It’s been almost a decade since the first volume of Researching Beneath the Surface was first published. The book reflected developments and innovations in psycho-social scholarship and research methods in the first decade of the twenty first century. Much has happened since that time both in the psycho-social research community here at the University of the West of England, and nationally and internationally.
The reason to focus on psycho-social methods once more is that this is a fundamental need in this new field of studies. Indeed, it is sometimes said that the field is defined by its methods and its innovative approach to social research. Psycho-social research claims not only to be able to produce “hard to get” or new forms of data, but also to change our relationship to data itself and to redefine what data might be as the research develops and unfolds. This is underpinned by a view that all social research is, like it or not, a relational activity. In some ways then, what is happening in psycho-social research is typical of the relational turn across the social sciences, as well as within psychotherapy and counselling, and group and organisational work (Clarke, Hahn & Hoggett, 2008).