An independent review to identify the supports and barriers for lone parents in accessing higher education and to examine measures to increase participation, July-December 2016.
Dr Delma Byrne (PI, MU Departments of Sociology and Education)
Dr Mary Murphy (MU Department of Sociology)
Dr Olive Sweetman (MU Department of Economics)
Clíona Murray (PhD Candidate, MU Department of Education)
Department of Education and Skills in conjunction with the Higher Education Authority (HEA), the Department for Social Protection (DSP), and the Department for Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA)
The project seeks to:
• Use the current quantitative evidence base available and desk research to better understand how lone parents currently fare in higher education
• Use desk research and qualitative interviews with lone parent advocacy groups, lone parents and DSP Case Officers to identify the supports and barriers for lone parents in accessing higher education
• Use desk research and insights obtained from previous steps, to recommend and cost measures to increase participation by lone parents in higher education.
Dr. Jane Gray is principle investigator on the ‘Enabling Resilience’ project which is examining the experiences and resilience practices of low-income families receiving Family Income Supplement (FIS) and other in-work supports using a mixed-method biographical approach.
The project aims to develop an in-depth understanding of the extent to which FIS and other in-work supports promote resilience amongst low-income families; to compare the lived experience of low-income families receiving FIS with those of other families experiencing adversity; and to identify additional resources and supports that may be required to promote families’ capacities for resilience over time.
Enabling Resilience is funded by the Irish Research Council in collaboration with the Department of Social Protection under the Research for Policy and Society Programme, 2015.
'Network in Play: Crafting Diversity in Games' is a pilot research and community action project developed by Dr. Aphra Kerr and Vicky Twomey-Lee (Coding Grace). It is funded in part by the Refiguring Innovation in Digital Games (Refig) project and the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council in 2016.
The project will bring together experts in informal and formal education, and industry representatives, to form a network that will collaborate to analyse, address and raise issues of diversity in the games industry and games culture in Ireland. The pilot project will firstly, organise field research to assess current informal educational offerings and secondly, develop and run a series of workshops that explicitly aim to broaden the diversity of those engaged in the local games industry and culture.
The project has partners in Canada, North America, the UK and Ireland.
Contact the Irish partners – firstname.lastname@example.org
More information and events at http://gamedevelopers.ie/diversity/
More information on the Refig project at http://www.refig.ca
Prof. Sean O'Riain is the Principal Investigator on the 'New Deals in the New Economy' project, a 5 year European Research Council funded study of the political economy of work, production, employment regimes, and the changing worlds of capitalism.
The research team includes Felix Behling, Dr. Rossella Ciccia, John-Paul Byrne, Patrick Gallagher, Ivan Privalko and affiliated researchers: Dr. Eoin Flaherty and Dr.Michael Byrne (IRC Postdoctoral Fellows).
The project examines the changing formal and informal bargains between employers and employees in European workplaces. We explore the new production strategies, patterns of work organisation and labour market structures that are emerging across Europe. We are interested in using this research to examine both the possibilities for creative re-organisation of the workplace and the kinds of institutions that are needed to support these efforts (e.g. training and education, enterprise and innovation policy, industrial relations). These are crucial elements in the (re-)building of social compacts across Europe. www.nuim.ie/newdeals
The project builds upon the Political Economy, Work and Working Lives cluster within the Department of Sociology (and including colleagues from other departments). The cluster has 8 academic staff and 15 total members.
Please see the project website.
Dr. Jane Gray is a Principal Investigator on the Framework 7 project RESCuE: Patterns of Resilience during Socioeconomic Crises among Households in Europe, which includes partners from nine European member and neighbour states.
Using innovative qualitative methods, RESCuE will analyse the impact of the current crisis on households and examine everyday practices for coping with those impacts. The project will examine how communities, local state institutions, and intersecting forms of social inequality shape household practices in urban and rural areas. It will develop a comparative typology of resilience in different countries and localities under different welfare state institutions and in varying socioeconomic environments, and will disseminate the research results to the public, policy stakeholders and the scientific community.
