Review: Andy Alaszewski (2006). Using Diaries for Social Research


  • Shalva Weil Hebrew University



diaries, log, social research, survey tool, analysis, reflexivity


"Using Diaries for Social Research" by Andy ALASZEWSKI fills a gap in methodological writings. The book is unusual in that it provides a "holistic" approach to research methodology without distinguishing arbitrarily between quantitative and qualitative methodologies. "Using Diaries for Social Research" could be very useful for students, as well as for more seasoned researchers delving into this particular form of autobiographical or self-observing text. When I discovered a diary written by an Ethiopian Jew in Jerusalem after the First World War, I could have benefited from this lucid book, which explicates alternative strategies for analyzing diaries, delineates the key issues researchers should consider when confronting diaries, and shows how one can analyze the structure of diaries. The book is an excellent beginning on a fascinating subject, illustrated by exercises and providing recommended reading. It is a pity that the word "reflexivity" does not appear even once in the Index. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0604259


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Author Biography

Shalva Weil, Hebrew University

Shalva WEIL is Senior Researcher in the Research Institute for Innovation in Education in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Among her research interests are Indian Jewry, Ethiopian Jewry, Diaspora and Immigration. She is President of SOSTEJE (Society for the Study of Ethiopian Jewry), and head of the Qualitative Methods Research Network in the ESA (European Sociological Association).




How to Cite

Weil, S. (2006). Review: Andy Alaszewski (2006). Using Diaries for Social Research. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 7(4).