PhD Studentship – Work, Interaction & Technology Research Group, King’s Business School – Communication in Optometry before and after Covid-19 #optometry #sociology #studentship

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The changing role of the optometrist in assessing eye-sight and eye health during and after Covid-19

King’s Business School have a 4 year, fully funded PhD studentship (fees and stipend) available to undertake research concerned with communication and interaction in remote optometry consultations. The successful candidate will be expected to undertake qualitative, in-depth, studies of the organisation of eye examinations undertaken via telephone, video-phone, etc. Their research will relate to previous video-based studies of communication and interaction undertaken by the supervisory team. 

The successful candidate will be a member of the Work, Interaction & Technology Research Group at King’s Business School. Members of the WIT Group are concerned with social interaction in organisational settings, examining the interplay between social interaction and technology. Candidates will undertake naturalistic studies of communication and interaction in optometry that draw on ethnographic and video-based research methods. They will have a social science background and have received training in qualitative research methods, including ethnomethodology and conversation analysis, ethnography, qualitative interviewing and grounded theory.

The PhD project will be undertaken in collaboration with the College of Optometrists and co-supervised by Professor Dirk vom Lehn (KCL) and Professor Peter Allen (Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge). It, therefore, provides candidates with the opportunity to develop a distinctive approach to their research.

The successful candidate will begin in October 2021.

For further information, please contact Professor Dirk vom Lehn at dirk.vom_lehn@kcl.ac.uk

Application Information 

Early applications are encouraged. Applicants are strongly advised to contact the supervisor Professor Dirk vom Lehn at dirk.vom_lehn@kcl.ac.uk

Please submit the following to kbs-phd@kcl.ac.uk by the 31st of July 5pm. 

  1. Copy of your CV
  2. One academic reference letter
  3. Letter of interest (1-2 page) including how you would be a best fit for the project.  

Note – applicants must check that they meet our entry requirements prior to applying

You should hold, or be completing, a Master’s degree with a Merit or higher (or overseas equivalent) and have achieved a 2:1 Bachelor’s degree (or overseas equivalent) in a relevant subject.

English language requirements

If you are a native English speaker or have been awarded a degree within the last five years from one of the countries listed here, you may not be required to take an English language test. English language competency is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

If your first language is not English you must be able to provide recent evidence that your spoken and written command of the English language is adequate for the programmes for which you have applied. Check our English language requirements here (Band B). You can use our pre-sessional English calculator to check if your language scores meet our requirements.

Please note, we cannot review individual eligibility before you apply and are only able to consider complete applications which include all supporting documents.

Application Procedure 

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an interview and the successful candidate will be asked to submit their formal application via King’s Apply online system. 

Please contact kbs-phd@kcl.ac.uk if you have any queries regarding the application procedure.

Research Paper on Openings in Optometric Consultations

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As part of the ESRC funded project The Practical Work of the Optometrist Helena Webb, Christian Heath, Dirk vom Lehn, Will Gibson and Bruce Evans have published an article concerned with the opening of optometric consultations in the journal Research on Language and Social Interaction. The paper particularly explored the sensitivity clients display to the use of the word ‘problem’ in the opening questions of the history taking.

The Problem With “Problems”: The Case of Openingsin Optometry Consultations

Abstract

This article contributes to conversation analytic understanding of openings in health-care consulta-tions. It focuses on the case of optometry: a form of health-care practice in which an optometristconducts checks of a patient’s vision and eye health. Patients are advised to attend regularly for rou-tine assessments and can also request a specific appointment at any time. Analysis of a corpus of 66 consultations shows what happens when the optometrist’s opening question solicits the client’s“problems” with their eyes. We find three types of patient response. Patients who have requested aspecific appointment (most often) report a problem with their eyes and establish a problem-purposeencounter. Patients attending for a routinely timed appointment either report no problems and estab-lish a routine-assessment purpose, or if they do have a problem, they delay reporting it or downplay it.We track through what happens subsequently. The findings have practical implications for diagnosisand treatment.

Research Methods paper on Video Transcription in published in the BSA journal Sociology

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As part of the ESR funded project Will Gibson, Helena Webb and Dirk vom Lehn have published a paper that explores new ways in which a reflection on the use of transcript in the examination of video-recorded interaction can aid the analysis.

Analytic Affordance: Transcripts as Conventionalised Systems in Discourse Studies

Abstract

This article explores the role of transcripts in the analysis of social action. Drawing on a study of the interactional processes in optometry consultations, we show how our interest in the rhythm of reading letters from a chart arose serendipitously from our orientation to transcription conventions. We discuss our development of alternative transcription systems, and the affordances of each. We relate this example to constructivist debates in the area of transcription and argue that the issues have been largely characterised in political terms at the expense of a focus on the actual processes of transcription. We show here that analytic affordances emerge through an orientation to professional conventions. The article ends by suggesting that a close reflection on the design of transcripts and on transcription innovation can lead to more nuanced analysis as it puts the researcher in dialogue with the taken for granted ideas embedded in a system.

The article is on Early View at Sociology and with access can be downloaded here.

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New Book: “”Harold Garfinkel: The Creation and Development of Ethnomethodology” Left Coast Press

Ethnomethodology, Garfinkel, interaction

A bit of self-advertisement… in May my book “Harold Garfinkel: The Creation and Development of Ethnomethodology” was published by Left Coast Press. The book discusses Garfinkel’s creation of ethnomethodology, its anticipation of and important influence on a range of contemporary developments in sociology, including the sociology of science and technology, the new sociology of knowledge, the sociology of work, gender studies and others.

The book is based on and expands the German version published by UVK Verlagsgesellschaft in 2012.

Harold Garfinkel: The Creation and Development of Ethnomethodology (Left Coast Press.)

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Planning pregnancy, pre-pregnancy supplements and antenatal Screening

Ethnomethodology, interaction, symbolic interactionism

There is growing concern that despite planning pregnancy women delay taking pre-pregnancy supplements like folic acid as advised by experts who argue that these supplements substantially decrease the risk of birth defects that can impact the brain. These concerns have been raised in newspapers lie The Guardian and the Nursing Times.

A study concerned with the uncertainty towards their pregnancy and potential risk to it that become apparent in antenatal screening has just been published on Early View of Symbolic Interaction where I am book review editor. Alison Pilnick and Olga Zayt’s article explores the interaction between participants during antenatal screenings. In their analysis they focus on the ways in which this uncertainty is used to manage the institutionally defined category of ‘high risk’.