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Researching the lifecourseCritical reflections from the social sciences$
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Nancy Worth and Irene Hardill

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781447317524

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447317524.001.0001

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Time in mixed methods longitudinal research

Time in mixed methods longitudinal research

working across written narratives and large scale panel survey data to investigate attitudes to volunteering

(p.43) Three Time in mixed methods longitudinal research
Researching the lifecourse

Rose Lindsey

Elizabeth Metcalfe

Rosalind Edwards

Policy Press

This chapter focuses on how mixed-methods researchers can conceptualise and analyse time and the lifecourse when reusing longitudinal qualitative and quantitative data sources. Specifically, it addresses the methodological and analytical challenges involved in undertaking a mixed-method, longitudinal, research project that reused qualitative and quantitative secondary data to investigate individual attitudes towards voluntarism between 1981 and 2012. Discussing the project’s research design, its mixed-method analyses, and the key learning points of this mixed-method process, the chapter poses a series of key questions. Were the longitudinal qualitative and quantitative datasets used compatible and able to be mixed? What were the roles and relationships between the qualitative and quantitative analyses, did one facilitate the other? Does a mixed-method approach work when researching time and the lifecourse? The chapter examines some of the challenges involved in longitudinal mixed-method research. However it highlights the value of using this approach in the context of understanding British voluntarism.

Keywords:   time, lifecourse, mixedmethods, longitudinal, Mass Observation Project, British household panel survey, understanding society, British Social Attitudes Survey, volunteering, volunteerism

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