Master-class November 2020: Constructionist Data Analysis

A 2-day master-class offering early career researchers guidance on how to use the latest constructionist approaches which treat our data as instances of complex behaviours and hence complementary to quantitative research.


The course is held in ACSPRI's Melbourne Office

Thursday, November 5, 2020 - Friday, November 6, 2020
Early bird cutoff date: 
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Course details:

Qualitative researchers too often try to do the same as quantitative research but with smaller samples.


This interactive master-class offers early career researchers guidance on how to use the latest constructionist approaches which treat our data as instances of complex behaviours and hence complementary to quantitative research.

Master Class - runs over 2 days
Course dates: Thursday 5 November 2020 - Friday 6 November 2020

Prof David Silverman is an outstanding scholar specialising in qualitative research. David is Professor Emeritus in the Sociology Department at Goldsmiths College and Visiting Professor in the Management Department at King's College, University of London and the Business School, University of Technology, Sydney. He has authored 15 books and 45 journal articles on qualitative research, ethnography and conversation analysis. He is the author of four bestselling Sage textbooks on qualitative research and has published monographs on his research on a large public sector organization, medical consultations and HIV-test counselling. Prof Silverman has hosted workshops on qualitative research for PhD students in Australia since 2009 as well as in Europe, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Tanzania. He successfully supervised 30 PhD students, three of whom are now full Professors.

Week 1
About this course: 

This master-class offers lectures and data workshops covering the latest approaches to key areas of qualitative research:


    • Improving the quality of interview data analysis. Treating respondents’ accounts as skilful versions of reality. Attending to the step by step production of meaning between interviewer and interviewee.
    • Finding sequences in your data.  The limits of content and thematic analysis. Finding outcomes in data and tracing the sequences in which they are produced.
    • Documents and digital data as social constructions. How to avoid treating them as ‘secondary data’ and tracing the narratives they construct.
    • Theorising with qualitative data. Avoiding armchair theorising and theory used as ‘window dressing’. How to induce theories from your data.


The workshop is relevant to both early career researchers and more experienced researchers interested in constructionist approaches who want to improve their research skills.


Course syllabus: 

The workshop will consist of 4.5 hours of lectures, 3 data workshops and 15 minute one-to-one supervisions.



9.30 - 1-1s
10.00 - Introductory lecture
10.45 - Improving the quality of interview data analysis [lecture]
11.45 - Short break
12.00 - Workshop and parallel 1-1s
12.30 - Lunch
1.30 - Report back from Workshop 1
2.00 - Finding sequences in your data [lecture]
3.15 - Workshop and parallel 1-1s
4.00 - Day ends



9.30 - 1-1s
10.00 - Workshop II feedback
10.30 - Analysing documents and digital data [lecture]
11.45 - Short break
12.00 - Workshop III and parallel 1-1s
12.30 - Lunch
1.30 - Report back from Workshop III
2.00 - Theorising with qualitative data [lecture]
3.15 - Open discussion
4.00 - Workshop ends



Course format: 

This workshop will take place in a classroom.

Participants will be sent a paper to read, as well as further course documents including workshop topics.

Recommended Background: 

A basic knowledge of qualitative research.

Recommended Texts: 

Any of Silverman’s current Sage textbooks.

Interpreting Qualitative Data [sixth edition] or, for more advanced researchers, his Very Short Book [second edition].

Course fees
Early bird Member: 
Early bird Non Member: 
Early bird full time student Member: 
Non Member: 
Full time student Member: 

The ACSPRI Head Office is located at 763 Heidelberg Road, Alphington, just before the corner of Yarralea St.



The ACSPRI Office is only 20 minutes from the Melbourne's CBD via train. Accommodation located close to any of the City Loop train stations (Parliament, Melbourne Central, Spencer St, Flinders St and {on weekdays} Flagstaff) or other stations along the Hurstbridge Line will enable a very easy commute (see Transport below). We expect most visitors would appreciate staying quite centrally and there are numerous accommodation options. It is worth checking a travel website (expedia, tripadvisor, etc) to fine the best option for your budget and requirements, but we recommend staying close to a train station as per above.


Ivanhoe Quest Apartments are located 20 minutes walk east of the ACSPRI Office, along Upper Heidelberg Road.  You can also catch the train to Alphington Station from either Ivanhoe Station (2 stops - city direction) or Darebin Station (1 stop - city direction). You can also walk to Heidelberg Road (4 mins) take the 546 Bus to Yarralea Street, which is opposite our office.



Car Parking / Transport: 

Alphington Station is roughly 20 minutes from Melbourne Central (and other City loop stations) on the Hurstbridge Line and only a few minutes' walk from the ACSPRI office. There are also a number of bus lines that service the area. Bus services are very limited on weekends and the train is recommended. Click here for the journey planner.


By car, the quickest route for many local Melbournians will be via the Eastern Freeway and/or Chandler Hwy. From the CBD the Eastern Freeway from the Inner North will also probably be the quickest route. At that time on a weekend 20 minutes would allow plenty of time. Parking is usually available in Yarralea St or nearby but not on Heidelberg Road. 


Secure space is available to store bicycles at the office. The office is very close to Alphington Park, which backs onto the Yarra River and subsequently a vast network of Melbourne's bike paths.



Venue and Timetable: 

The course will run from 9.30am until 4.30pm each day (unless otherwise notified).

Breaks are usually held at 11:00 - 11:15, 12:45 - 1.15 and 2:45 - 3:00. Lunch and a small morning and afternoon tea are provided each day.