School of Law

I’m not Dancing, I’m Zigzagging — evidence, theory, and a metaphor for qualitative researching

18 March 2015, 14:00 - 16:00

Room 1.14 Liberty Building

In this Section:

In the second L&SJ Seminar exploring Innovative Methodological and Theoretical Approaches to research with marginalised groups, Dr Nick Emmel, senior lecturer in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds, will be discussing his methodological investigation considering the metaphors used in social research. This includes both the metaphors which academics and researchers adopt in order to describe qualitative researching, and the metaphors used by participants to describe the social mechanisms and structures which we investigate. Within the paper Nick will move from a commonly used metaphor of dance to a metaphor of zigzagging in order to more precisely explain the methodologies of realist (qualitative) research.

This is a free event open to all but registration is required in advance at Eventbrite. Refreshments will be available.

The L&SJ Seminar Series on Innovative Methodological and Theoretical Approaches

Law & Social Justice, established at the University of Leeds School of Law to support scholars, activists, organisations and practitioners who are interested in and engage with questions about inequalities in welfare and social justice, are excited to announce their Seminar Series exploring innovative methodological and theoretical approaches to conducting research with marginalised groups.

Our speakers have been selected on the basis of their ground-breaking contributions to research in the interdisciplinary fields of law, healthcare and social policy. They have been at the forefront of developing original approaches to accessing, working with, assisting, and advocating for, disadvantaged groups; as well as developing insightful and rigorous theoretical frameworks which have helped achieve more nuanced understandings of inequality and exclusion.

This seminar series will be of interest to academics, professionals and post-graduate students researching in the fields of law, social justice, social policy, welfare, disability, gender studies, family relations, healthcare, access to justice, and human rights. The Series will provide the opportunity to hear about and discuss exciting new ways to conceptualise and conduct research that aims to improve social justice.

For more information please contact: or

Dr Nick Emmel

Dr Nick Emmel is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at Leeds University. His primary research interests lie in the field of international health and development with a particular emphasis on community empowerment, health inequalities and the effects of poverty and social exclusion. Nick is recognised as having developed highly innovative and novel methodologies for researching the social spaces of vulnerability and socioeconomic disadvantage through a longitudinal qualitative, mixed methods approach. A central theme of Nick’s research is the importance of engaging with and involving disadvantaged groups. Nick is the author of Sampling and choosing cases in qualitative research: a realist approach (London: Sage, 2013). He has led and co-researched on a number of externally funded research projects, most recently the ESRC supported ‘Changing Lives and Times Qualitative Longitudinal Initiative Relationships and Identities through the Life Course (TIMESCAPES) Grandparenting: charting trajectories of inter-generational social exclusion and health.’ His focus on methodology translates to his teaching where he gives students a real world insight into conducting innovative empirical work with marginalised groups.

Room 1.14
School of Law
Liberty Building
University of Leeds

(Please use postcode LS6 1AN for Sat Nav's)

The Liberty Building is number 16 on the campus map.

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