What is qualitative secondary analysis? How can it be most effectively applied in social research? This timely and accomplished book offers readers a well informed, reliable guide to all aspects of qualitative secondary analysis. The book: Defines secondary analysis. Distinguishes between quantitative and qualitative secondary analysis. Maps the main types of qualitative secondary analysis. Covers the key ethical and legal issues. Offers a practical guide to effective research. Sets the agenda for future developments in the subject. Written by an experienced researcher and teacher with a background in sociology, the book is a comprehensive and invaluable introduction to this growing field of social research.

Documentary Methods

Documentary-methods are the techniques used to categorise, investigate, interpret and identify the limitations of physical sources, most commonly written documents, whether in the private or public domain (personal papers, commercial records, or state archives, communications or legislation).

Section Outline: Documents as concrete objects. Three categories: personal; private; public. Restricted access to documents. Secondary analysis, content analysis and documents. Reading between the lines. Beyond the page. Example: Girl Heaven. Four issues: authenticity, credibility; representativeness; meaning. Limitations of documentary methods. Personal, private and public documents and the four issues. Unreliable documentation. Strengths and weaknesses of documentary methods.

Most social research examines what people do, or say in response to questions. Unlike the physical specimens of physics and chemistry, the people we study are living, thinking and independent ...

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