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.


Validity, which can take several forms, refers to the capacity of research techniques to encapsulate the characteristics of the concepts being studied, and so properly to measure what the methods were intended to measure.

Section Outline: Justifying findings. Reliability and validity. ‘Representations’ of concepts in quantitative research. Internal and external validity. Example: occupations and gender in social mobility. Validity: predictive; pragmatic; concurrent. Validity of findings in qualitative research: trustworthiness; credibility; transferable. Ecological validity. Confirming findings.

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 have studied. It is by ‘recourse to a set of rules concerning knowledge, its production, and representation’ that it ...

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