Events and event identity: Under-theorised concepts in mixed method studies
Lipscomb, M. (2010) Events and event identity: Under-theorised concepts in mixed method studies. In: Mixed Methods Conference 2010 - Baltimore (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg and University of Leeds), Baltimore, 7th - 11th July 2010. Available from: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/8398
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Despite the existence of a diverse and burgeoning specialist literature (see, for example, Casati and Varzi, 2009), theorists and researchers involved or interested in mixed method research have not perhaps attended sufficiently to the problematic nature of ‘events' and ‘event identity’. In this presentation I draw upon personal experience as a lecturer and researcher to illustrate and outline some of the major arguments and problems regarding event identity. Moreover, I propose that, because different ontological positions or traditions – specifically, Humean empiricism and Roy Bhaskar’s Critical Realism – allow or presume different notions of what an ‘event’ entails, researchers who combine methods that invoke or derive from varied epistemologies and ontologies should ideally consider whether concordant or discordant conceptions of events are being elided. I suggest that if discordant understandings of events are carelessly combined then the robustness of research findings may be undermined.