Wednesday, 6 November 2013


methodology & critical analysis.


How the information you have found is ...
Refer back to previous lectures that have emphasised  the importance of evidence

You need to clearly evidence why you selected these methods of gathering information and selecting evidence and why they are the most
appropriate for your study...
This will make you appear to be in control and aware of what you are doing...
methodology - A systematic way of sifting through information to get to the point - occur in an introduction

dictionary definition:
•noun, plural -gies. 1. a set or system of methods, principles, and rules for regulating a given discipline, as in the arts or sciences.
•2. Philosophy . a. the underlying principles and rules of organization of a philosophical system or inquiry procedure.
•b. the study of the principles underlying the organization of the various sciences and the conduct of scientific inquiry.
•3. Education . a branch of pedagogics dealing with analysis and evaluation of subjects to be taught and of the methods of teaching

To describe and analyse… methods, throwing light on their limitations and resources, clarifying their suppositions and consequences,
relating their potentialities to the twilight zone at the frontiers of knowledge… (Kaplan, 1973:93)

It is not that we must somehow ‘please’ our critical colleague audiences; the deeper issue is to avoid self delusion. After that we can
turn to the task about how we did study, and what worried us about its quality. Without such methodological frankness, we run the
risk of reporting ‘knowledge that ain’t so’. (Miles & Huberman, 1994:294)

These can help you decide upon the methods you use
Alternatively the material you find may suggest the appropriate theories
•noun, plural the·o·ries. 1. a coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct, that can be used as
principles of explanation and prediction for a class of phenomena: Einstein's theory of relativity. Synonyms: principle, law, doctrine.
•2. a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural and subject to experimentation, in contrast to well-established propositions
that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact. Synonyms: idea, notion hypothesis, postulate. Antonyms: practice, verification,
corroboration, substantiation.
•3. Mathematics . a body of principles, theorems, or the like, belonging to one subject: number theory.
•4. the branch of a science or art that deals with its principles or methods, as distinguished from its practice: music theory.
•5. a particular conception or view of something to be done or of the method of doing it; a system of rules or principles: conflicting
theories of how children best learn to read.

Choose at least one key theory that relates to the material you are looking at...
Examples of theories often used by students:
•Psychological- S.Freud; C.Jung; J.Lacan; L.Mulvey etc.
•Communication theory- J.Fiske, etc.
•Postcolonialism- Spivak, Said, Bhabha etc.
•Social History of Art- T.J.Clarke, J.Berger etc.
•Marxism / Post-Marxism- Frankfurt School
•Gender Studies / Feminist- G.Pollock; L.Nochlin

action research
Choose the Theories and Methods most appropriate to your subject
one_methods, two_theory, three_application
1. Make decisions about how to collect and order  information
2. Choose a relevant theoretical stand point
3. Apply these to your study
4. Explicitly outline this in the introduction. Address suggested failings in the conclusion.

dictionary definition
from the Greek word Kreinein, meaning to separate or to choose
Reasoned Thinking
‘Stepping away’ and using evidence and logic to come to your conclusions 

finding ways to disprove hypothesis and left with 'truth' being critical, the opposite of being emotive or suggestive informed body of
research with a critical approach

some perspectives that you might adopt or consider


say something with conviction and bias and back it up with loads of research, if you don't agree with something then don't
pay 'lip service' to something you think is wrong...make everything clear in the methodology different approaches lead to 
different results.

Where was the author/artist/designer/photographer situated?
Try to consider different points of view...where the creator was coming from intellectually; emotionally; philosophically,
being critical is about interrogating the sources that you're using.  
where are you coming from, you're particular take on things
where am I coming from? How is my choice of topic influenced by my emotions; aspirations; context?

context is everything

Consider the influence of one or more of the following:
the time; place; society; politics; economics; technology; philosophy; scientific thought.... 
everything you look at, case studies of whatever- how does the time and place affect its meaning how did political issues affect this...
changes/development in do they all relate or inform what you're looking at, what and why was the designer making?
how does this relate to other stuff going on?
critical analysis
as you're writing, don't just make points, always back up with evidence, evidence could be quotes, empirical, data from surveys etc.

what is the evidence for what you're saying?  Could you find more evidence to support your conclusion?
always try and find more than one source to support conclusions


think about an argument that progresses

argument - what do you want to say?
have I got the evidence to back it up?
where else do I need to look in order to find more evidence?

evidence that you have looked at more than one source and can find an answer within a multitude of theories
assess a number of different takes on one topic
and then find you're stance on it

Pitting alternative theories against the same body of data

a clear logical plan
Keep it simple- refine what you want to say and focus on a few key issue
Look into your key issues in depth and bring in the maximum evidence in to support your views
Discuss your issues and the evidence you have found in a clear and logical manner
Move from the general to the specific
You need to show the reader that you are evaluating the evidence for its relevance and reliability
Evaluation= Looking at and coming to conclusions about the value of your evidence

critical analysis of a text step by step
Step one
Identify an aspect of your specialist subject that you would like to explore.

Step two
Select a writer or theorist and a particular piece of writing about your specialist subject.

Step three
                Make notes that Identify the key points in the writing.

Step four
What evidence is used to support or 'prove' the key points'.

Step five
Is it convincing?
What else needs to be said in order to 'prove' the key points?

Step six
Write a response to the piece of writing and comment on:
the implications for your work; do you agree/ disagree with what has been said ? Does it help to support your views/ argument?
the thoughts you have had as the result of reading this piece;
on the evidence used by the writer.

visual analysis, step by step
The following prompts could be used when analysing a piece of visual work:
Look at and comment upon the significance of the use of...
Line; Colour; Tone; Texture; Form; Composition; etc.
How are these related to the function of, or ‘message’ communicated by, the piece?
How are they related to context; media and materials available ;technology; attitudes prevalent at the time the work was made?
What evidence do you have to support your conclusions?

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