Everyday life, policy and research: older people and social exclusion

Everyday life, policy and research: older people and social exclusion

Dr Philip Corran explores the challenges of balancing everyday life and policy when it comes to ageing, disability and social exclusion.

In the abstract, the connections between everyday life and the broader policies which govern it (political, economic, etc.) seem clear. However, when exploring regions of everyday life through the eyes of individuals living it, these policies can seem detached and distant. Researchers scrutinising both policy and everyday life must strike a balance between the discourses and realities encountered in each one. 

This talk is an exploration of Philip’s attempts to strike this balance, drawing on examples from his PhD research, which focuses on the everyday life of older people experiencing chronic illness and disability in London. By exploring how older people defined wellbeing in their own lives, how they experienced social exclusion, and how they understood their experiences in relation to broader social issues, Philip demonstrates some of the difficulties in reconciling the often estranged perspectives of policy and the everyday.

Recording of the talk

Speaker’s bio

Dr Philip Corran joined the Tavistock Institute as a quantitative researcher in early 2019. His background is in sociology and social research, and he has a strong grasp of both quantitative and qualitative methods. Before joining the Institute he undertook a PhD at King’s College London, using mixed methods to understand older disabled people’s everyday travel in London, the challenges they face travelling, and how they negotiate these challenges. He contributed findings and expertise derived from this project to several organisations, including Transport for LondonAlzheimer’s UK and the National Pensioner’s Parliament. Prior to this, he completed a master’s in social research, where he received training on a wide array of research designs, methods, and forms of analysis. He has experience of analysing large scale surveys and, since joining TIHR, has used routine children’s social care data and quasi-experimental designs to assess outcomes for young people, delivered reflection sessions and theory of change workshops, and managed projects aimed at improving organisational wellbeing in third sector organisations. Through his PhD he has experience of ethnography, having designed and conducted semi-structured interviews, focus groups, and participant observation. He also has experience of survey design, and currently works on a range of evaluations, and is primarily interested in issues related to social inclusion.

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