Revisiting Classic Qualitative Studies

Mike Savage


This paper explores methodological issues regarding the revisiting of "classic" qualitative studies. Classic studies pose particular issues for secondary analysis. By virtue of being "classic", the findings and arguments of such studies define a subsequent "canon" of theoretical and methodological scholarship, and hence shape the thinking of subsequent researchers conducting secondary analysis. Secondary re-analysis therefore should be not only of the archived data itself, but of the published work itself, but this raises a host of complex methodological and ethical issues. Using my own reanalysis of Elizabeth BOTT's "Family and Social Network' archive, and John GOLDTHORPE and David LOCKWOOD's "Affluent Worker collection", I examine possible analytical strategies for re-analysis, including "debunking", the alternative of "sacralisation", and ways in which original data can be read "against the grain".

URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0501312


qualitative data; secondary analysis; classic studies; social class; re-analysis

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Copyright (c) 2005 Mike Savage

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