Researching Social Change: Qualitative Approaches

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SAGE, Mar 26, 2009 - Social Science - 200 pages
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Questions about change in social and personal life are a feature of many accounts of the contemporary world. While theories of social change abound, discussions about how to research it are much less common. This book provides a timely guide to qualitative methodologies that investigate processes of personal, generational and historical change.

The authors showcase a range of methods that explore temporality and the dynamic relations between past, present and future. Through case studies, they review six methodological traditions: memory-work, oral/life history, qualitative longitudinal research, ethnography, intergenerational and follow-up studies. It illustrates how these research approaches are translated into research projects and considers the practical as well as the theoretical and ethical challenges they pose. Research methods are also the product of times and places, and this book keeps to the fore the cultural and historical context in which these methods developed, the theoretical traditions on which they draw, and the empirical questions they address.

Researching Social Change is an invaluable resource for researchers and graduate students across the social sciences who are interested in understanding and researching social change.


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Researching Change and Continuity
PART 1 Remembering
2 MemoryWork
3 Oral and Life History
PART 2 Being With
4 Qualitative Longitudinal Research
5 Ethnography
PART 3 Inheriting
6 Generation
7 Revisiting
8 Time Emotions and Research Practice

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About the author (2009)

Convenor of the Strategic Research Program: 'Education, Equity and Social Identities' Member of Melbourne Educational Research Institute (MERI) Member of MGSE Equal Opportunity in Education Advisory Committee My research interests lie in interdisciplinary and socio-cultural studies of education, identity, equity/inequality and social change. My research projects and publications encompass theoretical and empirical studies of gender and youth, history and sociology of schooling, curriculum and subjectivity, equity and difference, and feminism and educational reform. I have recently completed a major qualitative longitudinal study of secondary school students and a cross-generational study of culturally marginalised young women. I am currently working on an international comparative study of disenfranchised urban youth and a book on methodologies for researching social, historical and biographical change. I am also beginning a new study on the cultural history of adolescence in Australia, 1930s-1970s

Rachel Thomson is Professor of Social Resaerch in the School of Health and Social Welfare. Rachel has been involved in a major longitudinal qualitative study of young people transitions to adulthood, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council since 1996 through the Children 5-16 and the Young People, Citizenship and Social Change programmes. The study is currently being archived with the support of a grant from the ESRC, and will be made available for secondary analysis (see Her research interests focus on gender identities, social change, sexuality, values, transitions and popular culture.

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