The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research in Psychology


Edited by: Carla Willig & Wendy Stainton-Rogers

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    Peter Banister (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK)

    Michael Billig (Loughborough University, UK)

    Uwe Flick (Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences, Berlin, Germany)

    Rom Harré (Georgetown University, USA)

    Steinar Kvale (University of Aarhus, Denmark)

    Catriona Macleod (Rhodes University, South Africa)

    David Marks (City University, London, UK)

    Paula Nicolson (University of London, UK)

    Jonathan A. Smith (University of London)

    Hank Stam (University of Calgary, Canada)

    Paul Stenner (University of Brighton, UK)

    Jane Ussher (University of Western Sydney, Australia)

    Margaret Wetherell (Open University, UK)

    Lucy Yardley (Southampton University, UK)


    View Copyright Page


    This book is dedicated to the memory of Precilla Choi (1962–2005) who was an inspiration to many


    You do not take on a task like editing a handbook without a degree of trepidation. For both of us this has been an initiation, and we started off a bit in awe of what we had to achieve. To our surprise and great delight, it has turned out not to be awful at all but immensely satisfying and rewarding. We have both learned a great deal and enriched our own knowledge and understanding of qualitative research in psychology, at a time when this field of work is really ‘moving and shaking’.

    So when we thought about our acknowledgements we decided that the people we most want to thank are those who have made the handbook possible – the members of our Editorial Advisory Board and, most of all, our authors. It is they who have been truly awesome! Of course it has not been all ‘plain sailing’, but almost always we have met with abundant generosity in the time and effort that people have devoted, and been treated with great patience and with unstinting goodwill in our negotiations and the various demands we have made.

    Most of all, we would sincerely like to thank our ‘awesome authors’ for the way they worked with us in a true spirit of openness – to ideas (some more off the wall than others); to suggestions (which often involved much effort); to requests (more often than not, pretty ‘big asks’); and especially to a deluge of peer critique (which was always challenging but seldom taken as anything other than constructive). We have also appreciated the way more experienced authors have worked so gallantly and effectively with those less experienced (and the patience with which the more organized have handled the more preoccupied). Thank you all for making the task of editing the handbook such a gratifying experience, and for making it such a damn fine book.

    Notes on Contributors

    Michael Arribas-Ayllon is a Research Associate at the Centre for Social and Economic Aspects of Genomics (CESAGen), Cardiff University. His PhD research was concerned with recent transformations of welfare administration in Australia, and the development of critical methodologies for the analysis of history, power and subjectivity. Michael is currently working on the genetic testing of children from the point of view of medical and family communication. The research raises issues of how biotechnology is changing professional practice and familial processes of communication and self-management. Michael is currently working on a book with Prof. Srikant Sarangi and Prof. Angus Clarke which explores the (micro-)politics of autonomy and responsibility. We are currently developing a model of discourse analysis that is sensitive to how medical experts and families perform ‘situated ethics’ and the rhetorical basis of these activities, within the broader genealogical context of ethical governance, autonomy and responsibility.

    Linden J. Ball is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Lancaster University in the UK, and primarily teaches on a methods-oriented MRes in human-computer interaction that is run collaboratively with the Computing Department. He pursued his PhD at Plymouth Polytechnic in the late 1980s on cognitive processes in engineering design. This PhD led him to appreciate the potent complementarity of mixed-method approaches for understanding the richness and sophistication of situated cognitive processes such as those arising in design reasoning. Since 1990 he has continued to use a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches in much of his research on real-world reasoning in domains as varied as software design, investigative decision making, and road maintenance. Recently his research has become neatly balanced between in vitro experimental studies of fundamental reasoning mechanisms and in vivo studies of naturalistic decision-making processes. He derives considerable interest from the convergent (and sometimes strikingly divergent) findings that derive from both kinds of research.

    Peter Banister is Head of the Division of Psychology and Social Change, Manchester Metropolitan University, England. His own psychology degree programme contained no qualitative methods and it became obvious to him in carrying out research that the approach had many advantages, and has a lot to offer the discipline. In his early prison research it was often the unsolicited comments made by prisoners which sparked off important lines of enquiry. With like minded colleagues at the university he set up masters and undergraduate level teaching in qualitative methods; this led to a successful textbook Qualitative Methods in Psychology in 1994, which was adopted as an Open University core text. As well as teaching qualitative methods he actively encourages our students to utilize them in their research. He do so in our own research; Peter has recently been evaluating an initiative in English prisons which aims to equip ex-prisoners for the world of work after release, and relied partly on extensive interviews with the prisoners.

    Andrew Bengry-Howell is currently a Teaching Fellow/Research Officer at the Department of Psychology, University of Bath, UK. He is interested in the role that consumption plays in the identity work of young people. He has primarily conducted research on young men's consumption of motorcars and car-based processes of masculine identity construction. His research has examined the cultural significance of the motorcar to working class young men with a history of ‘joyriding’ (1996). (‘Joyriding’ is a common name for the offence of taking a car without the owner's consent (TWOC).) More recently, he conducted an ethnographic study of young men who modify their cars (often referred to as Boyracers), in which he examined how car modification and performative motorcar display operate in the construction of hybridized auto-masculine identities (2005). In 2005 he took up his current post on an Economic and Social Research Council-funded research project, which is exploring the relationship between the marketing and branding of alcohol and the meanings that young people ascribe to alcohol consumption. He has also just been awarded a First Grant from the ESRC for a three year project (due to start in October 2007) investigating how young people negotiate corporate attempts to brand youth leisure space, with a specific focus on branded music festivals and free party networks.

    Kimberly Bess recently completed her PhD in Community Research and Action and is currently a Research Associate in the Department of Human and Organizational Development at Vanderbilt University. Her doctoral dissertation, ‘Challenges of change in human service organizations: Identity, values, and narratives’, takes a transactional-ecological approach to the study of non-profit organizational change. Using qualitative methods, it focuses on the experience of identity and values and explores the role of individual, organizational, and community narratives in shaping a planned organizational change process. In her work, she uses qualitative methods to address questions about meaning, process, systems, and complexity in community and organizational settings. Examples include research that explores organizational learning in community-based non-profit organizations, psychological sense of community through the study of narratives, and the role of institutional norms and values and more localized contextual factors in shaping human service workers' participation in action research.

    Sunil Bhatia is an Associate Professor of Human Development. His research examines how globalization, formation of postcolonial diasporas, and transnational migration have forced us to redefine the meaning of culture, identity, community, acculturation, difference and development in the field of theoretical and cultural psychology. His book American Karma: Race, Culture and Identity in the Indian Diaspora (New York University Press) was published in July 2007. He has also published over a dozen articles and book chapters on issues related to self, immigrant identity and cultural psychology. His articles have appeared in journals such as Human Development, Theory and Psychology, History of Psychology, Culture and Psychology, and Mind, Culture and Activity. He is also the senior editor (along with Hank Stam) of a special issue of Theory and Psychology titled, Critical Engagements with Culture and Self.

