Biographical Events and Milestones: A Methodological Proposal to Analyze Narratives of Life


  • Leticia Muñiz Terra Universidad de Buenos Aires



qualitative methods, reflexivity, biographical perspective, biographical interviews, turning points, narratives of life


The process of data analysis in qualitative sociological research is often not fully described in papers reporting such research. This is also true for biographical approaches. In this article I present a number of ideas concerning the analytical procedures that can be followed to understand the life course in greater depth. I start with the theoretical framework, in which I illustrate different approaches to the study of the life course. These include synchronic perspectives which focus on fixed moments in time; diachronic approaches that analyze a phenomenon over a period of time; and milestones—external or subjective—that produce changes in the life course.

I demonstrate an analytic procedure which combines the aforementioned perspectives. I do this using a case study of the work histories of former employees of a joint-stock company in Argentina in the 1990s. I conclude the article with a reflection on some problems related to biographical research and offer an analytical device for the analysis of biographical events and turning points.


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Author Biography

Leticia Muñiz Terra, Universidad de Buenos Aires

eticia MUÑIZ TERRA es doctora en ciencias sociales por la Universidad de Buenos Aires. Actualmente se desempeña como investigadora adjunta del Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) con lugar de trabajo en el Centro Interdisciplinario de Metodologías de las Ciencias Sociales (CIMeCS), Unidad de Investigación del Instituto de Investigaciones en Humanidades y Ciencias Sociales (IdIHCS), Universidad Nacional de La Plata, CONICET). Asimismo, es profesora adjunta regular de la asignatura metodología de la investigación social II (cualitativa) en la Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias de la Educación de la Universidad Nacional de La Plata. Sus áreas de interés son: la perspectiva biográfica, los estudios del trabajo, las trayectorias laborales y de clases sociales y los abordajes metodológicos cualitativos.



How to Cite

Muñiz Terra, L. (2018). Biographical Events and Milestones: A Methodological Proposal to Analyze Narratives of Life. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 19(2).



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