Qualitative Secondary Analysis in Austere Times: A Reply to Coltart, Henwood and Shirani


  • Sarah Irwin University of Leeds
  • Joanna Bornat The Open University
  • Mandy Winterton Edinburgh Napier University




qualitative secondary analysis, qualitative research ethics, Timescapes


In their article, published in this journal, COLTART, HENWOOD and SHIRANI raise a number of issues regarding the effective and ethical conduct of qualitative secondary analysis. In doing so they seek to exemplify general points about secondary analytic practice and ethics with reference to the UK Timescapes research programme in which they were involved as primary researchers and we were involved as secondary analysts. They position our work in ways we find unrecognisable, and potentially misleading. We briefly re-describe aspects of our work, and our key arguments, with reference to the timing of secondary analysis, knowledge claims and the contextual embeddedness of qualitative data.

URN: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1401231


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Sarah Irwin, University of Leeds

Sarah IRWIN is a Reader in sociology, University of Leeds, and Director of the Centre for Research on Family, the Life Course and Generations. She was Director of the Timescapes Secondary Analysis project. She has researched and published extensively in the areas of family, parenting, youth, social inequalities and research methodology.

Joanna Bornat, The Open University

Joanna BORNAT is Emeritus Professor at the Open University. She was a member of the Timescapes Management Team and co-ordinator of the programme's secondary analysis strand. She has researched and published in the areas of oral history, migration, women's history, family change and gerontology.

Mandy Winterton, Edinburgh Napier University

Mandy WINTERTON is a lecturer in sociology at Edinburgh Napier University, and is the Director of the Military Research Centre at that institution. Mandy was the research fellow for the Timescapes Secondary Analysis project at the University of Leeds. Mandy's research and publications are in the areas of social class inequalities in education, social inclusion and transitions of military populations, and research methodology.




How to Cite

Irwin, S., Bornat, J., & Winterton, M. (2014). Qualitative Secondary Analysis in Austere Times: A Reply to Coltart, Henwood and Shirani. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 15(1). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-15.1.2100



Single Contributions