Inspiring 'The Methodological Imagination': Using Art and Literature in Social Science Methods Teaching
This chapter shows that how the use of art and literature in undergraduate research method modules can stimulate student involvement but perhaps more importantly lead to their greater intellectual understanding of the core principles of critically reading and carrying out social research. It illustrates how an engagement with contemporary literary and art forms can increase student enjoyment of research methods modules, confirm the academic and quotidian relevance of the research process to the social world but also, more importantly, develop students' critical methodological imaginations. The chapter discusses the use of fiction, television programmes and cartoons as an aid to student understanding of the areas of epistemology. theory, methodology and research techniques, as well as the interlinkages between these discrete parts of the research endeavour. The final element of the social research process consists of the research techniques themselves; that is the 'instruments' used for collecting and analysing data.