On 3-4 October, SWEAH held a workshop in Lund within the framework of the course "Theoretical Perspectives on methodological choices in research on aging and health". Two days dedicated to deepen the initial online discussions of the course with lectures and group discussions.
The workshop was led by Jan Hartman, senior lecturer in theoretical philosophy at the University of Lund and Peter Hagell, professor of health sciences at the University of Kristianstad.
- Theory is something very important that we do not spend so much time on in our daily research. Moreover, it is particularly relevant for us within SWEAH since many work interdisciplinary. We have discussed this a lot during our online discussions. The theoretical paradigms differ between disciplines and this will have implications when you work together, PhD student Caroline Hasselgren at the Department of Sociology and Work Science, University of Gothenburg, states.
Caroline Hasselgren is in her second year as a graduate student. The current course aims at students who need support in the beginning of the work with their thesis. Or, in the end of their work, as the icing on the cake.
Mascha Pauelsen, PhD student at the Department of Health Sciences, Luleå University of Technology, began her thesis work in June 2015. Much time was initially spent on practical preparations.
- Still, I do not really have any particular theory related to my project, and I want to find theories to connect with my thesis. So I have high expectations on this SWEAH course, Mascha Pauelsen says.
Both Hasselgren and Pauelsen appreciate the course's initial online discussions.
- I think that the discussions on the net have worked well since you have time to think before responding and do not have to react immediately, Mascha Pauelsen highlights.
- I also think that the discussions on the net worked out well. There is always a risk that this kind of conversations die after a while and people just tend to agree with each other, Caroline Hasselgren says and continues:
Overlapping threads and themes
- But there were many overlapping threads and themes and it was not always obvious what to respond to.
At lunch of the first day the two workshop participants had enjoyed the opening lecturer Jan Hartman.
- It was fun to listen to a philosopher and get his view on the matter. It was inspiring, Mascha Pauelsen says.
Mary Haak is SWEAH's study coordinator. After the workshop, she summed up her impressions.
- It was two intense days of lectures and group discussions. The interdisciplinary context of SWEAH opens up the opportunity for in-depth discussions about theoretical considerations regarding respective PhD-student's dissertation work, Maria Haak points out and continues:
- During this course, we tried a new approach in which our students prior to the workshop studied the literature and then discussed it in groups through the online learning platform Moodle. Most students have seen this as something positive. We will work further to develop similar outlines in coming courses in SWEAH's specific curriculum.
Text and photo: Erik Skogh