Qualitative Social Science in the UK: A Reflexive Commentary on the "State of the Art"

Karen Henwood, Iain Lang


UK social science is characterised by an ever increasing expectation that it should be able to demonstrate excellence not only in terms of scientific and intellectual considerations. In ad­dition, it must link its relevance and worth to a wide range of stakeholders and users of research. This "climate of change" is seen in the un­pre­ced­ented level of strategic initiatives that are currently under­way. The purpose of this article is to consider some of these strategic developments and how they seek to promote leading edge developments in social science methodology. Attention is focus­sed, in particular, on the place of qualitative method­ologies and methods within these develop­ments. One of the sections of the article reports on the main findings of a consultation exercise with UK social scientists on qualitative research resources. A key interest throughout the article is in articu­lating the explicit and implicit agendas that are energising and motivating what may be called the "turn to methodology" in funded UK social science in the early 21st century
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0503486


qualitative methods; social science methodology; UK social research; qualitative re­search resources

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17169/fqs-6.3.16

Copyright (c) 2005 Karen Henwood, Iain Lang

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