1. Later today I'll head down south to Cambridge for the Anthrozoology Conference ( where I'll present a bit of my PhD thesis. Talking about anthropomorphizing non-human animals I even managed to add some images of Twilight and Applejack in my presentation :-) It will be part of my farewell to academia tour; I love to do research, but because of a lack of funding I see not much of a future there for me. Besides, I'm hoping to move towards more equine-related jobs. P.S. I hope you all like my new profile background :-)

    Tuesday, 10-Jul-12 10:21:14 UTC from web
    1. @yorkiebrony And in what discipline might that PhD be?

      Tuesday, 10-Jul-12 10:23:15 UTC from web
      1. @hakupony It's a PhD in the Sociology of Childhood. When I started I knew funding for research would be an issue, but not in my wildest dreams I imagined it would be as bad as it is now....

        Tuesday, 10-Jul-12 11:20:05 UTC from web
        1. @yorkiebrony That's why I value our public funding based system in Germany...

          Tuesday, 10-Jul-12 11:46:52 UTC from web
          1. @hakupony I don't know to what extend the public funding system plays a role. I've studied in the Netherlands and indeed having your PhD paid for by your university is a nice thing. However, it limits the number of places available, and also it doesn't guarantee a (research) job after submission of your PhD thesis....

            Tuesday, 10-Jul-12 17:02:56 UTC from web
            1. @yorkiebrony The point is that the whole system is pretty much independant. So if your overall approach to the disciline is okay with the professor you work with, you most likely can do whatever research you want. My rofessor in Social pedagogics wrote vvarious books about how table manners developed. Btw.: she also accepted a aper which is more likke children sociology than actual pedagogics.

              Tuesday, 10-Jul-12 20:33:01 UTC from web
              1. @hakupony The system here is independent too: if you have an interesting topic you want to pursue for your PhD, your supervising professor supports you. The only hurdle to take is the university's research ethics committee. This committee only checks whether your research proposal doesn't conflict with the university's ethics guidelines; it has nothing to say about the content of your study. No, the problem I encounter here now is that nobody is willing to fund any postgraduate research careers. Even my supervising professor (who has 30+ years experience in childhood sociology, and who is one of the pioneers in that field here) cannot secure any research funding, regardless of how interesting her research is. If she cannot, than I (as starter) certainly cannot get funding. And worse, because established researchers don't get funding, there are no research assistantships available. This has nothing to do with independence of the system, but with society not willing to support academics.

                Wednesday, 11-Jul-12 00:18:46 UTC from web
                1. @yorkiebrony But if the researchers are paid by the state and when you can use students to do some of the footwork (which students like I want to do since we want research experience), you don't need external funding. What do you need for childrens sociology? Empiricial data (mainly interviews), books and time. I believe that research with low resources is pretty much possible.

                  Wednesday, 11-Jul-12 00:22:30 UTC from web
                  1. @hakupony The state funds research via research councils, such as the ESRC ( Yet, with budget cuts everywhere, those councils get less funding. Moreover, social sciences are intangible: e.g. as engineer I could construct a bridge to improve traffic flow. People see the bridge being built and then see the surplus value of funding engineering research. But social sciences are like medical sciences: you work to prevent something and it's intangible. People understand that of medica but not of sociologists. I cannot prove that e.g. my research on social cohesion prevents the London riots from happening again. The only thing people see is that money is spent on something 'vague', and the government that provided tax money for such projects will be voted out. So even when researchers are paid by the state you still depend on the political will to invest in your research topics.

                    Wednesday, 11-Jul-12 00:33:00 UTC from web
                    1. @yorkiebrony I know the problem. We protest that our system does not get in the same trouble. The university I visit has a high emphasis on social sciences and history.

                      Wednesday, 11-Jul-12 00:37:38 UTC from web
                      1. @hakupony My university just has been elected Times Education University of the year. My Department has been awarded the highest ranking ('excellent') in all of its main disciplines in the most recent HEFCE Teaching Quality Assessements. We have a close link with ICOSS ( and we have our own research centre for childhood studies ( And even with this kind of reputation there's no funding available.

                        Wednesday, 11-Jul-12 00:44:59 UTC from web
                        1. @yorkiebrony I don't think highly of rankings since I know how they are made. However, that you don't get funding with a reutation like that is really bad. You make me fear about my future, dood.

                          Wednesday, 11-Jul-12 00:49:24 UTC from web
                          1. @hakupony Rankings are not my cup of tea either. It's because of the Ofsted (education ranking) here that British pupils hardly learn foreign languages. And apologies if I scare you with what is happening here. It doesn't mean it like this everywhere. Maybe I just turned into a misanthrope sociologist. Another important reason I don't see a future for me in academics is because I'm a lot more at ease when I'm around the horses and ponies (I'm volunteering here with riding lessons for autistic children and children from disadvantaged backgrounds). Research projects that would have caught my eye 5 years ago aren't that appealing to me anymore. But it has been a reality check for me: academia isn't a cosy world. It's interesting, with many nice colleagues, but at the same time it's just like any other business: you also have competitors who don't like you for treading on their turf.

                            Wednesday, 11-Jul-12 00:58:06 UTC from web
    2. @comradeconventrix and suddenly... adorableness...

