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U of T Research Plan

Capacity building with respect to U of T's Strategic Research Plan

CQ is engaged in numerous activities that build capacity in the critical qualitative health research community to align with the goals of the University of Toronto Strategic Research Plan. The most relevant categories identified in the Research Plan include:

1) Promote healthy people, healthy communities, and a healthy world

2) Engage mind, language, culture, and values

3) Build communities and livable societies

Promote

“Promote” is concerned with improving health and well-being through health promotion and illness prevention locally and globally. There is a focus on cooperative solutions, and engaging those affected by certain health conditions in the research process. CQ aids in achieving this goal through investigating health-related research problems that are not well-addressed through clinical and epidemiological research; conceptualizing and explaining phenomena rather than attributing numeric properties and statistics. A critical perspective is maintained by questioning assumptions and acknowledging the role of power and inequity in health-related phenomena. Examples of capacity building through courses, seminars and academic visitors’ work that address this goal are as follows:

Courses:

  • EX5510: Qualitative Inquiry and Physical Cultural Studies
  • NUR1085H: Topics in Critical Perspectives in Health and Health Care
  • CHL5101: Social Theory and Health
  • CHL5102: Social and Political Forces in Health

Academic visitors:

  • Dr. Maria Ines Gandolfo Conceicao (Department of Psychology, University of Brasília, Brasília): qualitative research methods related to addiction, HIV, harm reduction
  • Dr. Joao Tadeu de Andrade (Department of Anthropology, State University of Fortaleza, UNIFOR): qualitative research on health promotion

Seminars:

  • It’s your body but…: Politicizing young women’s personal narratives of HPV vaccine decision making using critical narrative methodology (Jessica Polzer, Francesca Mancuso and Debbie Laliberte Rudman, The University of Western Ontario)
  • Critical dramaturgy: A methodology for studying a psychoeducational support group for children of parents with mental illnesses (Brenda Gladstone, University of Toronto)
  • Attending to the “active properties” of texts: Using municipal bylaws as an entry point into trans-biopolitics and the negotiation of urban space (Melanie Rock, University of Calgary)
  • Returning the gaze: ethical-methodological approaches in a study with persons with intellectual disabilities (Ann Fudge Schormans, McMaster University; Adrienne Chambon, University of Toronto)
  • Hearts, bodies and identity: Towards a critical visual phenomenology of heart transplantation (Jennifer Poole, Ryerson University; Oliver Mauthner, University Health Network; Enza DeLuca, University Health Network)
  • Shifting subject positions: examining expertise and citizenship in relation to human genetics (Sarah Cunningham-Burley, University of Edinburgh)
  • Arts-informed research for public education: The Alzheimer project (Ardra Cole, Maura McIntyre, OISE)
  • Telling health insurance stories: Towards a dialogic social science (Tim Diamond, University of Michigan)
  • A spy in the house of healing: Challenges of doing critical qualitative research in clinical settings (Fiona Webster, University of Toronto)

Engage

“Engage” is concerned with engaging with various aspects of human experience, in order to understand diversity and transform inequitable practices. “Engage” also involves understanding the implications new media and information and communications technologies; exploring meaning making and construction of narratives in order to understand human behaviour and modern society. CQ furthers this goal by advancing critical qualitative methodological theory and practice, developing and adapting these methods to new disciplines and topics. CQ also maintains globalized thinking with regards to research, and continues to develop a global network of qualitative researchers and educators that can lend insight into different fields and global diversity.

Courses:

  • EX5510: Qualitative Inquiry and Physical Cultural Studies
  • SWK6307H: Designing and Implementing Qualitative Social Work Research

Academic visitors:

  • Dr. Shams Hamid (Faculty of Education, Iqra University, Pakistan): visual methods in the qualitative health research field

Seminars:

  • Body-map storytelling as research: Documenting physical, emotional and social health as a journey (Denise Gastaldo, University of Toronto)
  • Think with your senses, feel with your mind – A strategy for integrating and analyzing multisensory data in qualitative research (Paula Gardner, Bridgepoint Research Collaboratory)
  • Critical dramaturgy: A methodology for studying a psychoeducatinal support group for children of parents with mental illnesses (Brenda Gladstone, University of Toronto)
  • Theatre as hermeneutic methodology: A case study of the use of theatre in bioethics research (Kate Rossiter, Laurier Brantford)
  • UnMasking Power Relations: From interview research to dialogue for social change (Blake Poland, University of Toronto)
  • Other ways of knowing: How does photovoice work? (Lilian Magalhaes, University of Western Ontario)
  • Arts-based approaches to knowledge translation in health research: Exploring theatre and dance (Pia Kontos & Katherine Boydell, University of Toronto)
  • Hearts, bodies and identity: Towards a critical visual phenomenology of heart transplantation (Jennifer Poole & Enza DeLuca, University Health Network)
  • Data Co-production and Analysis: The example of Video Diaries (Barbara Gibson, University of Toronto)
  • Methodology as cultural practice: dialoguing with the arts (Adrienne Chambon, University of Toronto)
  • Pompous pedants, medical monsters and humane healers: Learning from the representations of physicians in opera and literature (Linda Hutcheon & Michael Hutcheon, University of Toronto)
  • Making a mess and spreading it around: Critical reflections on the process of creating and performing research-based drama (Ross Gray, Sunnybrook)
  • Arts-informed research for public education: The Alzheimer project (Ardra Cole, OISE)

Other activities:

  • Arts-Based Health Research Interest Group

Build

“Build” is concerned with building livable societies, which are defined, in part, by health and access to affordable health care, as well as social stability and equity. CQ has a goal of advocating for and facilitating change in health research environments, breaking down barriers to conducting qualitative health research, which can offer valuable input in achieving the goals related to building livable communities.

Courses:

  • SWK6307H: Designing and Implementing Qualitative Social Work Research
  • CHL5010: Social Theory and Health 
  • CHL5102: Social and Political Forces and Health

Academic visitors:

  • Dr. Shiva Sadeghi (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Toronto): social determinants of health and mental health literacy

Seminars:

  • Attending to the ‘active properties’ of texts: Using municipal bylaws as an entry point into trans-biopolitics and the negotiation of urban space (Melanie Rock, University of Calgary)
  • Ethical reflexivity in community-based research: Unpacking the implications of engaging community members as co-researchers (Sarah Flicker, York University; Adrian Guta, University of Toronto; Brenda Roche, Wellesley Institute)
  • The privileges and pitfalls of conducting narrative research: deconstructing my collaborative storytelling methodology (Dan Mahoney, Ryerson University)
  • Doing research on aging when nobody is old (Stephen Katz, Trent University)
  • Knowing, knowing how, and knowing what to say: Transferring knowledge between the academy and the community (Adrienne Chambon & Deborah Knott, University of Toronto)
  • Data co-production and analysis: The example of video diaries (Barbara Gibson, University of Toronto)
  • Research outreach in qualitative research (Denise Gastaldo, University of Toronto)

Contextual Application of Qualitative Knowledge

In addition to courses that teach students how to think through and use qualitative methods, CQ also offers courses that teach students how to apply these learned theories and knowledge to a variety of contexts. In particular, courses with a focus on health in society, arts-based research, community-based/participatory action research, and physical culture and health research provide novice researchers with training relevant to the University of Toronto’s strategic research goals.