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.

Longitudinal and Cross-sectional Studies

Longitudinal studies collect data from the same sample (a ‘panel’) of people on more than one occasion (usually using the same methods) over a period of time, so that unlike cross-sectional studies that collect data only once and in one short period, sequences of action and social change over time can be analysed.

Section Outline: Social phenomena have ‘histories’, which single cross-sectional research studies cannot directly access. We could however compare two or more independent cross-sectional studies, from different times and samples, if available. However, comparing older and younger respondents in a single study is a very unreliable guide to social change. Example; social mobility. Cross-sections cannot show direction of associations; are subject to extraneous factor and ‘omitted outcomes’. But longitudinal studies ...

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