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EGENIS seminar: "Data through time: Figuring out the narrative self in longitudinal research" Prof Jane Elliott (University of Exeter)

Egenis seminar series

This paper will explore the ways in which individuals can be obscured and revealed through the practices of longitudinal social research. In particular it will juxtapose qualitative and quantitative data from the 1958 British Birth Cohort study (which has followed thousands of individuals from their birth in 1958 through childhood and adult life) in order to consider the ways in which different approaches to research can reinforce or disrupt narrative conceptions of the self. It will also discuss the opportunities and challenges for longitudinal research provided by new practices of self-tracking e.g. using apps and wearable devices made possible following the digital revolution.

Event details

Use of the metaphors of figure and ground will be used to suggest that a more complete account of individual experiences can only be achieved when we pay attention to the broader social context in which those individuals make sense of their lives.

The paper will also consider the ethical tensions between the need to preserve the anonymity of individuals in research studies and the desire to acknowledge and record the specificity and uniqueness of individual experiences.

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