Maynooth University has primary responsibility for the work package on “longitudinal and biographical aspects of resilience development.” This work package will focus on trajectories of adaptation, coping and resistance over time, examining how household resilience to the crisis varies according to family life stage. It will analyse similarities and differences in everyday patterns of resilience across family life transitions and stages, in different socioeconomic and institutional contexts, across the case study countries and regions.
RESCuE begins in 2014 and will conclude in 2017.
This international, interdisciplinary project has been running since 2009. The core team (Laurence Cox, author of Buddhism and Ireland; Brian Bocking, Chair of Ireland's only non-confessional department for the study of religions; Alicia Turner, editor of the Journal of Burma Studies) together with a wide range of collaborators specialising in Japan, Thailand, Sri Lanka and the US, have been piecing together the life of the Irish Buddhist monk U (Venerable) Dhammaloka (?1856 - ?1913).
Probably born Laurence Carroll in Booterstown, this remarkable character became a hobo in the US before working his way to Asia as a sailor and converting to Buddhism in a Burma which had only been finally conquered 15 years previously. Here he became a leading figure in the anti-colonial Buddhist revival, challenging "the Bible, the whiskey bottle and the Gatling gun" in Burma, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), India, Nepal, Siam (Thailand), Cambodia, the Straits Settlements (Singapore and Malaysia), China and Japan, coming under police and intelligence surveillance, facing at least two trials and faking his death at least once. Dhammaloka's complex life sheds light on the wider world of early western Buddhists in Asia, including other Irish figures like Captain Pfoundes in Japan and John Bowles Daly in Ceylon and a range of "beachcomber" or "poor white" monks, and the "Buddhist crossroads" of late C19th and early C20th SE Asia.
The project has been funded to date by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Dhammakaya Foundation, the Irish Research Council and York University Toronto, for a total of c. €250,000. Research outputs include two special issues of the journal Contemporary Buddhism and a series of journal articles published or in process; two international conferences, a seminar series and a high-profile conference panel; a successful Maynooth University library exhibition; a website; invited presentations ranging from SOAS and Munich University to Stanford and Duke; a monograph is in preparation.
For more see http://dhammalokaproject.wordpress.com
Dr. Rebecca Chiyoko King-O’Riain is studying the 'Globalization of Love' by examining how globalisation is changing both what we mean by love and how we love - as emotions change upon intimate contact with those from different cultures, as digital technology maintains a more mobile and sometimes distant social populace, and as states struggle to maintain control when global mobilities challenge their ability to determine who can love whom.
By analysing love practices in mixed international families, this project identifies the central ways that people learn what love is, actively practice loving others and how macro forces of globalisation, technology and nation states shape these practices. Through ethnographic narrative interviews with mixed families in three culturally different countries – Ireland, Japan and the US, this project examines love in an innovative way.
It is based on a new conceptual framework defining three linked sets of practices that together constitute a globalisation of love: translation practices - how conceptions of love are learned, perceived, shaped and changed within mixed transnational families; transconnective practices - how these conceptions of love are mediated through use of webcam technology such as Skype; and transportability practices - how nation states regulate the portability of international love networks in deciding who can love whom via marriage/civil partnership, immigration and citizenship laws.
Dr Delma Byrne is a PI on the National Evaluation of the HEAR and DARE supplementary access schemes to higher education. The evaluation is funded by the HEAR/DARE Strategic Development Group.
The HEAR and DARE schemes seek to improve access to higher education for students from long-term educationally disadvantaged households, and students with a disability. The evaluation draws on the use of existing administrative data, as well as new qualitative data collection. In evaluating the schemes, we consider the profile of applicants, in terms of individual, school and regional characteristics; and compare the profile and outcomes of HEAR and DARE applicants relative to all other CAO applicants in terms of (i) CAO choices, (ii) participation in Higher Education and (iii) progression from first year to second year in higher education.