    Tom Billington is Senior Lecturer in Educational and Child Psychology at the University of Sheffield, England, where he is also a member of the inter-disciplinary Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth. The focus of his research is on professional practices when working with children and young people, in particular, developing a researcher-practitioner model in which he explores discourse analytic, psychodynamic and narrative methods as means of addressing children's rights and other participatory issues as alternatives to simplistic psychopathologies. His own professional practice is as an expert witness in Children Act cases while he is a member of British Psychological Society working parties on child protection and childhood autism. He has published widely including Working with Children: Assessment, Representation and Intervention (2006; Sage) and Separating, Losing and Excluding Children: Narratives of Difference (2000; RoutledgeFalmer).

    Felicity Bishop is currently a Research Fellow in the Complementary Medicine Research Unit at the University of Southampton, UK. Her research interests concern psychological aspects of complementary therapies, and she is conducting a programme of research investigating peoples' experiences of therapies including acupuncture, homeopathy, and reflexology. She first used mixed methods with Lucy Yardley to study adherence to complementary therapies, and it is this project that is described in Chapter 20 of this volume. Despite (or perhaps because of) the challenges posed by mixed methods research, Felicity continues to combine qualitative and quantitative approaches in her work. Her latest project involves using mixed methods to investigate the psychosocial context of acupuncture and how this context is linked to clinical outcomes. She is particularly interested in exploring the range of ways in which it is possible to combine methods, and to be both creative and rigorous in selecting specific methods for mixed method studies.

    Svend Brinkmann is currently an Assistant Professor of Social and Personality Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Aarhus, Denmark. He is a member of the department's Centre of Qualitative Research, and he is particularly interested in ethical issues in qualitative research. He recently published a book on John Dewey, and he has co-edited an anthology with critical perspectives on self-realization, both of which have been published in Danish. In addition he has published articles in Theory & Psychology, Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, History of the Human Sciences, Philosophical Psychology, Journal of Constructivist Psychology, Journal of Humanistic Psychology and Qualitative Research in Psychology. In the future he hopes that his work can contribute to the development of a psychology that does justice to the nature of the concretely lived lives of human beings.

    Steven D. Brown is Professor of Social and Organizational Psychology at Leicester University, UK. Prior to this he taught psychology at Loughborough University (although he was not really a discourse analyst). He is also visiting Professor at Universiteit voor Humanistiex, NL (despite being firmly anti-humanist, by inclination). He has had the enormous good fortune to have learned at length from many wonderful colleagues at all three institutions, and from former colleagues and friends at Keele and Reading. Steve's early intellectual formation was within the Beryl Curt collective, who took their epistemology as seriously as their conviviality. Like many other parts of Beryl, he felt and continues to feel a lingering sense that psychology is so divorced from life that it fails to engage with its own subject matter (however Steve contains this sufficiently to act as associate editor of the British Journal of Social Psychology). He is curious about a number of things – what memory does to us, how affect is threaded into living, the possibilities for personhood in formally organized settings – but very rarely about methodology.

    Erica Burman is Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. Her inspirations include the challenges of researching with children, of teaching professionals whose engagement with developmental psychology is structured by a healthy suspicion, and working with colleagues whose positivist commitments require justifying the work she wants to do. Early methodological influences were Klaus Riegel's dialectical psychology and Piaget's clinical method (yes, really!), then debates in antiracist feminist research and post-structuralist and discursive approaches, including a critical engagement with psychoanalysis. Critiques of international economic development also highlight the political ambiguities of developmental psychology. She is a qualified group analyst, which also informs her teaching, supervisory work and facilitation of research teams. Her recent work addresses the tense and complex intersections between women and children, and between women, feminisms and the state. One day she hopes to write fiction, instead of showing how psychology's truths are stranger than fiction.

    Mark Burton is the Head of the Manchester Learning Disability Partnership which is a large public sector provider of health and social support for people who are intellectually disabled. He is also visiting professor at the Research Institute of Health and Social Change at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK. For the last two decades he has been working in the same city in the same system of services, trying to find ways of improving what intellectually disabled people and their families experience, while trying to resist the erosion of welfare. Working with this constituency and mainly in organizational and community contexts has meant an interest in action orientated approaches and methods that do not over-rely on speech and language, whether in research or service development. Outside paid work he maintains an interest in social struggles in the majority world, particularly in Latin America and has also found this a source of learning and inspiration practically and conceptually. His published work crosses the fields of health and social care, social policy and alternative approaches in psychology.

    Ivo Člermák works at the Institute of Psychology at the Academy of Sciences in the Czech Republic, and is a Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Masaryk University in Brno. His professional interests are qualitative research, hermeneutic and narrative ideas in psychology, psychology of art and projective methods. At the beginning of the 1990s he met Jitka Linden from the University in Lund. Jitka's hermeneutic-narrative research mission encouraged him to follow his desire to carry out qualitative inquiry, which he has always considered closer to real life. This bore fruit in a joint book – Profession: An Actor. The Critical Moments in Theatre Actors' Working Life (2000). Wendy Stainton-Rogers, whom he encountered in the second half of the 1990s, captivated him with the charm of her critical spirit to such an extent that he decided to commit himself to qualitative research forever. This ‘forever-ness’ is significantly supported by his friend David Hiles.

    Kerry Chamberlain is Professor of Health Psychology at Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand. He is co-editor (with Michael Murray) of Qualitative Health Psychology: Theories and Methods (Sage) and co-author (with Antonia Lyons) of Health Psychology: A Critical Introduction (Cambridge) and serves on the editorial boards of several health psychology journals. His engagement with qualitative interpretative methodologies emerged from an interest in questions about the understandings and meanings of health and illness, and has led his current research interests to be increasingly concerned with social and community processes, including medicalization, meals, mediation, medications and the mundane. He favours the use of innovative methods because they force attention to research processes. He is opposed to all forms of research methodolatry, believing that methodologies and methods, which irrevocably shape research findings, must be subservient to the research aims, and that research articles must be focussed on the key issues, theorizations, findings and implications of the research.

