Handbook of Research Methods on the Quality of Working Lives
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Handbook of Research Methods on the Quality of Working Lives

Edited by Daniel Wheatley

The growing diversity of contemporary paid work has provoked increased interest in understanding and evaluating the quality of working lives. This Handbook provides critical reflections on recent research in the field, including examining the inextricable links between working life and well-being.
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Chapter 21: Using occupational history calendars in semi-structured interviews to capture long working lives: a small sample approach using sequence analysis

Fiona Carmichael, Jo Duberley and Lorna Porcellato


This chapter describes how traditionally quantitative occupational history calendars (OHCs) have been used in mixed method research by embedding them within qualitative interviews. The calendars are used to collect records of life time careers which are analysed using sequence analysis to group similar work histories. In parallel, the qualitative interviews facilitate in-depth exploration of the factors underlying occupational changes and transitions and later life outcomes. The overall approach allows data to be collated over relatively long periods of time, and enables an examination of the complex interplay between work, family and personal circumstances that shapes working lives. While the method as described in this chapter has been used to examine life time careers, it can be adapted to analyse other types of records collected over multiple time periods, e.g. schooling, fertility and health.

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