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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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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 02 July 2022

Keeping in touch

Keeping in touch

studying the personal communities of women in their fifties

(p.143) Eight Keeping in touch
Researching the lifecourse

Sophie Bowlby

Policy Press

This chapter discusses the methodology used to research the informal social interactions that create and constitute the personal communities of women in their fifties in the context of their previous lifecourse experiences. The research prioritised the collection of data on how these women ‘kept in touch’ with the members of their personal communities over time and space, including the use of different forms of ICT, face-to-face meeting and activities in ‘real’ spaces. The chapter examines: problems of recruitment; the effect of asking people to list their lifecourse experiences in a Table; the combination of quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis and the analytical and ethical difficulties involved in research which asks people to give accounts of emotionally significant relationships.

Keywords:   midlife, friendship, personal community, emotion, time space, ICT

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