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Biographical Research

Biographical Research

Paperback Understanding Social Research

By (author) Brian Roberts, Foreword by Alan Bryman

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  • Publisher: OPEN UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Paperback | 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 16mm | 381g
  • Publication date: 1 December 2001
  • Publication City/Country: Milton Keynes
  • ISBN 10: 0335202861
  • ISBN 13: 9780335202867
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: references, index
  • Sales rank: 383,858

Product description

"Roberts is certainly successful in conveying a sense of the rich diversity of biographical research. This is a book based upon a formidably wide-ranging bibliography together with his own, by no means insignificant, contributions to the field![the]!reader will be left in no doubt as to the central importance of biographical research and of its legitimate position within the social sciences" - David Morgan, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Manchester University (former President, British Sociological Association), Auto/Biography, a BSA Study Group journal, 2002. "Brian Roberts' book is a highly accessible introduction to biographical method!The author deftly and confidently addresses the available work in a variety of disciplines ranging from education through oral history, feminism to memory! I warmly recommend this book to any historian interested in biography and what its study can tell them about what they do'. - Alun Munslow, Professor of History, Staffordshire University (Editor, Rethinking History), Rethinking History, 7:3, pp. 451-5, October, 2003 * What is biographical research? * Why has it attracted so much interest? * How can biographical research be carried out? Biographical Research reflects a rapid expansion of interest in the study of lives taking place within the social sciences. Life story, oral history, narrative, autobiography, biography and other approaches are being used more and more to explore how individuals interpret experiences and social relationships. This book examines the methodological and theoretical developments associated with research on lives in sociology, oral history, ethnography, biography, and narrative analysis. The author includes numerous examples of biographical research from his own work and other studies, and addresses important areas such as the collection and interpretation of materials, uses of biographical research, oral and written accounts, the interview relationship, the construction of the story, memory, audience, and the researcher's own biography. In conclusion it draws out common themes and emerging concerns. Biographical Research is a comprehensive guide to major issues in the study of lives for students and researchers in the social sciences and related fields.

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Author information

Brian Roberts is Principal Lecturer in Sociology in the Department of Behavioural Sciences, University of Huddersfield. His writings have included work on time and identity in biographical work, communal change and Welsh labour history.

Review quote

'Brian Roberts' book is a highly accessible introduction to biographical method...The author deftly and confidently addresses the available work in a variety of disciplines ranging from education through oral history, feminism to memory... I warmly recommend this book to any historian interested in biography and what its study can tell them about what they do'. -Alun Munslow Rethinking History 20031001 'Biographical Research is by Brian Roberts...who has been writing and working in this field for a long time...the book offers an extremely clear and concise review...an excellent introduction to the field for students'. -Ken Plummer Sociological Review 20030201 'He examines methodological issues in such a lucid way that it is impressive...He is cognizant of the way very different disciplines use the taped life story approach...The clarity and writing style makes Brian Roberts's Biographical Research a very readable text, and the breadth of this interdisciplinary book makes it especially informative' -Valerie Yow Oral History 20030101 'Anyone who set out to encompass the whole of biographical research in around 200 pages faces a formidable task...Roberts is certainly successful in conveying a sense of the rich diversity of biographical research. This is a book based upon a formidably wide-ranging bibliography together with his own, by no means insignificant, contributions to the field...[the]...reader will be left in no doubt as to the central importance of biographical research and of its legitimate position within the social sciences'. - David Morgan BSA Study Group Journal 20020101 'It wasn't long ago that a course in life history was a new idea ...I struggled to find a text book that could encompass and unify its several strands...It is a sign of the establishment of life history as a field that a text that would suit such interdisciplinary undergraduate courses has now arrived in the form of Brian Roberts's Biographical Research...a very clear sense of the academic questions that have occurred...a broad brushstroke review of several biographical turns across the social sciences, and it reminds us of their richness in the British context'. -Margaretta Jolly Biography 20020101

Table of contents

Series editor's foreword Introduction biographical research Uses of biographical research The life history Autobiography and biography Auto/biography and sociology Oral history The narrative analysis of lives Memory and autobiography Ethnography and biographical research Conclusion References Index.