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

Leticia Muñiz Terra


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.


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


Copyright (c) 2018 Leticia Muñiz Terra

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.