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A sociologist's field notes to the Mass Observation Archive: a consideration of the challenges of 're-using' mass observation data in longitudinal mixed-methods study

A sociologist's field notes to the Mass Observation Archive: a consideration of the challenges of 're-using' mass observation data in longitudinal mixed-methods study
A sociologist's field notes to the Mass Observation Archive: a consideration of the challenges of 're-using' mass observation data in longitudinal mixed-methods study
This paper explores the challenges arising from the 're-use' of Mass Observation Project (MOP) writing (1981 to present day) encountered by the authors when setting up an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded, longitudinal, mixed-methods research project on civic engagement. The paper begins with a brief review of the present UK social science research environment, highlighting the evidence for an increasing Research Council focus on interdisciplinary research and secondary analysis/re-use of data. It argues that this shift in focus gives rise to unique methodological challenges such as those encountered by the authors in this project. After providing some background and context, the paper discusses different obstacles encountered in the course of setting up this project. These include difficulties in: communicating within and across disciplines; re-using data across disciplines; the use of metadata, and its role in choosing writers from a longitudinal secondary data source; choice of analytical tools and approaches; and the Mass Observation writer's role in the research process. By sharing these experiences, the paper seeks to enable potential users of the MOP to see the value of MOP as a source of longitudinal qualitative secondary data; appreciate its potential for use with other data sources and across different disciplines; and equip other researchers to meet some of the challenges that the longitudinal use of MOP writing throws up
mass observation project, secondary data analysis, interdisciplinary, mixed-methods, longitudinal
1360-7804
Lindsey, Rose
fddef0e2-3584-4b4f-939b-82049b73fcdd
Bulloch, S.L.
ccff1034-4bde-422f-9d89-1c53721fa90e
Lindsey, Rose
fddef0e2-3584-4b4f-939b-82049b73fcdd
Bulloch, S.L.
ccff1034-4bde-422f-9d89-1c53721fa90e

Lindsey, Rose and Bulloch, S.L. (2014) A sociologist's field notes to the Mass Observation Archive: a consideration of the challenges of 're-using' mass observation data in longitudinal mixed-methods study. Sociological Research Online, 19 (3). (doi:10.5153/sro.3362).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This paper explores the challenges arising from the 're-use' of Mass Observation Project (MOP) writing (1981 to present day) encountered by the authors when setting up an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded, longitudinal, mixed-methods research project on civic engagement. The paper begins with a brief review of the present UK social science research environment, highlighting the evidence for an increasing Research Council focus on interdisciplinary research and secondary analysis/re-use of data. It argues that this shift in focus gives rise to unique methodological challenges such as those encountered by the authors in this project. After providing some background and context, the paper discusses different obstacles encountered in the course of setting up this project. These include difficulties in: communicating within and across disciplines; re-using data across disciplines; the use of metadata, and its role in choosing writers from a longitudinal secondary data source; choice of analytical tools and approaches; and the Mass Observation writer's role in the research process. By sharing these experiences, the paper seeks to enable potential users of the MOP to see the value of MOP as a source of longitudinal qualitative secondary data; appreciate its potential for use with other data sources and across different disciplines; and equip other researchers to meet some of the challenges that the longitudinal use of MOP writing throws up

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e-pub ahead of print date: 15 August 2014
Keywords: mass observation project, secondary data analysis, interdisciplinary, mixed-methods, longitudinal
Organisations: Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 371929
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/371929
ISSN: 1360-7804
PURE UUID: 807d6d71-c01d-45c4-9824-93ab5960d438

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Date deposited: 21 Nov 2014 12:11
Last modified: 19 Jul 2019 20:57

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