work, which uses qualitative methodologies, she advocates inclusive political thought and against populism and Islamophobia.

Fred Wester is professor of Communication at the University of Nijmegen. He has a great reputation in qualitative research. Together with Vinvent Peeters, he developed a computer programme for the analysis of qualitative data. Kwalitan is used by researchers and students all over the world. 

Bart van Heerikhuizen is emeritus professor at the University of Amsterdam. Few people in the Netherlands have such a broad overview and such a deep understanding of social science theories as he. Generations of students attended his lectures. He is co-author of the classic textbook 'Samenlevingen' (Societies) and a popular columnist. 

Joost Beuving teaches anthropology at the University of Nijmegen. He is particularly interested in daily economic life. He studied used car dealership from Europe to West Africa, and export-fishing of Nile perch on Lake Viktoria in East Africa. 

Geert de Vries teaches sociology at VU University and Amsterdam University College. He specialises in historical sociology. He has also done research on educational expansion, schools, and the way that young people experience social problems and social change in the Netherlands. 


All SPUI25 events are free to attend but registration is required. If you find that you are unable to attend, please let us know via spui25@uva.nl | T: 020 525 8142.

5 february 2015