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Applying Foresight, Insight, and Hindsight: A Qualitative Longitudinal Study of Students in Vocational Education

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By: Published: 2018 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases in Sociology
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Abstract

In this case study, based on my doctoral research, I discuss the advantages and challenges of doing qualitative longitudinal research. I reinterviewed students in vocational education in Norway over a 3-year period, exploring how they subjectively narrated their educational journey, and constructed coherent narratives when faced with uncertain transitions into paid employment. The research design allowed for investigation of the ways they reinterpreted earlier events in light of new experiences. In this case study, I make explicit the rationale for my choice of a narrative and temporal methodology. I give an account of characteristics of longitudinal research and provide a description of the research design of the study and the data analysis techniques. Subsequently, I discuss the challenges and ethical dilemmas I encountered in the research process.

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Longitudinal research

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