    Kathy Charmaz is Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of the Faculty Writing Program at Sonoma State University in California, USA. She assists faculty in writing for publication. She learned grounded theory from Barney Glaser and studied with Anselm Strauss. Professor Charmaz's early interests in grounded theory, social psychology, and chronic illness have shaped her career and her publications, including Good Days, Bad Days: The Self in ChronicIllness and Time. Her first grounded theory publication resulted from a request to speak extemporaneously about it during a conference session. Afterwards the session organizer asked her to write a chapter in three weeks for his forthcoming edited volume. Since then, she has been writing about grounded theory, most recently Constructing Grounded Theory: A Practical Guide Through Qualitative Analysis, with Sage, London. Professor Charmaz received the 2006 George Herbert Mead award for lifetime achievement from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction.

    Patricia Conway is a PhD student in Community Research and Action at Vanderbilt University in the USA. She worked as a National Health Service (NHS) based researcher for seven years before returning to postgraduate studies. She has been using mixed methods throughout her years as an NHS researcher and continues to do so in her current setting. She is currently developing a critical methodology guide for those interested in utilizing research for social change. She is part of a team developing a new curriculum for undergraduate and graduate students to help them understand not only methods in research, but also the theoretical perspectives and methodological stances influencing our research choices. Her own research interests are in the area of food security and environmental justice more broadly. She is part of a growing food security movement in Nashville, and attempts to understand the development of the movement, the agendas driving it, and who ultimately benefits from any changes to our local and regional food systems.

    Lisa DeSouza is an academic and professional tutor at the University of Nottingham, UK. She also works as a senior educational psychologist in Nottingham City. She has published in the British Psychological Society journal Educational and Child Psychology. Her research interests include work on discourse and challenging behaviour in schools and the education and care of children 0–5 years old.

    Virginia Eatough is a lecturer in psychology at Birkbeck, University of London. Her focus on qualitative research methods grew out of her interest in lived experience. In particular, she is concerned with the emotional and feeling aspects of these experiences and how persons talk about and make sense of them. The idiographic emphasis of interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA) especially appeals to her and she is keen to promote the use of single person case studies within psychology. These interests are at the heart of her recent work on women's lived experiences of anger and how they make sense of them. This has led to her current work on adult crying looking at the subjective experience and the role of feelings in crying and its functional and situational aspects. A separate but related strand of research is using IPA to examine the lived experience of living with a chronic neurodegenerative condition such as Parkinson's disease.

    Jonathan Elford is an Epidemiologist and Professor at City University's Institute of Health Sciences in London, where he conducts social, behavioural and epidemiological research among people living with HIV and those most at risk of HIV infection. One of his research projects, funded by the Medical Research Council, focused on the internet and the risk of HIV transmission among gay men in London. Additional funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) allowed the research team to examine methodological aspects of using the internet for research. Chapter 18 in this book emerged from the ESRC-funded PhD. Jonathan Elford also played a key role in developing the DIPEx website on HIV ( DIPEx is a public access website where people talk about their experience of illness. It serves as an ‘expert patient’ online. The HIV website contains video and audio clips of interviews with gay men as well as black African heterosexual men and women living with HIV in the UK. Other research activities include work among ethnic minority men who have sex with men living in the UK and a social-behavioural survey of people living with diagnosed HIV in northeast London including black African heterosexual men and women.

    Alison Evans is currently employed as a Research Fellow in the Department of Palliative Care, Policy and Rehabilitation at King's College, London. She developed an interest in different data collection methods and Internet research during her MSc in social research methods at City University, London. She was then awarded a postgraduate research studentship by the Economic and Social Research Council and a postdoctoral research fellowship at City University which enabled her to pursue these interests. Her PhD was an exploration of the methodological issues surrounding use of the Internet for collecting quantitative and qualitative data on sexual behaviour among gay and bisexual men. It took place in the context of the Internet and HIV study, an investigation of Internet-related sexual risk behaviour among gay and bisexual men. It explored issues of participation bias in web surveys of sexual behaviour and mode effects associated with collecting data on sexual behaviour via the Internet compared to offline methods.

    Scotney D. Evans came to Canada's Wilfrid Laurier University after graduating from the Community Research and Action PhD programme at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He is currently teaching courses in community psychology at the undergraduate and graduate level and conducting action research with community organizations in the Waterloo region of Ontario. He is also still involved with two human service sector research projects in Tennessee. Currently, he is working on a book focused on conceptualizing critical human service practice. Also, with colleagues at Laurier he is helping to establish a Centre for Community Research and Action. He is energized about exploring the use of photo, audio, and video media to conduct research with communities. With students at Laurier, he is looking for opportunities to use these creative approaches to help promote social change. He is fully committed to moving beyond the academic journal article as the primary dissemination of community stories, social justice issues and creative solutions.

    Nigel Fielding is Professor of Sociology at the University of Surrey, co-director of the Institute of Social Research, and co-director of the Economic and Social Research Council-supported CAQDAS Networking Project, which provides training and support in the use of computers in qualitative data analysis. His research interests are in qualitative research methods, new technologies for social research, and criminal justice. He has authored or edited 20 books, over 50 journal articles and over 200 other publications. In research methodology his books include a study of methodological integration (Linking Data, 1986, Sage; with Jane Fielding), an influential book on qualitative software (Using Computers in Qualitative Research, 1991, Sage; editor, with Ray Lee), a study of the role of computer technology in qualitative research (Computer Analysis and Qualitative Research, 1998, Sage; with Ray Lee) and a four-volume set, Interviewing (2002, Sage; editor). He is presently researching the application of high-performance computing applications to qualitative methods.

    Uwe Flick is Professor of Qualitative Research at the Alice-Solomon-Hochschule in Berlin. He was trained as psychologist and sociologist in Munich and Berlin. Research interests in everyday knowledge and practices of professionals and lay people motivated an orientation to qualitative research first and then in social representations in fields like health and illness. After studying social representations of health and aging held by general practitioners and nurses, his current research is about health concepts and practices of homeless adolescents. Most recent publications include An Introduction to Qualitative Research (3rd edition 2006) and the edition of the Companion to Qualitative Research (2004 with Ernst Von Kardorff and Ines Steinke) and of the eight-volume boxed set The Sage Qualitative Research Kit (2007), all at Sage Publications.

    Juliet Foster is a Research Fellow in Social Psychology at the University of Cambridge. Her main interests are social perspectives on mental health problems. In particular, she has focused on mental health service clients' representations of mental health problems: her book on this topic, Journeys Through Mental Illness: Clients' Experiences and Understandings of Mental Distress, was published by Palgrave in 2007. She also works on wider representations of mental health problems, including those found in the media, and amongst mental health professionals. Her use of a wide range of qualitative methods to address these research questions stems from her epistemological commitment to social constructionism: as such, she is interested in the way people communally make sense of the world around them, and the importance and implications of the meanings that they construct.

