ERIC Number: ED313282
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1987
Reference Count: N/A
Qualitative Strategies in Social and Educational Research: The Life History Method in Theory and Practice. Newland Papers, Number Fourteen.
Armstrong, Paul F.
Already a standard technique in anthropology, the life history method is widely used in the development of oral and local history, and within educational and social science research the method is growing in popularity. This is in large part due to the growing respectability of qualitative research in general. Part I of this paper explains the life history method and points out its practical value as well as some of its pitfalls and difficulties. In order to demonstrate its diverse applications, four examples of research using this method are presented. The range of strategies employed in data collection, techniques of data analysis, and the value of this approach is expressed as the researchers' reasons for choosing this investigative method. The theoretical roots of the approach are oriented toward the perspective within social theory known as symbolic interactionism. Part II focuses on actual life history research techniques. Guidelines are provided followed by an actual example of research conducted by the author. An appendix lists some practical notes intended to aid anyone wishing to carry out life history research. Part III contains a 188-item annotated and cross-referenced bibliography, divided by subject, of social and educational research studies that have made use of the life history method. (JB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Books
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Hull Univ. (England). School of Adult and Continuing Education.