1st Edition

The Turn to Biographical Methods in Social Science Comparative Issues and Examples

    368 Pages
    by Routledge

    364 Pages
    by Routledge

    Biographical research methods have become a useful and popular tool for contemporary social scientists. This book combines an exploration of the historical and philosophical origins of this important field of qualitative research with comparative examples of the different ways that biographical methods have been successfully applied internationally. Through these many illustrative examples of socio-biography in process the authors show how formal textual analysis, whilst uncovering hidden emotional defences, can also shed light on wider historical processes of societal transformation.
    Topics discussed include:
    *individual and linked lives
    *generational change
    *political influences on memory and identity
    *biographical work in reflexive societies
    *narrativity and empowerment in professional practice
    *ways of theorising and generalising from case-studies.
    Biographical Methods in the Social Sciences promotes debate and provides opportunities for students and researchers to widen their uses of narrative research.

    Introduction Part I: Issues of Methodology and Theory 1, reflections on the biographical turn in social science Mike Rustin 2. biographical analysis: a `German' school? Ursula Apitzsch and Lena Inowlocki 3. case histories of families and social processes: enriching sociology Daniel Bertaux and Catherine Delcroix 4. the vanishing point of resemblance: comparative welfare as philosophical anthropology Andrew Cooper 5. biographical work and biographical structuring in present-day societies Wolfram Fischer-Rosenthal 6. Clinical Hermeneutics: from the ontology to self as a case example Anthony Hazzard 7. uncovering the general from within the particular: from contingencies to typologies in the understanding of cases Tom Wengraf Part II: Examples of Biographical Methods in Use 8. biography, anxiety and the experience of locality Wendy Hollway and Tony Jefferson 9. texts in a changing context: reconstructing lives in east Germany Molly Andrews 10. situated selves, the coming-out genre and equivalent citizenship in narratives of HIV Corinne Squire 11. extreme right attitutes in the biographies of west German youth Martine Schiebel 12. the metamorphosis of Habitus among east Germans Astrid Segert and Irene Zierke 13. researching the implications of family change for older people: the contribution of a life-history approach Joanna Bornat, Brian Dimmock, David Jones and Sheila Pearce 14. biography and identity: life-story work in transitions of care for people with profound learning difficulties Dave Middleton and Helen Hewitt 15. understanding the carer's world: a biographic-interpretive case study Chris Jones and Susanna Rupp 16. single mothers and Berlin life-styles: a new mode of social reproduction Claudia Neususs and Eva Madje 17. part of the system: the experience of home-based caring in west Germany Annette King 18. modernisation as lived experience: contrasting case examples from the Sostris project Prue Chamberlayne and Antonella Spano


    Prue Chamberlayne is Director of The Centre for Biography in Social Policy at the University of East London; Joana Bornat is Senior Lecturer in the department of Health and Social Policy at the Open University; Tom Wengraf is Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Social Research Methods at Middlesex University.