    Stephen Frosh is Professor of Psychology at Birkbeck College, University of London, UK. He is currently working on issues to do with intersubjective ‘encounters’ and the ways in which they produce change. He is especially interested in whether the psychoanalytic encounter can provide a model for this, and in what this means for group and political processes. This work arises out of a longstanding concern with the development of a ‘social psychoanalysis’, as in his books The Politics of Psychoanalysis (Palgrave, 1987/1999), For and Against Psychoanalysis (Routledge, 1997/2006) and Hate and the ‘Jewish Science’ (Palgrave, 2005), work which has also fuelled his involvement with qualitative methods. Some of this is examined in a book with Peter Emerson, Critical Narrative Analysis in Psychology (Palgrave, 2004), which presents a very detailed interrogation of texts drawing on narrative and discursive procedures; but other work (mostly carried out by PhD students) explores ways of gaining access to the kinds of processes and validation mechanisms required of psychoanalytic interpretation.

    Mary Gergen, Professor Emerita, Psychology and Women's Studies, Penn State University, Delaware County, is a scholar at the intersection of feminist theory and social constructionism. Her most recent book is Feminist Reconstructions in Psychology: Narrative, Gender and Performance (Sage, 2001). With Kenneth Gergen, she has edited Social Construction: A Reader (Sage, 2003), and written a primer, Social Constructionism, Entering the Dialogue (Taos Institute Publications, 2004). Her earlier edited books included Feminist Thought and the Structure of Knowledge (1988), and Toward a New Psychology of Gender (1997) with Sara N. Davis. Her involvement in qualitative research is extensive, with articles published in earlier handbooks and journals. She is a founder of the Taos Institute, a non-profit educational organization, and an advisor within their PhD programme with Tilburg University, The Netherlands. With K. J. Gergen she edits an electronic newsletter on positive aging, available at

    Besides writing, she enjoys travelling, tennis, family gatherings, and life with Ken and Julian, the Labrador-chow, who shares their home in the Philadelphia environs.

    Amedeo P. Giorgi received his PhD in Experimental Psychology from Fordham University in 1958. He worked as a human factors specialist for Dunlap and Associates for several years and then moved on to an academic career teaching at Manhattan College, Duquesne University, and University of Quebec at Montreal and currently at Saybrook Graduate School in San Francisco. He studied phenomenological philosophy and developed the application of the phenomenological method for psychological problems based upon the work of Husserl and Merleau-Ponty. He has directed over 100 dissertations that have used the method on all sorts of psychological problems and he has published over 100 articles on the phenomenological approach to psychology. He has been invited to lecture on phenomenological psychology in Europe, Asia, Latin America, Australia and South Africa. He is the founder and original editor (25 years) of the Journal of Phenomenological Psychology and the author of Psychology as a Human Science.

    Barbro Giorgi received her PhD in Clinical Psychology and Research at University of Quebec at Montreal, Canada, in 1998. She is currently research director of MA programmes at John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, California, where she teaches research methods as well as supervises students during their research. Her research orientation is qualitative in general but primarily phenomenological. Her own research focuses on the therapeutic process. Barbro Giorgi is also adjunct faculty at Saybrook Graduate School, San Francisco, and research adjunct faculty at Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, as well as serves as committee member on doctoral dissertations with students using phenomenological research methods locally and nationally. She gives workshops on phenomenology as a research method in the Bay Area as well as across the USA and overseas.

    Yevgeniya Granovskaya is a Counsellor at the Career Development Center of LaGuardia Community College, City University of New York. She was born in Uzbekistan, a republic of the former Soviet Union, and emigrated to the USA at the age of 14. Yevgeniya received a BBA in industrial and organizational psychology from Baruch College, CUNY and an MSEd in counselling and personnel services from Fordham University. Her training and prior research experiences have been quantitative in nature and this project has served as an introduction into the qualitative realm. Yevgeniya's research interests include the constructs of individualism and collectivism and their impact on the adjustment process of bicultural individuals.

    Christine Griffin is Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Bath, UK. She has a long-standing interest in representations of youth, femininity and young women's lives. Her publications include Typical Girls? (1985, Routledge and Kegan Paul); Representations of Youth (1993, Polity Press); and Standpoints and Differences: Essays in the Practice of Feminist Psychology (1998, with Karen Henwood and Ann Phoenix; Sage). She was involved in youth work with girls' groups in Birmingham during the 1980s, and still has links with youth and community work organizations. Recent research projects include a three-year Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) study on the relationship between consumption and social identity for young people. She is currently working on a major ESRC-funded study on the role of branding and marketing of drinks in relation to young adults' everyday drinking practices and a two-year ESRC-funded project on clubbing and dance cultures as forms of social and political participation.

    Carrie E. Hanlin is originally from Fayetteville, Arkansas, and received her bachelor's degree in Psychology at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, 1999. She is now in her sixth year of doctoral study, at Vanderbilt University in the Community Research and Action PhD programme. She is enjoying teaching a section of the department's undergraduate research methods course and beginning work on her dissertation. The first two years of her graduate work were done in the University of Missouri-Kansas City's Community Psychology PhD programme. Carrie is currently a graduate fellow and a recipient of the Peabody College Graduate Honor Scholarship. In addition, she and her husband are proud parents of a new baby girl, Rosalind. Recent areas of interest, research, and action include labour unions, workers' co-operatives, and other labour arrangements; the facilitation of the development of community organizations into social change agents; the social imagination; qualitative research methodology; alternative social organization; structural mechanisms for direct democracy; and theories of power.

    David Harper is Reader in Clinical Psychology at the University of East London. He began using discourse analysis (DA) in 1990 while researching the social construction of persecutory delusions in interviews with clinical psychologists and psychiatrists for his masters degree in clinical psychology at Liverpool University. This project was extended for his part-time PhD at Manchester Metropolitan University in the mid-to-late 1990s when he interviewed psychiatric service users and their health professionals and analysed a wider variety of texts, including historical and professional accounts as well as representations circulating in popular culture. He has continued to research in this area and was a co-author of Deconstructing Psychopathology (with Ian Parker, Eugenie Georgaca, Terence McLaughlin and Mark Stowell-Smith). He is committed to publishing in a wider range of outlets, in publications which are more likely to be read by clinicians as well as by service users and their relatives and friends. He is also interested in applying these ideas clinically and works in a systemic therapy consultation service reflecting team in Newham.

    Karen Henwood is a Senior Lecturer in the Cardiff School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University, UK. Karen's longstanding research interests are in qualitative, interpretive and critical approaches to psychology, and in the development of methodology within interdisciplinary social science. Substantively, her core interests concern the ways in which differences in identity and subjectivity are forged in relation to biography, relationships, social context and cultural issues; troubled and troubling identities; social constructions and lived experiences of gender, risk, embodiment, and well-being. Her empirical projects investigating these topics have involved the use of interpretive thematic approaches, such as grounded theory, and discursive and narrative methods. In a new project to start in 2007 she will be taking forward, with others, the development of qualitative longitudinal methodology and innovative, collaborative approaches to data sharing, archiving and secondary analysis. She also has an interest in combining different qualitative, and qualitative and quantitative methods.

