The Centrality of By-Products of Social Research
Edited by Rosalind Edwards, John Goodwin, Henrietta O’Connor and Ann Phoenix
Chapter 6: The secondary analysis of fieldnotes, marginalia and paradata from past studies of young peopleinstability
O’Connor and Goodwin use a range of by-products from three different research projects to show that marginalia, fieldnotes and ephemera are of great value to the secondary analyst and help to shed light on research from the past. From extensive descriptive fieldnotes from Norbert Elias’s 1960s project on youth employment, the authors gain insights into the lives of young people in Leicester in the 1960s. Following on from this they turn to Pearl Jephcott’s study from the 1980s where again it is through additional notes in the margin and amplifications to the coded data, that the experience of school leavers in the 1980s comes to life. Last they turn to materials often stored in archives such as letters, photographs and research notebooks, to show how they provide invaluable contextual information for researchers.
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