Life History Methods


This entry on life history research is separated into four distinct, yet interrelated, sections. First, it depicts the evolution of life history research by highlighting several impactful works of the past 100 years. Second, it defines life history by examining published articulations of the method. Third, it depicts the process of conducting a life history in detail by addressing methodological concerns, emphasizing that life history is a dynamic and recursive process between researcher and participant. Fourth, it focuses on the crucial subject of ethical issues and relationships. Through this discussion, the entry endeavors to accomplish four goals: (1) shed light on current and future research trends in life history research, (2) provide clarity about life history as a research method, (3) help those interested in life history research understand its methodological precepts, and (4) highlight the potential for innovative life history projects that can stimulate further dialogue about the intersection of the individual and society.

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