    David Hiles is Principal Lecturer in Psychology at De Montfort University, UK, and sees himself as an eclectic psychologist fascinated by human meaning-making. His PhD from McGill was in the cognition of short-term memory. He has training in counselling, and he is passionate about teaching, the history of ideas, film, Sumo, and the clarinet-playing of Sidney Bechet. Disenchanted with experimental methods, he turned towards ‘real world’ inquiry. Recently, he has been exploring the paradigmatic assumptions of psychological research methods, developing a pluralistic model, called Disciplined Inquiry, which might rattle a few cages, e.g. it is critical of the simplistic distinction between ‘quantitative’ and ‘qualitative’ methods. It incorporates three fundamental paradigms of inquiry: positivist, constructionist and participatory. For him, the challenge for qualitative research is to strive for transparency. On reflection, if he had his time over again, he would change one thing: he should have read Heidegger some forty years earlier.

    Katherine Johnson is Senior Lecturer in the School of Applied Social Science, University of Brighton, UK. She is the course leader for MSc psychosocial studies and convenes the qualitative research methods teaching for postgraduate students. Her research focuses on themes of identity and embodiment often with reference to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered lives. She has utilized a range of qualitative methods in her research including discourse analysis, memory work, visual methods and participatory-action research. She is currently completing a community psychology project Understanding Suicidal Distress and Promoting Survival in LGBT communities and writing a book on sexualities for Polity Press.

    Carolyn Kagan is Professor of Community Social Psychology and Director of the Research Institute for Health and Social Change at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK. She entered psychology at the beginning of the 1970s and was heavily influenced by both the socialist feminist movement and the ‘crisis’ in social psychology. These movements gave her a framework for understanding both action and social change, although psychological theory and practice was of limited use. She turned to radical social work for ideas and inspiration about how best to work with those marginalized by social structures, trained as a social worker and spent many of the Thatcher years working in a small interdisciplinary regional development team. Collaborative action approaches enabled them to make the most effective use of small resources in order to achieve value-based organizational change. She has worked with those living poverty and marginalization in the UK and elsewhere. It is qualitative methods that have proven to be the most use in her current community social psychological work, which seeks to adopt ecological approaches to understanding.

    Susan Kippax manages and coordinates a programme of research into the social aspects of the prevention and care of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, and sexually transmissible infections (STIs) in her role as director of the National Centre in HIV Social Research (NCHSR) at the University of New South Wales. She began her research in HIV in the mid-1980s and around the same time became extremely interested in ‘memory-work’ when Frigga Haug visited Australia. Memory-work provided her and a number of her colleagues with a way to deal with the conservatism of mainstream psychology: a way to do empirical research that is collective and involved the ‘subjects’ of the research as co-researchers; a way to do research that allows for the recognition of the ways in which members of oppressed groups participate in, and resist, their own oppression; and hence a way to do research that has a political force.

    Geena Kuriakose is currently a Doctoral Student in School Psychology in the Graduate School of Education at Fordham University. Geena emigrated from the south Indian state of Kerala to New York City at the age of 8. She received a BA in psychology from New York University where she began her training in qualitative research methods with Niobe Way. She received training in and conducted both qualitative and quantitative research with Dr Way for five years. At present, she continues to develop her knowledge and competency with qualitative methodology through her work with Joseph G Ponterotto. Her research interests include identifying and understanding the factors that contribute to resiliency among immigrant adolescents.

    Steinar Kvale is Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Aarhus in Denmark. He graduated from the University of Oslo with the PhD dissertation ‘Prüfung und Herrschaft’ (‘Examinations and Oppression’; 1972). He has conducted a qualitative interview study on the educational and social effects of high stakes grading, which led to a discussion of methodological and epistemological aspects of interviewing, ‘The qualitative research interview: A phenomenological and a hermeneutical mode of understanding’, in the Journal of Phenomenological Psychology (1983). He founded Centre of Qualitative Research at the University of Aarhus in 1988. He has edited Issues of Validity in Qualitative Research (1989) and Psychology and Postmodernism (1992), and written Interviews – An Introduction to Qualitative Research Interviewing (1996) and Doing Interviews (2007). Recent articles include ‘The psychoanalytical interview as qualitative research’ (1999) and ‘Dominance through dialogues and interviews’ (2006), both in Qualitative Inquiry.

    Victoria Lewis is employed as a Senior Practitioner Educational Psychologist in Nottinghamshire, and as an academic and professional tutor on the doctorate of applied educational psychology at the University of Nottingham, UK. Her research interests include the role of language in shaping social meaning and the historical and cultural effects of language and social practice as it applies to professional educational psychology.

    Abigail Locke is a Lecturer in Psychology at Loughborough University, UK, who specializes in teaching qualitative research methods. She is the current editor of Social Psychological Review, the periodical of the social psychology section of the British Psychological Society and a member of the British Psychological Society's research ethics advisory group. Her work has a discursive flavour, beginning with her doctoral research, supervised by Derek Edwards. The thesis offered a study of how discourses of mind and emotion were built into the interactional currency and accountability practices that sports performers use when talking about performances. The interest in mental states and emotion discourse continued and was considered in other settings, for example in Clinton's cross-examination testimony (2003, with Edwards). Her current research focuses on discourses of antenatal care. Using recordings of antenatal classes run by the NCT, Abigail is looking at how gender, identity and accountability are constructed and negotiated.

    Catriona Macleod started her career as a high school teacher of mathematics. Trained as an educational psychologist she has worked on a range of community mental health and education programmes. Currently she is professor and head of department of the Psychology Department at Rhodes University in South Africa. Her research interests have spanned the construction of gender differences in mathematics, inclusive education, the development of community-based mental health programmes, the governmentality of teenage pregnancy, public discourses on abortion, and feminist and postcolonial theory. She has published extensively in both national and international journals and has received awards for her research from the University of Zululand and the University of Fort Hare, where she worked previously. She is a rated social scientist with the National Research Foundation of South Africa.

    Andy Miller is Special Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Nottingham, UK, and also works for a small part of his time as a senior educational psychologist with Derby City LEA. Over a period of more than a decade, Andy has published a series of research studies into schools and challenging behaviour in academic and professional journals, some of which have also received attention in the national print and broadcast media. He has published nine books on professionally relevant topics, including Psychological Services for Primary Schools (Longman, 1991), Child and Adolescent Therapy (Open University Press, 1992), Silent Conspiracies: Scandals and Successes in the Care and Education of Vulnerable Young People (Trentham, 1993), and, most recently, Teachers, Parents and Classroom Behaviour: A Psychosocial Approach (Open University Press, 2003).

