Archival and Biographical Research Sensitivity: A European Perspective from Spain


  • Miguel S. Valles Universidad Complutense de Madrid



archives, biographical research, archival research sensitivity, qualitative methodology, European overview, Spain


This FQS issue on archives and biographical methods is a special occasion to inform about a European initiative for the promotion and exchange of experiences of qualitative research in the social sciences. The whole project was designed as a a four-year (2006-2010) European Science Foundation program known by the acronym EUROQUAL.

This article intends to provide some ideas and methodological reflections arising from the Madrid EUROQUAL-Workshop on Archives and Life-History Research (21-23 September 2009). The key point concerns what I suggest to name archival and biographical research "sensitivity." It has to do with the issues of research quality, research economy and the conception of social research as patrimony. Approaches in the European landscape also serve to highlight the contrasting situation in Spain.



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Author Biography

Miguel S. Valles, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Miguel S. VALLES is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University Complutense of Madrid. His research interests include: social research methodology (combination of quantitative and qualitative methods); history and sociology of social research methods (society, life and methods); qualitative interviewing; grounded theory and qualitative analysis (manual and computer assisted). His main research focus has been within sociology of population (youth, old age, migration). As member of the EUROQUAL Steering Committee (2006-2010) he was responsible for the organization of the Madrid "Archives and Life-History Research Workshop" (21-23 September 2009).




How to Cite

Valles, M. S. (2011). Archival and Biographical Research Sensitivity: A European Perspective from Spain. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12(3).



Re-entering the Field of Qualitative Archives and Biographical Research Methods