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Using Narrative in Social Research

Using Narrative in Social Research
Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches

First Edition

May 2005 | 232 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
'Jane Elliott's examination of the use of "narrative" within the broad context of social science inquiry is a must-read for both qualitative and quantitative researchers, novice and expert alike' - Journal of Advanced Nursing

`This important book does an impressive job of synthesising a complex literature and bringing together both qualitative and quantitative methods of narrative analysis. It will become a milestone in the development of narrative methods. Although ground-breaking in many ways, it is very clearly written and accessible to readers from a wide variety of backgrounds and methodological experience' - Nigel Gilbert, University of Surrey

`An elegantly written, scholarly and accessible text. Jane Elliott shows a sophisticated appreciation of contemporary methodological developments, and makes a persuasive case for the use of narrative approaches in both qualitative and quantitative research. The book challenges and advances debates about combining methods, and shows how stories can work within and across conventional research boundaries. It is a truly original contribution to the literature' - Amanda Coffey, Cardiff School of Social Sciences

`An outstanding book. Jane Elliott breaks new ground by demonstrating to new generations of social scientists how the power of narrative can fruitfully be harnessed in social research. This is a "must read" book' - Professor Mike Savage, University of Manchester

This is a lucid and accessible introduction to narrative methods in social research. It is also an important book about the nature, role and theoretical basis of research methodology in general.

Jane Elliott instructs the reader on the basic methods and methodological assumptions that form the basis of narrative methods. She does so in a way that is practical and accessible and in a way that will make the book a favourite with students and experienced researchers alike.

Elliott argues that both qualitative and quantitative methods are characterised by a concern with narrative, and that our research data can best be analyzed if it is seen in narrative terms. In concrete, step-by-step terms she details for the reader how to go about collecting data and how to subject that data to narrative analysis, while at the same time placing this process in its wider theoretical context.

She works across the traditional quantitative/qualitative divide to set out the ways in which narrative researchers can uncover such issues as social change, causality and social identity. She also shows how the techniques and skills used by qualitative researchers can be deployed when doing quantitative research and, similarly, how qualitative researchers can sometimes profit from using quantitative skills and techniques.

"This book provides both a fascinating and a challenging read. What sets this text apart from other books on research methodology and methods is that it does not focus exclusively on either quantitative or qualitative research approaches, but rather attempts to bridge the divide. The book should be compulsory reading not only for those aspiring to undertake narrative research and those students undertaking higher degree research courses, but also for those more experienced researches wishing to explore contemporary issues in research methods and methodology. As a recent recruit to a lecturer-practitioner post with little recnt experience in the subject area covered by this book, i found it met my needs very well. I would certainly recomment this book for purchase." Dr Andrew Pettipher, University of Nottingham, UK.

Narrative and Research in the Social Sciences
Listening to People's Stories
The Use of Narrative in Qualitative Interviews  
Interpreting People's Stories
Narrative Approaches to the Analysis of Qualitative Data  
Collecting Quantitative Narratives - A Contradiction in Terms?
Statistical Stories? The Use of Narrative in Quantitative Analysis
Uncovering and Understanding Causal Effects and Processes
Narrative and Identity
Constructions of the Subject in Qualitative and Quantitative Research  
The Ethical and Political Implications of Using Narrative in Research
The Researcher as Narrator
Reflexivity in Qualitative and Quantitative Research  
Telling Better Stories? Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Research

This book covers narrative analysis in detail, from both qualitative and quantitative perspectives. Although the depth is beyond that necessary for typical PGCE mini research enquiries, it does offer some useful insights for those who may consider using narrative as part of such a mini research project.

Mr David Leask
Education , University of Manchester
February 22, 2012

This will be highly recommended for the Evaluation and Research Methods sessions which inform students' dissertations. It fits well with the research interests of staff in the Centre.

Ms Alison Fielding
Department of Professional Development, Canterbury Christ Church University
December 19, 2011

Narrative research is becoming an important approach for social education students seeking to link participants' narratives within a social context. This book provides valuable supplementary reading and is particularly useful in helping students interpret narratives and connecting these with identity.

Thoby Miller
Sociology , University
October 13, 2011

very well structured and easy to read in simplistic language

Mrs Angela Cobbold
operating department practice, Anglia Ruskin University
September 28, 2011

As narrative is a growing methodology for nurses this is a good introduction.

Ms Zoe Cowie
Nursing , Bournemouth University
September 25, 2011

ideal text for the novice through to the expert. excellent inclusion of how narratives can be used from a quantitative perspective and also how it is combined with qualitative research as well. also enjoyed reading the ethical, political and reflexivity issues. overall, a one stop shop to suit all researcher needs

Mrs Karen Wild
Nursing , Keele University
September 8, 2011

This book cleraly explains a narrative approach to research and gives a good overview of how to adopt this approach. Elliott writes it in an easy to read manner giving lots of examples on the way.

Mrs Kathryn Nethercott
Applied Social Studies, Bedfordshire University
April 29, 2011

An excellent book for those student seeking a more indepth understanding of narratives in social research.

Mrs Jacqui Sawkins
Faculty of Humanities & Health, University Campus Suffolk
February 2, 2010

Sample Materials & Chapters

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ISBN: 9781412900416
ISBN: 9781412900409

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