The evaluation team is inter-disciplinary, drawing on insights from Sociology of Education and Economics of Education, with Dr Aedin Doris and Dr Olive Sweetman at the Department of Economics as Associate Investigators.
Dr Delma Byrne is co-coordinator with Professor Samuel Lucas at the University of California, Berkeley, of an EQUALSOC Research Group on Effectively Maintained Inequality: A Cross National Assessment of Educational Inequality'.
The project is a thematic work programme of the EQUALSOC International Network of Excellence, funded under the EU 7th Framework Programme.
The research group includes partners from eighteen European and International countries, with the objective to interrogate the structure of educational systems across institutional contexts, and their role in the reproduction of social inequality. In doing so, we also consider the political economy of skill formation across diverse institutional contexts.
Dr Delma Byrne is a PI on the Irish Research Council/Family Support Agency project titled 'Working out? Family employment and childcare strategies and the impact on child well-being'.
Using all available cohorts of the Growing up in Ireland data, as well as new qualitative data collection, the project seeks to consider how family employment and childcare strategies impact on child well-being from infancy to middle childhood across a range of cognitive and non-cognitive measures. Furthermore, the qualitative phase of the research will shed new light on how families in diverse economic circumstances negotiate the childcare market and how decision-making around childcare is informed by concerns around child well-being.
Due to the timing of the data collection, the project will also examine the impact of the current economic crisis on households and the impact on child well-being. The research team is inter-disciplinary, drawing on insights from Sociology and Psychology, and Dr Catriona O'Toole at the Department of Education is Associate Investigator.
Dr. John O' Brennan is currently working with colleagues in Glasgow and the Speyer Institute, Berlin on a comparative project examining the 2013 protest movements in Brazil, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey.
The project is entitled 'Occupy and Rule: global protests and Street Politics from Europe to Latin America'. John's contribution focuses on the Bulgarian protest movement and the EU approach to corruption and the abuse of power.
Dr. John O’Brennan is working with professor Tapio Raunio (University of Tampere) on a project entitled 'National Parliaments in the European Integration Process: finally learning to 'play the European game' in the aftermath of the Lisbon reforms?
This project includes colleagues from the ETHZ, Zurich, ARENA (Oslo), the Universities of Leicester, Leiden, Maastricht, and UCD.
It is supported by a EU Jean Monnet 'Research and Information' award and by the 'Communicating Europe' programme of the Dept. of An Taoiseach.
Dr.Pauline Cullen is involved in a transnational project under the auspices of the Political Sociology Section of the European Sociological Association that examines political mobilisation by civil society groups representing disadvantaged constituents as they work to influence legislation and policy making on discrimination and equality at European Union level.
Partners come from political science, legal studies and sociology from University of Trento, Science Po, University of Leicester, Free University of Brussels and the University of Groningen.
This work uses methods that focus on policy discourses and explores how claims making on the basis of specific identities and understandings of diversity and discrimination are constructed, contested and communicated by civil society groups, states and intergovernmental organisations.
The project aims to make sense of how international policy making contexts can be important venues for changes in national policy and practice on equality and discrimination. The end product will appear in a peer reviewed social scientific journal Political Studies and as an edited volume.
Dr. Jane Gray is a participant in the FP7 Infrastructures project DASISH: Data Service Infrastructure for the Social Sciences and Humanities.
DASISH brings together all five European research infrastructures in the Humanities and Social Sciences in order to determine areas of cross-fertilization and synergy in the infrastructure development all five communities are entering into as of the beginning of 2012 and to work on concrete joint activities related to data, such as data access, data sharing,
Dr. Jane Gray is a Principal Investigator on the PRTLI5 funded project to develop a Digital Repository of Ireland.
The Digital Repository of Ireland will be an interactive, trusted digital repository for contemporary and historical, social and cultural data held by Irish institutions.
It is being developed by an inter-institutional research consortium (including An Foras Feasa and NIRSA at Maynooth University), funded by the Higher Education Authority in Ireland until 2015.
