- Subject index
The recent widespread rejection of conventional theory and method has led to the evolution of different ways of gathering and analyzing data. This accessible textbook introduces key research methods that challenge psychology's traditional preoccupation with `scientific' experiments. The book provides a well-structured guide to methods, containing a range of qualitative approaches (for example, semi-structured interviews, grounded theory, discourse analysis) alongside a reworking of quantitative methods to suit contemporary psychological research. A number of chapters are also explicitly concerned with research as a dynamic interactive process. The internationally respected contributors steer the reader through the main stag
Chapter 4: Life Story Research
Life Story Research
We are safe in saying that personal life records, as complete as possible, constitute the perfect type of sociological material. (Thomas and Znaniecki, 1958: 1832–3)
Life story research aims to investigate the subjective meanings of lives as they are told in the narratives of participants. Over the past decade, there has been a renaissance in such research in the social sciences: to tell a story of a life has been increasingly recognized as a major research resource. Yet whilst there have been some keen advocates of this approach within psychology (for example, Bruner, 1987; McAdams, 1985; Mair, 1989), it has more commonly been left to oral historians, sociologists, anthropologists and cultural theorists to develop such ideas (for example, Denzin, 1989a; Plummer, ...