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Using Narrative in Social Research

Using Narrative in Social Research
Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches

First Edition

July 2005 | 232 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
"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

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 characterized 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.

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

Useful in generic terms for any student of the social sciences interested in how Narrative can be used in research

Dr Chelle Oldham
Education, Coventry University Scarborough Campus
January 13, 2020

For many undergraduate students, narrative will not be a method for research that comes first to their mind, with approaches in earlier forays at school being based around questionnaires and interviews. The guidance provided in this text is accessible to both early users of narrative as well as more experienced researchers to enhance their technique and develop skills within this method to suit a variety of purposes.

Ms Miriam Ruth Walker
Faculty of Education, Winchester University
September 1, 2015

Using Narrative in Social Research. I also find this book quite useful for students. This is because most research reports involve large extent of narrative account. This books has been design to meet the challenging needs of students especially those who are doing qualitative studies for the first time.

Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, Nottingham University
March 1, 2016

This book is fine, but not as useful as others.

Mrs Tania Wiseman
School of Health Professions, Brighton University
February 26, 2015

This is a well structured and informative text for those students considering narrative research methods.

Mrs Della Austin
School of Education and Community, Glyndwr University
February 24, 2015

This book was found to be very practical and explains the using of narrative in social research very clearly and simplistic. This book is easy to read and understand and will most definitely add value to students registering for postgraduate research. This book will most definitely be recommended to the University of South Africa Library.

Dr Juanida Horne
Police Practice, University of South Africa
February 2, 2015

More and more of my MA students are opting for research which demands a narrative approach; I am recommending this text as it is a very good introduction to narrative research. Elliott's focus also on narrative as a bridge between qualitative and quantitative research is particularly insightful.

Dr Anne-Marie Smith
School of Education, Bangor University
May 8, 2014

It is an excellent book which explores the narrative in the social sciences.The book gives an interesting shift how to apply narrative in qualitative and quantitative research.

Ms Eva Mikuska
Deapartment of Childcare, Social Work and Social Care, University of Chichester
February 25, 2014

This book is an essential reader for students trying to use narrative methods. I have recommended this to my project students doing narrative reviews.

Dr Mahwish Hayee
Health Studies, University of East London
February 28, 2013

A clearly written and very comprehensive volume on using narrative in social research. The suggested readings for discussion at the end of each chapter are very helpful for tutorials. I would highly recommend Jane Elliot's book.

Dr Katie Cagney
Department of Applied Arts, Waterford Institute of Technology
December 8, 2012

Sample Materials & Chapters

PDF file of Chapter 2

PDF file of Chapter 1

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