This distinctive, nuanced book addresses the more complex theoretical issues embedded in the qualitative research paradigm. Adopting a reflective stance that emphasises the role of the researcher it carefully avoids a standardised ‘tick box’ approach to methods. Throughout each chapter, theory is powerfully and persuasively interwoven as its impact on practical topics such as data management and safety in the field is discussed. O’Reilly and Kiyimba bring an authority and clarity to the debate, taking us beyond the mechanical notions of qualitative methods and standardised approaches to research. Instead, they focus on subjects like methodological integrity, perspective driven data collection and theoretically-led analysis. This will be an important resource for anyone looking to practically engage with advanced qualitative research methods.

Primary and secondary data analysis


In this chapter we examine the distinction between primary and secondary data, a distinction that we regard as overly simplistic and misleading. In order to clarify this particular aspect of the debate we differentiate the different kinds of data as they relate to qualitative research. From this platform a critical discussion of the parameters of secondary analysis is given. Within this discussion we consider the potential differences between reuse of one’s own data and secondary analysis. This requires us to investigate the fundamental issues of context, quality and ethics. The chapter concludes with consideration of the costs and benefits of archiving qualitative data for the purposes of secondary analysis.

The Difference Between Data and Research Data

In common parlance, the word ...

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