    Michael Murray is Professor of Social and Health Psychology at Keele University in England. In his early work he used qualitative methods to explore the experience of illness among sick children, smoking behaviour among adolescents and popular perceptions of cancer. This work was informed by social representation and narrative theory. Together with Kerry Chamberlain he edited a journal issue on qualitative research and an edited volume on Qualitative Health Psychology which attracted wider interest and contributed to the convening of a conference on critical and qualitative approaches to health psychology. Recently he has become more interested in community action research and edited a journal issue on community health psychology with Catherine Campbell and another on health psychology and the arts with Ross Gray. Increasingly his research is informed by an interest in social change and social justice, issues he feels qualitative researchers should bring more to the fore.

    Thomas C. Ormerod is Professor of Cognitive Psychology at Lancaster University, UK. His use of mixed-methods to study expertise in the workplace began during his PhD research on cognitive processes in logic programming. With funding from UK Research Councils' Cognitive Engineering and PACCIT Initiatives, he then explored the nature and support of design expertise. This work had a methodological message: experts only engage in activities that make sense within their normal context of performance. The search for meaningful tasks that capture cognitive aspects of expertise led to a growing interest in ethnographic approaches to observation. This ‘mixed-method’ approach has been used in most of his recent research. For example, he studied how families collaborate to categorize and retrieve digital photographs, and used ethnographic approaches to study experimental session transcripts. A recent focus of research has been on investigative expertise, exploring how scene-of-crime and fraud investigators differ in their use of inference.

    Douglas D. Perkins was founding Director of the Doctoral Programme in Community Research & Action and now directs the Center for Community Studies ( He is a fellow of the Society for Community Research & Action and has developed collaborations between SCRA and the Community Development Society, Environmental Design Research Association, and Urban Affairs Association. Perkins (PhD, community psychology, New York University) taught criminal justice at Temple University, environment-behavior at the University of Utah, and human-organizational development at Vanderbilt. Perkins' transdisciplinary, mixed research methods have included several innovations: development of a widely used Block (physical) Environmental Inventory, the Sense of Community Index, first use of multi-level statistical analysis in community psychology, an archiving and rating scheme for crime-related newspaper articles, and qualitative analysis of the news archive and GIS maps. His latest research on community-based nonprofit organizations emphasizes qualitative case studies using focus groups, in-depth semi-structured interviews, participant-observer field notes, and organizational records.

    Joseph G. Ponterotto, Professor of Counselling Psychology, was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He is a first generation Italian American with cultural ancestry in the Abruzzi region of Italy. Trained in counselling psychology at the University of California at Santa Barbara, he received comprehensive training in quantitative methods. Initially he received little, if any, training in qualitative methods. His interest in qualitative research converged as a result of strong student interest in these methods coupled with a resonance of the methods with multicultural counselling research. Joe's primarily scholarly interest is in multicultural counselling research using both qualitative and quantitative methods. His newest book is Preventing Prejudice: A Guide for Counselors, Educators, and Parents (2nd edition, 2006, Sage Publications, co-authored with Shawn Utsey and Paul Pedersen of the USA).

    Jonathan Potter is a Professor at the Department of Social Sciences, Loughborough University, UK. He has had an interest in basic theoretical and analytic issues in social psychology for more than 20 years. This is seen in his engagement with and development of post-structuralism (in Social Texts and Contexts, with Margaret Wetherell and Peter Stringer), discourse analysis (in Discourse and Social Psychology, with Margaret Wetherell), discursive psychology (in Discursive Psychology, with Derek Edwards) and constructionism (in Representing Reality). He is currently interested in the way psychology can be reconfigured as an object in and for interaction. Working with naturalistic materials has provided a way of unlocking fundamental and subtle issues about the nature of ‘cognition’ (in Conversation and Cognition, with Hedwig te Molder). This sits along side a long term critical and applied interest in topics such as racism (in Mapping the Language of Racism, with Margaret Wetherell) and, more recently, fact construction, morality and emotion in child protection settings (with Alexa Hepburn).

    Isaac Prilleltensky is Dean of the School of Education at the University of Miami. Prior to that he was director of the Doctoral Program in Community Research and Action at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. Isaac was born in Argentina and has studied and worked in Israel, Canada, Australia and the USA. He has lectured widely in South America, Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand. Isaac is concerned with value-based ways of promoting personal, relational, and collective well-being. He is the author, co-author or co-editor of several books, including Community Psychology: In Pursuit of Liberation and Well-Being, Doing Psychology Critically, Critical Psychology, Promoting Family Wellness and Preventing Child Maltreatment, and The Morals and Politics of Psychology. He recently completed with his wife, Dr Ora Prilleltensky, a book entitled Promoting Well-Being: Linking Personal, Organizational, and Community Change.

    Paula Reavey is a Lecturer in Psychology at London South Bank University. She has been interested, for some considerable time, in how adult survivors of child sexual abuse understand their past experiences, in the context of their present concerns. While this interest originally emerged through discourse analytic readings of a variety of therapeutic and self-help texts and people's accounts of their abuse experiences, she soon became tired with the idea that discourse alone could provide insight into people's lives. In joining a research group in 2000, where a group of qualitative researchers became their own participants in the study of embodiment, she began to explore, through intense discussion and reflection (as well as embarrassing admissions and experimental hilarity), how experience was much more multiply layered than discursive approaches, conceptually and methodologically afforded. Some of the questions that she continues to address, through the embodiment research group, postgraduate student work, and work on remembering and mental distress (in collaboration with Steven D. Brown, John Cromby, Janice Haaken, Dave Harper and Katherine Johnson), return to the ever problematic nature of what experience is, and how we are able to ‘access’ it, in all its rich discursive, sensory, visual and auditory detail. Such projects involve a variety of visual, embodied and discursive approaches to gain access a range of modalities of experience. Though hugely challenging, this approach to research continues to be immensely enjoyable, often surprising and inevitably strange.

    Poul Rohleder is a Clinical Psychologist, and a Doctoral Student at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. He is using both quantitative and qualitative methods to explore organizational responses to HIV as it affects persons with disabilities. His interests lie in issues of diversity and how individuals, particularly from marginalized identities, are positioned in society. Qualitative research methods allows for an in-depth exploration of people's experiences. He has published on the challenges faced by lay HIV counsellors working within the public health care system, and the stigma experiences of HIV-positive women. South Africa continues to be faced with the challenges of transforming a divided society. Together with Prof. Leslie Swartz and colleagues, he is currently working on a teaching research project involving students from two South African universities, collaborating together across boundaries of race, class and culture.

