New 2017 publication: “Managing Researcher Dilemmas in Narrative Interview Data and Analysis”

In Jim McKinley and Heath Rose (Eds.). Doing Research in Applied Linguistics: Realities, Dilemmas, and Solutions. Routledge Press.

My chapter intro:

Narrative interviewing (Riessman, 2007), the elicitation of accounts of per­sonal experience, has become a favoured investigative method in applied linguistics and neighbouring disciplines. It has enhanced our understandings of the dynamic trajectories of language learning and use, and it has inspired alternative ways of conceptualizing and critiquing both narrative and iden­tity (e.g., Bamberg, De Fina, & Schiffrin, 2007; Barkhuizen, 2013; De Fina & Georgakopoulou, 2012; Pavlenko, 2007; also Okada, this volume). The introspective attitude of autobiographical inquiry has also encouraged close scrutiny of the “black box” (Kvale & Brinkmann, 2009) of social research and the various problems as well as practices surrounding knowledge pro­duction. The present chapter contributes to these goals of researcher reflex­ivity and methodological transparency. Reflecting on a sample narrative interview study, I trace some of the dilemmas I encountered in the stages of data analysis and discuss steps I took toward resolution. I conclude by considering implications for other qualitative researchers.

DRIALAbout the Volume

Doing Research in Applied Linguistics: Realities, dilemmas, and solutions (publisher’s weblink) provides insight and guidance for those undertaking research, and shows the reader how to deal with the challenges of this research involving real people in real settings. Featuring over twenty chapters by experienced and up-and-coming researchers from around the world, this book:

  • outlines the steps involved in solving the problem and completing a successful, and publishable, project;
  • provides case studies of obstacles faced at each stage of research, from preliminary planning to report writing;
  • addresses issues of validity and reliability during data collection and analysis;
  • discusses ethical issues in research dealing with vulnerable groups including children, refugees, and students;
  • includes examples from longitudinal studies, and both qualitative and quantitative research.

Doing Research in Applied Linguistics is essential reading for students studying research methods, or for those embarking on their first research project in applied linguistics or language education.

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