Conference Essay: Secondary Analysis in Qualitative Research—Utopia and Perspectives
This essay reviews the Symposium on Secondary Analysis in Qualitative Research—Utopia and Perspectives. The Symposium, which was held in November 2005, was the first academic meeting in France to focus on qualitative research, mainly through secondary analysis and archiving. Researchers from various European countries, academic fields and working contexts discussed their practices in qualitative research and secondary analysis. As secondary analysis is almost nonexistent in France, this Symposium has offered researchers an opportunity to become familiar with this method, to meet European experts, and to engage in constructive dialogues. This paper initially places qualitative research, secondary analysis and archiving in an international perspective. It then relates these practices to the current situation in France and introduces the organization of the Symposium. Next it describes scholars' contributions and areas of study under reflection throughout this event. In addition, it discusses several directions the field of secondary analysis is currently moving in, as well as qualitative methods. The main contributions of this Symposium deal with the issues of cumulative knowledge, the need to take an epistemological turn, the institutionalization of qualitative research in France, as well as academic disciplines' growing need to reflect on the traditions and standards of qualitative research.
qualitative research; secondary analysis; archiving; methods; ethics; practices; epistemology; theory; interviews