    Asiya Siddiquee is a Lecturer in Psychology at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, having recently obtained a doctorate in psychology. Her interest in action research began in the final year of her undergraduate psychology degree, when she encountered ‘community psychology’. Being fairly disillusioned by other ‘mainstream’ forms of psychology, it was definitely a breath of fresh air! As a result of this understanding, she continues to question established quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection. This is best illustrated within her doctoral research: ‘A community psychology approach to investigating the impact of the internet’, which examines the impact of the internet on refugee women, ethnic minorities, community development workers and the health sector. In the future she hopes to expand on this research by contributing to the field of research methods, and applying action research to explore issues such as marginalization and the use of the digital technologies.

    Christina Silver has worked with the CAQDAS Networking Project (CNP) ( at the University of Surrey since 1998. CNP provides information and training for a range of software packages designed to facilitate qualitative data analysis. She has supported hundreds of researchers in their use of qualitative software and taught under- and postgraduate methods courses at several universities. Her interest in qualitative research began during her undergraduate dissertation at the University of Essex which explored motivations for partaking in the National Lottery. The analysis involved manual annotating and coding using highlighter pens, constructing paper spreadsheets and manoeuvring photocopied data segments between cells. At the University of Surrey pursuing her MSc in social research methods, Christina was first introduced to qualitative software which she also used for her PhD comparing the provision of school-based sex education in the Netherlands and England and Wales. Christina is co-founder of Qualitative Data Analysis Services ( which provides onsite customised software training, research consultancy and distance learning. With Ann Lewins, Christina has co-authored Using Qualitative Software: A Step-by-Step Guide, (Sage Publications 2007) the first book to provide step-by-step support for several qualitative software packages.

    Jo Silvester works part-time as a Professor of Organisational Psychology at City University, London, and is a founding partner of a commercial organisation, the Work Psychology Partnership. Her involvement in qualitative methods is therefore research and practice based. She has a background in both qualitative and quantitative research, finding herself in the challenging, sometimes uncomfortable, but rewarding position of having to forge a bridge between quantitative and qualitative approaches. Her research into sense-making in the workplace reflects this interest. Since becoming an organizational psychologist, she has seen at first hand the considerable appeal of qualitative research with clients and end-users. Currently, she works with a range of organisations that span public, private and political sectors. She is particularly interested in how language shapes meaning in relation to work roles, and the function of stakeholders in mapping performance standards. She is currently working as a project looking at the role of scrutiny officers in local government with the Department of Communities and Local Government, and is about to begin working with the Liberal Democrat Party to redesign their selection process for prospection Parliamentary Candidates.

    Jonathan A. Smith is Professor of Psychology at Birkbeck, University of London and previously held posts at the universities of Keele and Sheffield. His first degree was in English and this clearly influenced his interest in qualitative research. Conducting his doctorate on identity change during the transition to motherhood in the late 1980s he began looking for an approach which did justice to his research question and world view. His articulation of interpretative phenomenological analysis at this time drew on a wide range of sources – phenomenology, idiography, symbolic-interactionism, literary theory, humanistic psychology. A key feature of his academic career has been attempting to make qualitative methodology an integral part of psychology and he has tried to do this through writing accessible accounts of methodology, giving workshops on the process, and publishing empirical illustrations. Most of his current research is in psychosocial aspects of the new genetics and in families and health.

    Wendy Stainton-Rogers is a Professor of Health Psychology in the Faculty of Health and Social Care at the Open University. A critical psychologist for many years and a founder member of the Beryl Curt collective (stated aim: to trouble social and psychological science), her interests are much broader, as shown by her most recent publications: The Psychology of Gender and Sexuality in 2001 and Social Psychology: Experimental and Critical Approaches in 2003. Wendy's teaching at the Open University has mainly been in the field of promoting children's welfare, wellbeing and rights. Her current ‘day job’ is as director of the faculty's newly emerging Youth Justice programme – a field that needs all the practical criticality and promoting of children's welfare we can muster.

    Paul Stenner is Professor of Psychosocial Studies in the School of Applied Social Science at the University of Brighton, UK. He uses Q methodology alongside other qualitative methods in the context of critical psychosocial theory. He became interested in Q methodology thanks to the influence of his doctoral supervisor, the late Rex Stainton Rogers. Having conducted a Q-based PhD thesis dealing with jealous subjectivity and the subjectivity of jealousy he went on to become a part of the Beryl Curt collective, a group dedicated, in a rather hedonistic way, to deconstructing and revitalizing social psychology. Before moving to Brighton, he held academic posts in the universities of East London, Bath and UCL. He is currently very excited by the writings of Albert North Whitehead and Michel Serres.

    Niamh Stephenson is a Senior Lecturer in Social Science at the University of New South Wales, Australia. Her research examines the role of experience in socio-political change. This work has given rise to a book (co-authored with Dimitris Papadopoulos), Analysing Lived Experience: Social Research and Political Change (Palgrave, 2006). Together with Dimitris Papadopoulos and Vassilis Tsianos, she is currently finalising a book about the contemporary politics of experience in the fields of health, labour and migration, Escape! Power and Revolt in the 21st century (Pluto, forthcoming). She has published in the fields of critical and theoretical psychology, social research and cultural studies as well as also co-edited two collections on theoretical psychology.

    Leslie Swartz is a Professor of Psychology at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. His interests range beyond ‘psychology’ – into anthropology, language studies, and public health. He started out studying culture and mental health; since then his interests have broadened to community psychology, applied psychoanalysis, and disability studies. He is part of a collaboration between a photographer, Angela Buckland, and social scientists (Kathleen McDougall, Leslie Swartz and Amelia van der Merwe). Angela, the mother of a disabled child, has produced photographs charting experiences of parenting and disability. We wrote the text for a book featuring Angela's work (Zip Zip My Brain Harts, HSRC Press, 2006). Crossing boundaries between art and social science raises ethical issues (particularly as photographs portray recognizable people), different investments in how stories should be told, and, in this case, insider/outsider issues. We are preparing publications in which we to try to understand these issues better.

    Valerie Walkerdine is Professor of Psychology in the Cardiff School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University, UK. She has been working in what has become known as critical psychology since the 1970s. Together with Julian Henriques, Couze Venn, Nikolas Rose, Diana Adlam and Angie Salfield she set up the journal Ideology and Consciousness. Through this medium, they introduced French feminism, Lacan, Althusser and Foucault to an English-speaking audience. Later, Couze Venn, Julian Henriques and Valerie Walkerdine worked with Wendy Hollway and Cathy Urwin to produce Changing the Subject: Psychology, Social Regulation and Subjectivity (1984, Methuen) which became a highly influential text, perhaps more so outside of psychology than within the discipline. It was during this time that Valerie first began to introduce the work of Foucault into developmental psychological issues. More recently, she has become interested in relational methods including psychoanalytic ones, and the work of Deleuze, Bergson and the development of intuition as a research method. Issues of femininity have always been important to Valerie and she continues to address these in her work. Currently, she is working with Couze Venn, Julian Henriques and Lisa Blackman on a book exploring subjectivity given recent theoretical and political developments.

