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Multiperspectivity and Multi-Scalarity in Writing Your Area Studies Thesis. Spatial and Social Science Theories and Methods

Anna Steigemann (Regensburg)

Thursday, 24 November 2022 10:00
Friday, 25 November 2022 14:00


This hands-on PhD block seminar/workshop will introduce to different multi-scalar and multi-perspective approaches to writing an Area Studies dissertation. Based on the doctoral candidates’ projects, the seminar will bring together different disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives while introducing the participants to multi-scalar techniques for collecting, interpreting, and analyzing qualitative data. With this the doctoral candidates can reflect on and discuss their wider methodological approaches and data collection across the different Area Studies disciplines.

For this, the seminar requires the doctoral students to prepare and share their current state and particularly the current fieldwork and data collection challenges in advance. This will allow us to zoom in and collectively discuss your individual approaches and takes on multi-scalarity, their field work plans, discuss ethical issues around doorkeepers, sampling, field work interaction with your research partners, how to protect and use sensitive data and information for your further work, next strategic and analytic steps, et cetera.

In addition, and based on the doctoral candidates’ individual projects, we will operate on two interrelated dimensions, one focused on the theoretical approaches to various types of multi-scalar qualitative research, the other focused on the practical techniques of data collection. We will also talk about the practical issues involved in the design and implementation of multi-disciplinary, multi-perspective and multi-scalar qualitative research methods.

For those doctoral candidates who haven’t started/just started their empirical research yet, the seminar also serves as a last preparation before you go (again) into the field, the class is organized with the following objectives in mind:

(1) To give you basic training in qualitative social and spatial research in the interdisciplinary field of Area Studies. This requires exposing you to issues of multi-scalar conceptualization, theory, research design, and strategies for framing questions.
(2) To consider the various domains or topical areas in social sciences and area studies, where qualitative work has made major contributions. This includes reflecting on the usage of qualitative method in interpretive, descriptive, and explanatory research.
(3) To continue the discussions on the ethical responsibilities of qualitative researchers, who have closer contact with “subjects” and “informants” as rather “field partners” than other researchers typically do.
(4) To think collectively and critically about the forms of multi-scalar and multi-perspective writing (articles, dissertations, books, etc.) and professional presentations.


Anna Steigemann is Acting Chair of Sociological Dimensions of Space, Interdisciplinary and Multi-Scalar Spatial and Area Research at the Department for Area Studies of the Universität Regensburg. Her research interests are among others urban and spatial sociology, cultural sociology, social inequality, urban and social transformation research.


Please submit by 11 November 2022 via email to anna.steigemann@ur.de

  • 1 page exposé (framework and research question(s))
  • 1 page methodological approach 
  • max. 1 page current state & timeline  
  • 1 page current methodological challenges


Universität Regensburg, Sammelgebäude, room 214