Using Diaries for Social Research

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SAGE, Feb 15, 2006 - Social Science - 136 pages
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`The book has no competitor; it summarises the development of the method, follows through all stages of research from accessing subjects through design to analysing diary information as data, and considers how the method can best be exploited and used. No other book comes remotely near doing this. I for one shall be using it gratefully as the single best text for diary research' - Professor Anthony P Macmillan Coxon, Honorary Professorial Fellow, University of Edinburgh

In this accessible and lucid introductory text, Andy Alaszewski considers the analysis of diaries as a distinctive research technique in its own right. Nothing has previously covered this area in single-volume format, but the timely emergence of Using Diaries for Social Research recognizes the increased interest in and relevance of diary methodology within social research teaching.

Effectively combining theory, history and methodology, Alaszewski begins by discussing how diary keeping has developed; outlining the key features of the medium and examining the ways in which diaries have been and can be used for social research. He describes how suitable diaries and diarists can be identified by the researcher and, once found, how these diaries can be structured to generate research material. Finally, the researcher is taken through the analysis stage; examining statistical techniques, content-analysis and structure-analysis as effective methods of investigating diary texts.

This introductory student guide is an essential text for anyone involved in the area of social or historical research and for those working in the narrative tradition.


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Experiments and social surveys data


Researching Diaries
Finding Diarists and Diaries
Diaries Guidelines and Support
Numbers Content and Structure
Exploiting the Potential of Research Diaries

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References to this book

The Good Research Guide
Martyn Denscombe
No preview available - 2007
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About the author (2006)

Andy is an applied social scientist who has been engaged in health services research since 1972. His main interests include:

the organization, delivery and evaluation of health and welfare services
the analysis and management of risk in health and welfare agencies
the development of services for vulnerable individuals, especially older people and people with learning disabilities.

Current Research Projects

Andy is an experienced researcher and research manager. He is Director of the NHS-funded Research and Development Support Unit which provides support for research capacity development in Kent and Surrey. Since 1972 he has been the grant holder or co-grant holder of over 50 grants valued at over 3.2 million. Andy is Director of the MA in Health Studies and currently teaches the Making and Implementing Health Policy module. Andy’s research has resulted in nearly 200 publications

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