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.

Objectivity

Objectivity in social research is the principle drawn from positivism that, as far as is possible, researchers should remain distanced from what they study so findings depend on the nature of what was studied rather than on the personality, beliefs and values of the researcher (an approach not accepted by researchers in the critical, standpoint or interpretivist traditions).

Section Outline: Objectivity and bias. Objectivity as orientation. Findings should not depend on who did the research. Early positivism: the detached ‘scientific’ view. Is neutrality actually conservative? Declaring values in ‘qualified objectivity’. Are researchers aware of their lack of objectivity? Value freedom as an unachievable goal, at all stages of a project. Qualified objectivity; standpoint theory; credibility/transparency/density in qualitative methods. Reliability and validity.

Although the terms ‘objectivity’ and ...

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