Questions about change in social and personal life are a feature of many accounts of the contemporary world. While theories of social change abound, discussions about how to research it are much less common. This book provides a timely guide to qualitative methodologies that investigate processes of personal, generational and historical change. The authors showcase a range of methods that explore temporality and the dynamic relations between past, present and future. Through case studies, they review six methodological traditions: memory-work, oral//life history, qualitative longitudinal research, ethnography, intergenerational and follow-up studies. It illustrates how these research approaches are translated into research projects and considers the practical as well as the theoretical and ethical challenges they pose. Research methods are also the product of times and places, and this book keeps to the fore the cultural and historical context in which these methods developed, the theoretical traditions on which they draw, and the empirical questions they address. Researching Social Change is an invaluable resource for researchers and graduate students across the social sciences who are interested in understanding and researching social change.
Oral and Life History
‘[E]verything starts, not from the archives, but from testimonies’, observes Paul Ricoeur (2004: 147): ‘we have nothing better than testimony, in the final analysis, to assure ourselves that something did happen in the past’ (Ricoeur 2004: x). Whether or not they go as far as Ricoeur, many ...