I was delighted recently to be invited by Susie Weller and Emma Davidson to write a guest blog post for their new website for their study, ‘Working across qualitative longitudinal studies: a feasibility study looking at care and intimacy’. The site has just been launched and looks really fascinating, with great potential as a resource for anyone thinking about re-using and scaling up existing archived qualitative longitudinal (QL) data.
As I have been doing in my current research study ‘Men, Poverty and Lifetimes of Care‘, Susie and Emma are exploring questions about the feasibility of re-using qualitative longitudinal data from the ESRC Timescapes Archive. In contrast to my study, Susie and Emma are exploring new procedures for working with and across multiple (i.e. more than two) sets of qualitative longitudinal data from the archive, focusing on the substantive topic of care and intimacy. My own study is much smaller in scale and has involved working with just Intergenerational Exchange and Following Young Fathers data – a significant task in itself! Prior to writing the blog post for them, we all met in Leeds to discuss our current work and to think about the key questions that the secondary analysis of QL data has already begun to raise for us. As they highlight in the introduction to my post: “How should we define a case? How does our epistemological positioning shape our approach to QL data analysis? Should qualitative secondary data analysts forge relationships with the primary researchers? How can we keep a strong purchase on time and temporality when looking across different projects? And can software help us?”
I expect to reflect on some of these issues further as my work progresses. We will also have the opportunity to reflect on these questions at the NCRM Research Festival 2016 in July where I will be presenting about my study alongside Susie and Emma. Booking for this event is now open so please do come along if this is of interest.