Doing Excellent Social Research with Documents: Practical Examples and Guidance for Qualitative Researchers

1st Edition

Aimee Grant

Published August 30, 2018
Reference - 194 Pages - 8 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138038660 - CAT# Y328860

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In today’s society we increasingly create and consume written content and images. This includes a range of sources, from social media posts to records held within organisations, and everything in between, including news articles, blogs, shopping lists and official government documents. Critically reading these ‘documents’ can help us to understand a huge amount about society. Doing Excellent Social Research with Documents includes guidance on how to ‘read between the lines’, and provides an overview of six research projects which use documents as data.

The substantive chapters are organised in two sections, with each chapter focused on a specific type of data. Section one focuses on documents that are found in isolation from their authors, including official and historical documents, traditional media, diaries and online content. Section two focuses on using documents in addition to existing data from primary research, including the role of documents in ethnography and visual research methods. In each chapter, you will be guided through the process of:

  • Developing research questions, and how this impacts on which documents are selected;
  • Considering aspects of bias and quality within the documentary sources;
  • Undertaking analysis using six different strategies including thematic analysis, framework analysis, content analysis, discourse analysis and narrative analysis.

Drawing on research projects which reflect real world situations, you will be methodically guided through the research process in detail, enabling you to examine and understand the practices and value of a range of documentary analysis approaches. Doing Excellent Social Research with Documents is a practical how-to guide for students (final year undergraduates onwards) and researchers using documents as data.


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