Using biographical and longitudinal methods: researching mothering

Thomson, Rachel (2010). Using biographical and longitudinal methods: researching mothering. In: Mason, Jennifer and Dale, Angela eds. Understanding Social Research: Thinking Creatively about Method. London: Sage Publications Ltd, pp. 62–74.



This chapter outlines the research design of the ESRC funded study The Making of Modern Motherhoods which combines intergenerational and longitudinal qualitative research designs. The chapter locates the research within relevant methodological traditions of generational, life history and narrative approaches,before outlining the methods employed and the approaches to analysis and representation involved. The chapter explores the potential to conduct analysis in two directions - horizontally accross a cohort or generation as well as vertically along a generational chain through teh production of family case histories. These arguments are illustrated with data from the study.

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