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.


A hypothesis is a reasoned but provisional supposition about the relationship between two or more social phenomena, stated in terms that can be empirically tested and which forms the focus for research, particularly in quantitative studies.

Section Outline: Preliminaries to research, and ‘anticipations’. Working hypotheses as a starting point. Example: student phone ownership. Evolving descriptive and relational hypotheses. Direction of relationship and theoretical models. Example: social mobility. Format of hypotheses in quantitative methods: statement; about single relationship or phenomenon; clearly expressed; empirically testable. Format of hypotheses in qualitative methods: less specific ‘propositions’; discovered from data; limited applicability. Confirmation, proof and disproof. The ‘null hypothesis’. ‘Rejecting’ the null hypothesis.

In research, we work from ‘knowing less’ towards ‘knowing more’. We do not collect data without prior information ...

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