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Using Narrative in Social Research: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches

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Overview

"An elegantly written, scholarly and accessible text. Jane Elliott shows a sophisticated appreciation of contemporary methodological developments, and makes a persuasive case for the use of narrative approaches in both qualitative and quantitative research. The book challenges and advances debates about combining methods, and shows how stories can work within and across conventional research boundaries. It is a truly original contribution to the literature."
-- Amanda Coffey Cardiff School of Social Sciences

This is a lucid and accessible introduction to narrative methods in social research. It is also an important book about the nature, role and theoretical basis of research methodology in general. Jane Elliott instructs the reader on the basic methods and methodological assumptions that form the basis of narrative methods. She does so in a way that is practical and accessible and in a way that will make the book a favourite with students and experienced researchers alike. Elliott argues that both qualitative and quantitative methods are characterized by a concern with narrative, and that our research data can best be analyzed if it is seen in narrative terms. In concrete, step-by-step terms she details for the reader how to go about collecting data and how to subject that data to narrative analysis, while at the same time placing this process in its wider theoretical context. She works across the traditional quantitative/qualitative divide to set out the ways in which narrative researchers can uncover such issues as social change, causality and social identity. She also shows how the techniques and skills used by qualitative researchers can be deployed when doing quantitative research and, similarly, how qualitative researchers can sometimes profit from using quantitative skills and techniques.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412900416
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 7/28/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr Jane Elliott is currently employed as Research Director of the 1958 National Child Development Study (NCDS) and the 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70) at the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS), Bedford Group for Lifecourse and Statistical Studies, Institute of Education, London. She was previously a Visiting Scholar and Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Harvard University.
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Table of Contents

Narrative and Research in the Social Sciences
Listening to People's Stories
The Use of Narrative in Qualitative Interviews
Interpreting People's Stories
Narrative Approaches to the Analysis of Qualitative Data
Collecting Quantitative Narratives - A Contradiction in Terms?
Statistical Stories? The Use of Narrative in Quantitative Analysis
Uncovering and Understanding Causal Effects and Processes
Narrative and Identity
Constructions of the Subject in Qualitative and Quantitative Research
The Ethical and Political Implications of Using Narrative in Research
The Researcher as Narrator
Reflexivity in Qualitative and Quantitative Research
Telling Better Stories? Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Research
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