Journal Article

Going back: ‘Stalking’, talking and researcher responsibilities in qualitative longitudinal research


This paper explores the process of going back in qualitative longitudinal research (QLR) to gather later accounts of unfolding personal experiences. The design of interview-based QLR is usually premised on collecting data, over-time, around an unfolding experience or event. This design facilitates the establishment of an on-going research relationship and ‘rapport’ and the accessing of fluid and timesensitive accounts of individual experiences, leading to more nuanced understandings of temporal subjectivities. However in practice maintaining a sample in QL research, which may span a number of years, can be challenging and the process of going back, complicated. This paper reflects on issues and responsibilities which can arise when researchers try to access and go back to participants, especially where experiences once optimistically narrated and future-oriented have unfolded in unplanned and personally unwelcome ways. Using researcher experiences and the data from later phases of two UK based QLR studies on transition to first-time motherhood and first-time fatherhood, the practical steps of maintaining contact, reconnecting with participants and going back are documented. How does the passage of time and changes in participant’s lives alter research relationships, interpretations of data and researcher responsibilities?

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Miller, T

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences\Department of Social Sciences


Year of publication: 2015
Date of RADAR deposit: 2016-10-04

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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