‘A comprehensive, balanced and judicious treatment of biographical methods in social research, made all the more useful to students by its careful delineation of the practicalities involved’ - Raymond M Lee, Royal Holloway, University of London. Specifically designed for those carrying out biographical, life history or family history research, this concise guide covers the methods and issues involved. The author demonstrates that biographical research is a distinctive way of conceptualizing social activity. The three main approaches to biographical and family history research are covered: - Realist - focused around grounded-theory techniques of interviewing; - Neo-positivist - more structured interview techniques; - Narrative - with emphasis on the active construction of life stories through the interplay between interviewer and interviewee. An invaluable introduction to the field, which contains much that will be of interest to the experienced practitioner, the book will be ideal for researchers in sociology, psychology, political science, social policy or anthropology.