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Using Documents and Records in Social Research by Lindsay Prior

Using Documents and Records in Social Research

Part of the Sage Benchmarks in Social Research Methods Series


Using Documents and Records in Social Research by Lindsay Prior

Using Documents and Records in Social Research collects together a body of papers that highlight the different ways in which documents and records have, and can be, approached and studied in a variety of social research contexts. By assembling key papers from studies in fields as diverse as criminology, health, education and organizational research, as well as science and technology studies, the volumes illustrate how documents and records figure in all aspects of the research process from research design, through to data collection, data analysis and report writing. Volume One: Approaches to Content - Documents as a Source of Data and Evidence draws from a mix of 20th century writers who have used letters, diaries, newspapers and related published materials as sources of data. The focus is on the kinds and range of materials that can be collected and the various ways in which the data has been and can be analyzed - ranging from simple content analysis to more involved forms of discourse analysis. Volume Two: How 'Things' Are Made and Represented in Documentation focuses on papers that emphasize the different ways in which documents and records are assembled and constructed. Volume Three: How People Use and Do Things with Documents investigates how documents have been used in various forms of field work - the kinds of documents that have been studied and the ways in which their study has been integrated into ethnographic descriptions and the like. Volume Four: How Documents Do Things with People examines the ways in which documents can both form part of a network and reflect networks, including more recent work on documentation that invokes ideas drawn from actor-network theory as well as work that has focused on 'ways of reading', and the transmission of knowledge.

About the Author

Lindsay Prior is Professor of Sociology at Queens University, Belfast. He is currently a Principal Investigator for the Health Policy Research stream within the recently opened Northern Ireland Centre of Excellence in Public Health. Since the mid 1980s, his research interests have been split between medical sociology and the sociology of health and illness and the design and use of qualitative research methods - particularly those that involve the use of text and documentation. In past years he has a acted as Principal Investigator for major awards from the Wellcome Trust (Biomedical Ethics Programme), the ESRC (Innovative Health Technologies Programme), the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, and various NHS R&D Offices. The research work associated with these grants has covered a wide range of health-related topics and interests, including a focus on lay understandings of health and disease, and the application of qualitative research methods to health service research problems.

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Book Info

Publication date

18th May 2011


Lindsay Prior

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SAGE Publications Ltd


Contains 4 Hardbacks
1640 pages


Social research & statistics



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