Research team

The research team comprises staff from several different organisations.

Dr Rose Lindsey, who is a senior research fellow at the University of Southampton is the principle investigator. Rose has recently worked on an ESRC funded longitudinal, mixed-methods project which investigated individual attitudes towards volunteering, and the role of the state in responding to social need, through 1981-2012. The project drew on individual writing from the Mass Observation Archive, in dialogue with data from the British Household Panel Survey/Understanding Society, and cross-sectional data from  the British Social Attitudes Survey  was the inspiration for the Defining Mass Observation Project.

It  highlighted the wealth of currently inaccessible data held by the Mass Observation Archive, that might help shed light on Mass Observation writers, their demographic characteristics and their class identities. As well as being principle investigator, Rose will work on some of the analysis of some of the lifelines and social division Mass Observation scripts.

Professor John Mohan, who is the Director of  the Third Sector Research Centre, University of Birmingham, is a co-investigator.

John will be working with Dr Daiga Kamerāde, who works as a Research Fellow at the Third Sector Research Centre, University of Birmingham.  Daiga has strong quantitative skills and extensive experience of using large and complex data sets. Her research interests are the third sector workforce, volunteering, and the effects of volunteering on employability.

Daiga will be working on the quantitative data produced by this project. Her role is to integrate and clean various Mass Observation data files in order to produce a searchable online database of Mass Observation writers and their responses to directives. She will also contribute to the on-going debate on the ‘representativeness’ of Mass Observation writers  by providing evidence on how representative  MOP writers are of the broader UK population and how representative MOP writers are of the active UK volunteering population.

Dr Christina Silver at the University of Surrey is a co-investigator. Christina is working principally on  the analysis of volunteer writings in response the the “Social Divisions” and “Lifelines” Mass Observation Project (MOP) directives. This involves designing and implementing a  mixed qualitative and quantitative analysis of the material using the Computer Assisted Qualitative Data AnalysiS (CAQDAS) package MAXQDA.

Christina is the manager of the CAQDAS Networking Project, based in the Department of Sociology at the University of Surrey, which provides information, advice, training and on-going support in the use of software designed to facilitate qualitative analysis. She is also co-founder of QDA Services, a consortium of methodologists to provide research consultancy, coaching and training, through which she contributes to a range of different academic and applied research projects.

Ms Jessica Scantlebury and Ms Kirsty Pattrick at the Mass Observation Archive

Jason Sadler is Principal Research Fellow at Geodata at the University of Southampton. Jason and his team will be developing and designing the online interactive database for this project.



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