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Using Biographical Methods in Social Research

Using Biographical Methods in Social Research

May 2009 | 224 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Using Biographical Methods in Social Research provides an informative, comprehensive, accessible and practical guide to the nature and use of biographical methods, combining a consideration of theoretical issues with practical guidance as well as reflections on the personal experience of doing research.

Barbara Merrill and Linden West consider important questions about who and what research is for and what makes it valid, alongside the practical business of interviewing, transcribing, analyzing and writing up of biographical data. The authors draw on their sociological and psychological orientations to provide a truly interdisciplinary approach to the subject, and provide numerous examples of biographical research across the social sciences.

This book will equip students with all the skills necessary to undertake biographical research as well as to fully understand what they are doing and the assumptions they make about the nature of truth, knowledge, story telling and being human. It will be useful for students and researchers using biographical methods in a range of disciplines, including sociology, social policy, social psychology, health care and education.

Introduction: Setting the Scene
Biographical Methods: an Introductory History
Mapping the Contemporary Uses of Biographical Research
Identifying Some Theoretical Issues
Illustrating Good Practice: Case Studies
Getting Started in Research
Interviewing and Recording Experience
Making Sense of Biography: Analysis
Representing the Stories: Writing Up
Is Biographical Research Valid and Ethical?
On Being a Biographical Researcher

Useful text for those students seeking to use a biographical appraoch in their research.

Dr Anne Mills
other, Bournemouth University
December 20, 2011

I have recommended that my students who are working with biographical research read the book. this means that several students have worked with it their project work. It is too specific to adopt as essential reading in the course.

Dr Camilla Schmidt
Sociology , University of Roskilde
November 8, 2011

This book gives an alternative view on research methods; particularly looking at Biographical research. A thorough investigation of the topic, with examples

Mr Alison Schwier
edu, University of East Anglia
October 26, 2011

health and social care are increasingly using biographical approaches, but there are so few texts soley devoted to it. great help in being able to justify and rationalise your reason for using this form of methods and methodology

Mrs Karen Wild
Nursing , Keele University
July 16, 2011

Clear and concise presentation.

Ms Yvette Summers
Youth Studies, Gloucestershire University
February 3, 2011

When I started to read this book, I felt compelled to continue. The book is written in a style that is engaging. It is very informative and provides relevant and useful examples. It provides an excellent guide for researchers who are seeking to embark on a journey of biographical research for the first time. The book will be recommended reading for both undergraduate and post graduate students and a request will be made to the university's library to order this book

Dr Jean Clarke
School of Health Sciences and Social Care, Brunel University
November 25, 2009

I am recommending this for two core courses and suggesting it forms the basis of one of a choice of assigments. It has some excellent formative information and discussion useful for students starting their research projects in terms of positioning and relationship to topic. Practical discussion topics and activities are useful.

Dr Jennifer Patterson
Education , Greenwich University
November 24, 2009

Pulls together a certain history of ideas in this area and offers some interesting perspectives with useful practical activities and examples.

Catherine Zara
other, Warwick University
November 12, 2009

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One

Chapter Two

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ISBN: 9781412929585

ISBN: 9781412929592

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