Lives in Context: The Art of Life History Research / Edition 272

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The reflexive turn in qualitative research has transformed the process of doing life history research. No longer are research subjects examined through the lens of the all-knowing but supposedly invisible researcher. As Ardra Cole and Gary Knowles point out in this fresh introduction to conducting life history research, the process is now one of mutuality, empathy, sensitivity and caring. The authors carry the novice researcher through the steps of conducting life history research—from conceptualizing the project to the various means of presenting results—with an eye toward understanding the complex relationship between participant and researcher and how that shapes the project. In addition to examples from their own research, Cole and Knowles bring in the work of a dozen novice researchers who explain the challenges they faced in developing their own life history projects in a wide variety of settings. Well written, interesting, and pedagogically sound, Lives in Context is the ideal text for teaching life history research to students and an important reference for the bookshelf of all qualitative researchers.

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Editorial Reviews

Sociological Abstracts
In the all-important relationships between researcher and subject, several principles are key: relationality, mutuality, empathy, sensitivity, and respect. The process of preparing for and 'doing' LHR [life history research] is described & salient issues involved at different stages of the project are addressed. This book is deemed ideal as both a resource for teaching beginning qualitative researchers and as a reference guide for established ones.
Nursing History Review
This book will be beneficial for novice and experienced researchers interested in using oral history methods....Nurse researchers with an interest in life history work would find this a valuable read, as would nurse educators looking for a text for students on how to do life history research. Lives in Context: The Art of Life History Research provides a thorough discussion of the life history research method, highlighting the importance of the individual in creating broader understandings of experience.
— Danielle Cooke, (University of Calgary)
Canadian Review Of Sociology and Anthropology
Lives in Context has achived its objective of gracefully portraying the need to protect the fragility of other people's confidence throughout the process of academic research and representation.
Separating this book from others of the genre is the philosophy of research that guides Cole and Knowles. They advocate an approach that is open, respectful, and attuned to the place and role of the subject in the life history study. Beginning researchers, including those who are working the field of oral history, especially should read this book. Recommended for academic libraries that support graduate level research.
— J. J. Fox Jr., (Salem State College)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780759101432
  • Publisher: AltaMira Press
  • Publication date: 6/15/2001
  • Edition number: 272
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Andra L. Coles and J. Gary Knowles are both educational researchers at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Beginnings: Reseraching the Professor: Thomas Part 3 Exploring Method Chapter 4 What is Life History Research Chapter 5 Principles Guiding Life History Researching Chapter 6 Beginning a Life History Research Project Chapter 7 "Doing" Life History Research Chapter 8 Preparing to Make Sense of Gathered Life History Information Chapter 9 Making Sense of and Representing Lives-in-Context Part 10 Experiencing Method Chapter 11 Lessons from Nurses' Lives Chapter 12 Responsibilities to Community: Relationality and Mutality with Home-educating Families Chapter 13 Research as Relationship Chapter 14 Fidelity and Ethical Ideals Chapter 15 Telling "Inside" Stories: The Paradox of Researcher Privilege Chapter 16 "Going Deep": Intersecting of Self as Researcher and Researched Chapter 17 A Life History as Artistic Interpretation Chapter 18 Reflections on "Our Stories": Women in Cardiac Rehabilitation Chapter 19 Researching First Nations' Educators through Presence, Collaboration, and Advocacy Chapter 20 Compelled to Honor Privacy: Reflections from Researching in a Nursing Home Chapter 21 Insights and Inspiration from an Artist's Work: Envisioning and Portraying Lives in Context Chapter 22 Re-reading "Anne": Using Images in an Artful Inquiry Chapter 23 Moments in Time Chapter 24 Endings: Writing the Professor, Thomas Chapter 25 References Chapter 26 Index Chapter 27 About the Authors

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