Revisiting 'The Last Refuge': present day methodological challenges

Johnson, Julia; Rolph, Sheena and Smith, Randall (2007). Revisiting 'The Last Refuge': present day methodological challenges. In: Bernard, Miriam and Scharf, Thomas eds. Critical perspectives on ageing societies. Ageing and the Lifecourse series. Bristol, UK: The Policy Press, pp. 89–103.



Based on on-going ESRC funded research which, drawing on archived data, is revisiting Peter Townsend’s seminal study of residential care for older people, ‘The Last Refuge (1962). Its focus is the methodological challenges that our innovative qualitative longitudinal design (showcased on the ESDS website) raises. These include practical and ethical issues connected with the reuse of archived data and with replicating Townsend’s original method of inquiry in our own follow up fieldwork. The design has attracted a great deal of interest from gerontologists and social science methodologists leading to numerous speaking invitations.

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