The process of learning qualitative research has altered dramatically and this Handbook explores the growth, change, and complexity within the topic and looks back over its history to assess the current state of the art, and indicate possible future directions. Moving beyond textbook rehearsals of standard issues, the book examines key methodological debates and conflicts, approaching them in a critical, discursive manner.
Chapter 10: Life History Interviewing
Life History Interviewing
Life history interviewing is a research method that is designed to record an individual's biography in his or her own words. It is part of a wide range of biographical methods that also includes reminiscence and autobiography. Life histories provide a means of accessing people's narrative accounts of their lives and of the changes that have occurred within living memory. Starting with a description of the origins of life history research, this chapter will detail the life history method and consider the issues associated with interpreting life stories. The chapter will place particular emphasis on the relationship between life history and narrative approaches to identity (cf. Somers, 1994). It will discuss the relationship between individual narrative accounts and the wider ...