Workshop description:


The world we study has been changing unusually fast and very clearly in recent years - such a statement is already a truism, but its obviousness leads to an equally obvious conclusion. It's time to look for, explore and develop methods of qualitative research corresponding to the ongoing changes and cognitive and scientific needs.The main goal of the workshop is to familiarize participants with the methodology of research work using metaphors as carriers of a new type of qualitative data. Research based on declarative, descriptive data, obtained in qualitative interviews or field observations is no longer sufficient to comprehensively capture experiences. The experience itself becomes deeper, more internally differentiated, encompassing not only what is conscious, but also what is subconscious, written deeper in emotions, in the subconscious, in tacit knowledge, chaotically ambiguous in experience. Metaphors, becoming a carrier of symbolic meanings, give the opportunity to discover what is ambiguous, difficult to grasp by the respondents themselves, intuitive and remaining in the shadow of the respondents' consciousness or even displaced by them due to their emotional charge. When used properly, they can meet all methodological rigors in qualitative research, while opening the way to new layers and layers of meaning.The workshops are aimed primarily at researchers taking their first steps in the use of qualitative research methodology and looking for new research strategies, tools and techniques. For this workshop, the content will focus on metaphor generation techniques and data collection through metaphor work. The flexibility and universality of metaphors as a way of perceiving, experiencing and acting in the social world allows them to be used in any discipline and for any topic, making them a tool with a highly interdisciplinary potential. And although metaphors themselves are associated with the plane of language, the way of working shown during the workshops goes far beyond the framework of linguistics (without requiring linguistic knowledge) reaching the areas of psychology, sociology, pedagogy, cultural studies or management sciences and successfully applied by these and other researchers science disciplines.


Skills and competences acquired during the workshop:


During the workshop, we will practice ways of introducing work with metaphor into the research concept and combining metaphorical data with other types of data. We will learn how to generate metaphors and symbolic modeling (facilitating the subjects in creating metaphors for their experience), deepening and expanding metaphorical reflections and exploring metaphors. We will practice how to analyze verbal and visual metaphors, decode symbolic meanings and encode substantive information hidden in metaphors. Thanks to this, we will develop sensitivity and research awareness, discovering new possibilities for collecting multidimensional qualitative data.


Workshop content:


Issues discussed/practiced during the workshop:

1. Basic assumptions of working with metaphors

a. Metaphors found and evoked

b. Examples of research and research practices

2. Generating metaphors and symbolic modeling

a. Conducting interviews in symbolic language (symbolic dialoguing)

b. Conducting interviews in a universal language (universal frame)

c. Conducting clean language interviews

3. Verbal metaphors and symbolic descriptions

4. Visual metaphors and images

5. Conducting a research session using metaphors

a. Rational and intuitive communication

b. Evocative communicationc. Passing through states of consciousness

6. Reducing the metaphorical frame of the researcher

7. Discovering the metaphorical landscape of the subjects (metaphoric

al landscape)

a. Full symbolic modeling

b. Identifying metaphors in experience (discovering metaphors in other types of qualitative data)

8. Analytical techniques of working with metaphorical data

a. Symbolic encoding and mapping

b. Substantive coding

c. Comparing and dimensioning symbolic meanings

d. Substantive ordering

9. Reflexivity in working with a metaphor

a. Metaphors in first-person studies

b. Metaphors in field research

c. Metaphors of individual and collective experiences

d. Ethical issues and best practices in research using metaphors


Duration - 8 hours




I am a doctor of social sciences, a lecturer at the University of Lodz in the Department of Sociology of Organization and Management. I have twenty years of experience in conducting qualitative research and almost as much in teaching qualitative methodology. I was the vice-chairman and in the following years the chairman of the Qualitative Methods Research Network within the European Sociological Association. I also conducted methodological workshops on behalf of the ISA Research Committee. I am the founding editor of the international journal Qualitative Sociology Review and the Polish-language Przegląd Socjologii Jakościowej, and previously I was an editorial reviewer for SAGE and Routledge in the field of methodological publications. Starting from the methodology of grounded theory at the school of Professor K. Konecki, which for many years was my research foundation, through ethnographic research on the one hand and interest in conversational analysis on the other, my approach and research practice were shaped. Currently exploring the specifics of autoethnography, contemplative research and in-depth data collection techniques (verbalization and visualization, including working with metaphors), my current scientific interests include qualitative research on altered states of consciousness, transformations of identity and emotionality in a social context. Feel free to contact me, mutual inspiration and common methodological practice.





dr Łukasz Marciniak (UŁ)

Exploration through metaphor.

Generating verbal and visual metaphors as a method of collecting multidimensional qualitative data