Monday, April 16, 2012
Contact: Lalena Price, University Communications 304-746-1989

British research expert to visit Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The deputy director of the United Kingdom’s National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) will speak at Marshall University Wednesday and Thursday, April 18 and 19, about the significance of innovative research methods, community studies and collaborative research.

Dr. Graham Crow, from the University of Southampton, will give presentations and facilitate workshops at both the Huntington and South Charleston campuses on topics dealing with methodological innovation and its significance, shifts in the scholarly meanings of community, developing research methods across disciplinary boundaries and democratizing social research.   Crow is currently working on projects on methodological innovation and on “missing data” in social science research.

Since 2006, Crow has been deputy director of the center, which forms part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s strategy to improve the standards of research methods across the country’s social science community. The Centre was established in April 2004 with funding from the Council to provide more strategic integration and coordination of its investment in research methods.

Crow’s visit to Marshall University is sponsored by the Graduate School of Education and Professional Development, College of Liberal Arts, Graduate Humanities Program, and Department of Sociology and Anthropology. However, it was a Marshall professor’s invited visit to the U.K. last year, sponsored by the NCRM, that led to Crow’s visit here.

“My work over there last year led to collaboration on several projects that will hopefully continue to foster a strong connection between Marshall University, the University of Southampton, and the NCRM,” said Dr. Luke Eric Lassiter, director of Marshall’s Graduate Humanities Program, and author of numerous books and articles on collaborative research, including the award-wining book, The Other Side of Middletown: Exploring Muncie’s African American Community.

“What’s happening in the U.K. is fascinating. Put simply, several universities are working to create more sustained collaborative research relationships between students, faculty and local communities.  As funding for teaching and research is increasingly attached to demonstrating societal value and relevance, community-based and collaborative social research is rising in significance.”

Lassiter said that the change in how financial support is dispersed in the U.K. will also change how academic disciplines are taught in universities and how students learn to do research, including those models of research involving students in community-based research.

“Dr. Crow can give us a unique look at the impact across all disciplines, the challenges of demonstrating value and relevance and the importance of innovation in research,” Lassiter said.

Crow, a professor of sociology, studied philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford, and was awarded a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Essex for research into the rural class structure of Britain. He has worked at Southampton since 1983 researching and teaching in various areas including sociological theory, comparative sociology, the sociology of family and community, research methods, and the sociology of disability.

His publications are concerned with issues in all of these areas, and his latest book, Stepfamilies, is co-authored with Graham Allan and Sheila Hawker. He has served as co-editor of both Sociological Research On-line and the journal Sociology. Crow also was lead organizer of the NCRM’s Research Methods Festivals in 2008 and 2010.

For more information on Crow’s scheduled talks, go to:

For further information, contact:  Office of University Communications
Marshall University | 213 Old Main | Huntington, WV 25755-1090
Fax: (304) 696-3197