Assembling life history narratives from quantitative longitudinal panel data:what’s the story for families using social work?

Sharland, Elaine and Holland, Paula Jane and Henderson, Morag and Zhang, Meng Le and Cheung, Sin Yi and Scourfield, Jonathan (2017) Assembling life history narratives from quantitative longitudinal panel data:what’s the story for families using social work? International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 20 (6). pp. 667-679. ISSN 1364-5579

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Abstract

Embedded within quantitative longitudinal panel or cohort studies is narrative potential that is arguably untapped but might enrich our understanding of individual and social lives across time. This paper discusses a methodology to assemble the life history narratives of families using social work by drawing on quantitative data from the British Household Panel Survey. It explores whether this person-centred approach helps us to understand the counter-intuitive results of a parallel multivariate analyses, which suggest that families using social work fare worse than similar others over time. Our findings are tentative, due to the experimental use of this narrative method and the limits of social work information in the data-set. Nonetheless, the life histories presented bring to light complexities, diversity and the non-linear pathways between families’ needs, support and outcomes that the aggregates obscure. We conclude that reconstructing families’ lives in this way, especially in the absence of complementary longitudinal qualitative data, affords the wider opportunity to interrogate and better understand the findings of quantitative longitudinal studies.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
International Journal of Social Research Methodology
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300
Subjects:
ID Code:
83830
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
26 Jan 2017 15:02
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
30 Sep 2020 06:36