Biographical methods and social policy in European perspective

Chamberlayne, Prue (2004). Biographical methods and social policy in European perspective. In: Chamberlayne, Prue; Bornat, Joanna and Apitzsch, Ursula eds. Biographical methods and professional practice: an international perspective. Bristol, UK: Policy Press, pp. 19–37.



This chapter considers the relative hospitality of different welfare traditions to biographical approaches, and helps broker supportive European sociological and policy concepts to British researchers and practitioners. It derives from an international conference in 2000, organised jointly with Apitzsch (Frankfurt University), funded by EU 'Accompanying Measures'. Convening biographical, oral history and narrative research from sixteen countries and diverse practitioner contexts, the book explores the capacity of biographical methods to lay bare the dynamics of interactive subjectivity in welfare work, giving detailed accounts of research methods in use. The chapter by Chamberlayne provides a conceptual and contextualising landscape for this diversity.

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