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Qualitative secondary analysis in austere times: ethical, professional and methodological considerations

Qualitative Sekundäranalyse in schwierigen Zeiten: ethische, fachliche und methodologische Überlegungen
[journal article]

Coltart, Carrie; Henwood, Karen; Shirani, Fiona

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Abstract Recent debates in qualitative secondary analysis (QSA) have sought to move beyond polarising arguments in order to develop more nuanced perspectives on the epistemological, analytical and practical opportunities and challenges associated with its methods. This is generally to be welcomed, although there are also signs of unhelpful primary/secondary divisions finding new forms of expression. Focusing on definitional issues and wider contexts of QSA helps to explain the possible sources of ongoing tensions while affording tentative insights into potential opportunities and synergies across the primary/secondary spectrum. Building on work undertaken within the Timescapes Qualitative Longitudinal study, the article also highlights some under-examined costs and risks that may come along with new opportunities created by secondary analysis. Issues of over-privileging secondary analysis claims, making and the timing of qualitative secondary analysis are foregrounded as requiring further consideration if researchers are to take seriously lingering suspicions and fears about qualitative secondary analysis and not dismiss them as simply reactionary or self-serving.
Keywords secondary analysis; qualitative method; methodology; methodology; action orientation; data capture; data preparation; data quality; ethics; epistemology; longitudinal study; teamwork
Classification Research Design; Methods and Techniques of Data Collection and Data Analysis, Statistical Methods, Computer Methods
Document language English
Publication Year 2013
Page/Pages p. 271-292
Journal Historical Social Research, 38 (2013) 4
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works