    Simon Watts is a Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for the MRes/MSc psychological research methods in the Division of Psychology at Nottingham Trent University, UK. Simon teaches qualitative research methods and personal relationships and publishes in the same areas. He discovered Q methodology as a third year undergraduate and went on to do a PhD which examined the theory and potential of Q as a qualitative method, with particular reference to its application in the context of partnership love. Simon has also taught in the Department of Human Relations at the University of East London, in the Departments of Psychology at University College Northampton and University College London, and he currently supervises masters-level qualitative dissertations for the Open University.

    Dick Wiggins is Chair of Quantitative Social Science in the Faculty of Policy and Society at the Institute of Education, London. His research interests include a strong methodological component which crosses disciplines in sociology, epidemiology, psychology and geography. The work with Alison Evans and Jonathan Elford at City University on the use of the internet as a research tool has given him a great opportunity to review approaches to collecting qualitative and quantitative data in the context of new technologies. Other funded activities include work on quality of life and resilience in early old age, an analysis of patterns of consumption across generations and an evaluation of the London Borough of Camden's strategy to enhance the quality of life of its older citizens. As Director of Social Research Methodology Centre at City University ( he has coordinated Economic and Social Research Council research training in social statistics, methodology and computing and host one of their Regional Research Training Centres.

    Sally Wiggins is currently a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Strathclyde, UK, where she teaches qualitative methods and social psychology to undergraduate and masters students. Her research to date has focused on eating practices within family contexts, using discursive psychology to examine, amongst other things, the ways in which food and embodiment issues are negotiated on a mundane level. She is currently engaged in a project that aims to unpack some of the processes involved in National Health Service weight management groups, specifically those that address the expert/lay relationship between ‘obese’ patients and health professionals, and the means by which individual responsibility is encouraged and subverted. She became interested in critical ways of understanding psychology as an undergraduate at the University of Dundee, inspired by Suzanne Zeedyk and Nick Hopkins, and developed this interest more fully during her postgraduate study at Loughborough University, under the supervision of Jonathan Potter.

    Sue Wilkinson and Celia Kitzinger are conversation analysts, based at the universities of Loughborough and York, UK, respectively. They are well-known for their work on feminism, gender and sexuality, having published between them 11 books and some 150 articles in these areas. Active members of the Loughborough Discourse & Rhetoric Group (present and past), they both (re)trained as conversation analysts at UCLA. Their current projects include analyses of reaction tokens (exclamations of, for example, surprise [‘oh!’] or disgust [‘ugh!’]), and person reference formulations (for example, the uses of ‘I’ and ‘we’). Celia is working with data drawn from home birth and birth crisis helplines and Sue with data drawn from cancer support groups and a fibromyalgia helpline, as well as (for both) ordinary, everyday talk-in-interaction. Sue and Celia legally married in Canada in 2003 (when Sue was working at Simon Fraser University), and in 2006 – with the support of Liberty – they brought a high-profile human rights case to the UK High Court, seeking a declaration of the validity of their (valid Canadian) marriage in the UK. They lost their case, but continue to campaign for equal access to marriage for same-sex couples (see as well as to research and write on this and related issues.

    Carla Willig lectures at City University, London. A major theme in her work to date has been a concern with method(ology). Ever since she chose to use a qualitative research method for her doctoral research at a time when such approaches were still very much on the fringes in psychology, she has felt compelled to engage with questions around the nature, status and legitimacy of knowledge claims. She has published empirical as well as theoretical papers and book chapters concerned with epistemological and methodological questions. Much of this work constitutes an attempt to marry a social constructionist perspective with a critical realist epistemology. She is the editor of Applied Discourse Analysis. Social and Psychological Interventions (1999) and the author of Introducing Qualitative Research in Psychology. Adventures in Theory and Method (2001), both published by Open University Press. More recently, she has developed an interest in phenomenological approaches to research and has completed training in existential counselling psychology. Her current research is concerned with the role and function of interpretation, both in research and in the psychotherapeutic process.

    Marcia Worrell has been teaching and conducting research using qualitative methods for the past 14 years. She is currently senior lecturer/assistant programme convenor in psychology at Roehampton University and a member of the Clinical and Health Psychology Research Centre. Previously Marcia worked at the University of Bedfordshire (formerly Luton) where she was involved in setting up the Centre for Psychology and Culture which brought together innovations in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and research rooted in social constructionist philosophical frameworks. She got into ‘Q’ following her involvement with the Beryl Curt collective and used the technique in her doctoral thesis on child sexual abuse.

    Lucy Yardley is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Southampton, UK. She was fortunate to have a PhD supervisor (Alan Costall) who took a non-realist approach to experimental research, and introduced her to pragmatic and phenomenological theory. This theoretical background allowed her to see how constructivist analysis of talk could be linked with analysis of the material dimensions of our lives (see her edited volume Material Discourses of Health and Illness, 1997). In her research she has always used a wide variety of qualitative and quantitative methods to achieve her objective of empowering people to cope with their illness or disability. An understanding of many different research methods has also proved valuable for her new role as joint editor of the journal Psychology and Health, as mixing methods in her own research has enabled her to develop principles that can be used to evaluate the validity of the diverse types of research submitted to the journal.

    Lisa Saville Young trained as a Clinical Psychologist in South Africa where she first began using qualitative methods and in particular narrative analysis. In 2001 she relocated to the UK to further her studies at Cambridge University, where she worked with Juliet Mitchell conducting an analysis of narratives by people who were evacuees during World War II. This research had a particular focus on the role of sibling relationships during the evacuation and looked critically at psychoanalytic writings at that time which emphasised the parent-child relationship. In 2006 she completed her doctoral thesis at Birkbeck College, University of London entitled ‘“Doing brother” and the construction of masculinities: A psychosocial approach’. The thesis explored the experience and meaning of being a brother by focusing on the social dimension of brothering as well as on the deeply personal nature of ‘doing brother’. It has been during her PhD under the supervision of Stephen Frosh that she has really begun thinking carefully about how one can usefully and appropriately apply psychoanalytic concepts to interpretive research. She recently returned to South Africa where she plans to continue researching fraternity and masculinity from within a psychosocial framework.

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