Jane Gray has shared responsibility for overseeing the strand on policies and requirements, and sole responsibility for implementing a demonstrator project on ‘Irish Lifetimes’ oriented towards enrichment and enhanced dissemination of qualitative social science data held in the Irish Qualitative Data Archive, which is based in NIRSA. She is the academic programme leader for IQDA.
Dr. Brian Conway studies Catholicism in comparative perspective. One strand of this research examines how religious discourses and institutional structures vary in dissimilar settings of the church.
Using the cases of Chile, Ireland, and Nigeria, this study examines cross-national variation in the public claims-making and organizational arrangements of national-level bishops’ conferences and develops a conceptual framework for understanding this variation, focusing on the influence of ethno-religious identity, religious competition, and resource opportunity structures.
More broadly, this study contributes to larger debates about how religious institutions respond to modernity at the national level
Dr.Peter Murray continues to explore through archival research the interaction between external and internal forces in the changing of Irish ideas, institutions and policies between Marshall Aid and EEC entry (1940s-1970s).
He is currently completing a case study of the development of Irish Sociology, a discipline initially monopolised by Catholic Church concerns but which was by the mid-1960s becoming incorporated into a state project to develop a planning system for both economic expansion and social development.
Dr. Barry Cannon’s research interests are primarily centred on Latin American politics, with particular expertise on Peru, Venezuela and Central America. He has published on the Bolivarian government of Venezuela, on state/civil society relations in left-led governments of Latin America and on democratization in Central America.
He is currently researching the Latin American Right, specifically in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Peru as well as in the Central American region.
Dr. Eamonn Slater is engaged on a project that attempts to conceptualise how society as a process interacts with nature as a process.
This involves understanding the dynamics of both of these processes and how they crucially mediate each other.
As both systems are in a constant state of flux, a dialectical analysis is needed to capture this movement. The empirical aspect of this project is Irish agriculture over the last three centuries. This approach challenges the traditional boundaries between the natural and social sciences and this in itself calls for a new paradigm.
Professor G. Honor Fagan is the Maynooth University representative on the The Water is Life programme. This programme is a multidisciplinary 4th level educational action project which aims to build research capacity in Ireland and Africa by conducting research that supports sustainable water resource management as a catalyst for sustainable economic and social development in rural Uganda.
The project is funded directly through the Irish Aid / HEA Programme of Strategic Co-Operation which was launched in 2006 and aims to promote innovative research across a range of subject areas in support of Irish Aid's mission and to develop the capacity of the higher-education sector in Ireland & Uganda for developmental research.
The programme is managed by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) on behalf of Irish Aid. The participating Universities and Institutes have developed a “water-focused” network and partnership focused on building expertise in sustainability – water-focused around the core theme of water and its effects on gender, health, education and development.
We have built research capacity in Irish Higher Education Institutions and in Makerere University, Uganda. The Water is Life project continues to conduct research that supports sustainable water resource management as a catalyst for sustainable economic and social development.
For more see http://waterislife.ie/
A documentary was released on the project in 2014 which you can view by clicking on the clip below.
Dr Mary P Murphy is involved in the (SANPAD) Alternative economic and social strategies available for South Africa project.
Funded by the South Africa Netherlands Programme on Research on Alternatives for Development, this research programme focuses on alternative economic and social strategies available for South Africa in a global world.
The three year programme is co-ordinated by ISER i Rhodes University, Grahamstown, S.A and will finish in June 2014, with a 2014 publication.
Dr. Mary P Murphy is involved in The International Initiative to Promote Women’s Rights to Social Security and Protection coordinated by Beth Goldblatt (The University of New South Wales) and Lucie Lamarche (University of Ottawa).
This research seeks to advance a gendered analysis of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) General Comment (GC) No. 19 on the content and meaning of the right to social security.
Work has advanced through a series of webinars, a research consortium meeting in June 1013 here and a 2014 publication. This is part of ongoing research examining how activation policy, welfare retrenchment and labour legislation combine to create new forms of precarity.