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.

Key Informants

Key informants are those whose social positions in a research setting give them specialist knowledge about other people, processes or happenings that is more extensive, detailed or privileged than ordinary people, and who are therefore particularly valuable sources of information to a researcher, not least in the early stages of a project.

Section Outline: Key informants and student dissertations. ‘Leading players’ in the community or organisation who have more information than most ‘ordinary people’. Identifying potential key informants. Counter-culture key informants? Key informants speak from their own perspective, although are quickly accessed and may be the only sources. Example: ‘tribal elders’ misled anthropologists. Key informants as power-brokers: gatekeepers and speaking ‘off the record’. Unique specialist knowledge versus unreliable witnesses.

While research methods textbooks discuss key informants, ...

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