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.

Reliability

Reliability is that property of a measuring device for social phenomena (particularly in the quantitative methods tradition) which yields consistent measurements when the phenomena are stable, regardless of who uses it, provided the basic conditions remain the same.

Section Outline: Credibility of research findings. Reliability in quantitative methods. Repeatable, consistent measuring. Validity: are measurements measuring the right things? Example: student status. Replication. Example: social mobility. Reliability: ‘temporal’; ‘representative’. Tests for reliability. Reliability in qualitative methods. Dependability. Internal and external validity. Plausibility; credibility. Little research on qualitative reliability as practice. Greater interest in validity.

There is little point in research unless we can believe its results. ‘Believing’ in this context means having rational grounds for arguing that the accounts produced accurately reflect the nature of what we ...

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