Alasdair Stewart

Affiliate Researcher

I’m Alasdair B R Stewart – a sociologist based in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Glasgow. I’m also a Co-Investigator for a Health Foundation funded qualitative project on the policy discourse and lived experience of employment and welfare conditionality for people with mental health problems.

I’m interested in how large-scale social processes, state-crafting, and social policy enter into and shape lived experience and inequality. My work explores this across three key overlapping areas: homelessness and dwelling; social suffering and (mental) wellbeing; and, precarity and social security.

Methodologically, I take a post-philosophical and theoretical-empirical approach, eschewing building general theoretical systems in favour of developing theory through an engagement with empirical investigation.

This approach carries also into a refusal to separate the technical aspects of research from considerations of their theoretical and ethical implications. In particular, how the dominance of proprietary qualitative data analysis software hinders methodological innovation and adoption of open science within qualitative research.

To counter this, I’m the Lead Developer of PythiaQDA, a free and open source qualitative data analysis software package in (very) early development aimed towards placing control of the means of analysis back into the hands of qualitative researchers.

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