As part of his visit to Cardiff University, Gary Alan Fine (Professor of Sociology, Northwestern University, Illinois) led a lively session for a small group of DTP Doctoral students.
Driven by questions brought by participants, the discussion covered issues of: access; ethics; values; relationships to the field; relationships between research and policy; the importance of theory; the maintenance of skepticism; and the role of humour in the generation of good data. Professor Fine’s renowned sociological work takes in a wide range of substantive topics (e.g. junior basketball, high school debating, public reputations, meteorology, chess, kitchens and restaurants, self-taught artists). At the same time, he stressed that through all these, he is always focused on the intersections of structure, culture and interaction, and on how the ‘macro’ is implicated in the ‘micro’.