      Tuesday, 10-Jul-12 11:48:01 UTC from web
    3. @comradeconventrix I know :D

      Tuesday, 10-Jul-12 11:50:45 UTC from web
    4. @comradeconventrix I get a icture too? Well, the problem is I won't be online as often as usually. Learning for tests and partaking in a demonstration...

      Tuesday, 10-Jul-12 11:53:41 UTC from web
    5. @comradeconventrix Officially I'm doing 'Sociological Studies' in Sheffield ( but because my research focused on children's perceptions and experiences of living in rural areas I usually say childhood sociology. Anyway, what is it you want to know? If I can help you... :-)

      Tuesday, 10-Jul-12 17:05:04 UTC from web
      1. @yorkiebrony good afternoon wouter! Always a charm to see you

        Tuesday, 10-Jul-12 17:06:02 UTC from web
        1. @purplephish20 Hay, indeed, I washed up ashore here. How are you?

          Tuesday, 10-Jul-12 17:13:08 UTC from web
          1. @yorkiebrony Im all over the place, bloody job hunting... trying to accomodate college, and such and such

            Tuesday, 10-Jul-12 17:14:39 UTC from web
            1. @purplephish20 Job hunting (*grumble mutters *censor BEEPS*)..... Don't know about you but it's still without success here... Either underexperienced or overqualified is not a nice position to be in. Ah well, if they need me they can find me in the stables, working on my horse handling skills for equine assisted therapy. Good luck with job hunting and the like!

              Tuesday, 10-Jul-12 17:56:44 UTC from web
    6. @princesstrixie Are you still considering the Social Sciences, or did you end up doing something else? Coming from Cultural Anthropology I arrived in Sociology, but still keeping it to qualitative research methods. I haven't done a lot in psychology, perhaps the closest to psychology I'll get is yet to come: I'm trying to get into Equine Assisted Therapy.

      Tuesday, 10-Jul-12 17:07:15 UTC from web
    7. @princesstrixie That is a good way of getting into a discipline. I have the same with anthrozoology: I find it very interesting, but whether I get a job in it yet has to be seen. Currently I am reading up on different horse training methods and equine handling skills. Also I recently completed the levels 1 & 2 of the British Horse Society's 'Horse Care & Ownership Courses'. So, it's possible to do some studying and books in your free time, then you might want to attend some conferences, do some networking and take it from there.

      Tuesday, 10-Jul-12 17:12:32 UTC from web
    8. @princesstrixie ehe, with pedagogics, I have both :)

      Tuesday, 10-Jul-12 20:40:38 UTC from web
    9. @mrconventrix My research focused on children's perceptions and experiences of rural areas, and thus also their ways of creating rural identities. Being in sociology I'm not really part of the educational and paedogogical aspect of the social sciences. I've done some of it (e.g. Freire's educational methods), but as sociologist I'm not allowed to say I'm a child psychologist, therapist, or social worker.

      Wednesday, 11-Jul-12 00:23:38 UTC from web
      1. @yorkiebrony What is your approach? I'd start with Bourdieu.

        Wednesday, 11-Jul-12 00:26:15 UTC from web
        1. @hakupony I've used some of Derrida Bourdieu, bricolage, the works of Panelli, Punch, Owain Jones, Gill Valentine.... I'm not attaching myself to one particular philosophical direction. Instead, I browse around to see what is relevant for me and what isn't.

          Wednesday, 11-Jul-12 00:35:39 UTC from web
    10. @aeniug2 During my viva my examiners asked me why I didn't arrange 1-on-1 interviews with the children. I replied I would - being a guy - never be able to get that through the ethics committee of university. The same people who cry wolf about the lack of male role models in early childhood and middle childhood are the first to point the finger at you and to slander you because they find it suspicious you (being a guy) likes to do research with children.

      Wednesday, 11-Jul-12 00:38:36 UTC from web
      1. @yorkiebrony Yeah...... I suppose you could come up with some creative solution to that, but it will always find a way to come back and bite you. Not to mention that, as far as I understand, in psychology face to face communication with the subject is invaluable when gathering information.

        Wednesday, 11-Jul-12 00:41:18 UTC from web
        1. @aeniug2 Not inherently - there is quite a bit of computer based psychological tests which have the advantage that the data you get are not influenced by the researchers. A thing, psychologists are very aware of.

          Wednesday, 11-Jul-12 00:42:57 UTC from web
          1. @hakupony good point. I suppose that it really comes down to exactly what kind of research you are trying to do.

            Wednesday, 11-Jul-12 00:43:47 UTC from web
        2. @aeniug2 I used qualitative research methods like focus group interviews and classroom discussions. I also used visual methods (maps and drawings). So for me visual contact with my research participants is vital for correct interpretations of the data.

          Wednesday, 11-Jul-12 00:48:24 UTC from web
          1. @yorkiebrony @aeniug2 and I am talkinng about research methods instead of learning for my test in research methods.

            Wednesday, 11-Jul-12 00:51:07 UTC from web
      2. @yorkiebrony And this is the reason why i want to go into gender studies. People are WAY to stupid about that stuff.

        Wednesday, 11-Jul-12 00:41:27 UTC from web
        1. @hakupony I would love to continue in anthrozoology, but also there's no funding there for research projects. If money wasn't an issue I would do the MA in anthrozoology, but in the end I need to pay the rent too. It makes me feel rather annoyed with people, society and politics...

          Wednesday, 11-Jul-12 00:50:58 UTC from web