Biographical Analysis Using Narrative and Topical Interviews



The use of biographical methodology grew in the 1960s as researchers became increasingly concerned with the importance of personal and social meanings as a basis for action and critiqued positivist approaches as being detached from lived reality (Chamberlayne et al. 2000). Researchers focused on the debates of the relationship between agency and social structure and felt that despite Gidden’s (1995) contribution of structuration theory to help clarify the link between agency and social structure, their linkage remained insufficiently clarified. The search to identify research methods that examined multiple aspects of social reality drove a “turn” to biographical methodology (Chamberlayne et al. 2000). Biographical research provides a means of relating micro- and macro- levels of social reality which are rooted in personal and collective history.


Life Experience Social Reality Life Story Collective History Narrative Interview 
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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. of Social Policy & Social WorkOxford UniversityOxfordUnited Kingdom

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