About my blog

Kathie Ross B&W

Some old and some new.  I post on things interesting to me at the time.  Currently my interests include my research into gender and professions (particularly accounting), Bourdieu, instruction and presentations, and work-life balance.  An overview of my current research project can be found here.

Posted in Accounting, Instruction and presentations, PhD Studies

Relating gender issues to social sustainability

Of the 17 sustainable goals adopted by the UN in January 2016, more than one-third relate to gender equity (personal comments in brackets):

Goal 3:  Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages (this includes work-life balance)

Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls (’nuff said)

Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all (sustained and inclusive employment includes gender equity in the workplace)

Goal 10:  Reduce inequality within and among countries (within countries includes within Canada, don’t self-exclude)

Goal 11:  Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable (speaks to the needed reduction of violence against women, particularly rape)

Goal 16:  Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels (institutions at all levels includes both governments and, in my opinion, businesses).

We need to continue to work towards a socially sustainable society.

Posted in Gender, Social sustainability

Oral History Interviews

First of all, to understand where I am coming from, my ontology is a nominalist one rather than a realist one. I argue that our social world exists because of how we, as society, structure it. It is society that has created the social world that we live in, unlike the stars, our social world would not exist without us. Sounds strange coming from an accountant maybe. Accountants prepare statements and present them as fact, but we need to remember that all the rules that determine how those statements are calculated and prepared were made by people. So social knowledge is something we personally experience and, that being the case, it is the experiences that I am most interested in exploring.

An oral history differs from structured, or even semi-structured interviews as the participant, rather than the interviewer guides the course of the interview. Although the topic is framed by the researcher, the progress is determined by the participant. However, because the researcher is able to prompt and focus on statements made by the participant, the oral history interview becomes something that is collaboratively developed by both the researcher and the participant.

An oral history is also not the story of someone’s life. Rather it is the recording of personal testimony delivered in oral form with the researcher framing the topic and questioning where necessary. Due to this, oral histories have a tendency to bring out information that is important to the participant. Although the participant may be discussing his or her life as it relates to a specific topic, information about the society s/he lives in will inevitably be part of the product. Societal, family and work influences will be reflected in the discussions. This makes oral histories invaluable as windows on these social aspects.

Without interpretation, oral histories may be still valuable, but additional value is added through the interpretation of the interviews. Through the analysis and interpretation the researcher can identify and illuminate the power in structures and the constraining of choices that is evident. These are often not seen by the participant themselves, and are highly influenced by the researcher’s knowledge, interest and abilities. The acknowledgement and understanding of the influence of the researcher on this process makes it of paramount importance that reflexivity be used throughout the study.

Posted in Accounting, Gender, PhD Studies, Qualitative research

Pictures from Paul – a book too

I always love looking through the pictures from our trips because Paul is such an excellent photographer.  Our time spent this spring over in the UK and Ireland resulted in a book Castles for Faye, inspired by an aunt who loves to look at pictures of castles.  Our full trip was blogged, but the book is a hard copy of some of the highlights.

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged , |

What is a PhD (credit Matt Might)

Imagine a circle that contains all of human knowledge:

might 01

By the time you finish elementary school, you know a little:

might 02

By the time you finish high school, you know a bit more:

might 03

With a bachelor’s degree, you gain a specialty:

might 04

A master’s degree deepens that specialty:

might 05

Reading research papers takes you to the edge of human knowledge:

might 06

Once you’re at the boundary, you focus:

might 07

You push at the boundary for a few years:

might 08

Until one day, the boundary gives way:

might 09

And, that dent you’ve made is called a Ph.D.:

Of course, the world looks different to you now:

might 11

So, don’t forget the bigger picture:

 might 12

Keep pushing.

Matt Might, a professor in Computer Science at the University of Utah, created The Illustrated Guide to a Ph.D. to explain what a Ph.D. is to new and aspiring graduate students.
[Matt has licensed the guide for sharing with special terms under the Creative Commons license.]

Posted in PhD Studies Tagged |

Bourdieu on Youtube

Searching for some interesting Youtube videos the other day I came across this one by Kari Alexander on Pierre Bourdieu


Posted in Bourdieu Tagged , |