Biographical Research Paper

Biographical Research Paper-46
The aim of those studies is to understand people’s subjective evaluations of life events and trajectories.

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The use of the life course perspective to study migration is of increasing interest in the field.

A majority of the research on first- and second-generation residents is based on quantitative methodological designs that mainly focus on different aspects of their insertion into the host society.

Researchers using those two approaches study lives in context (social, historical, structural contexts, etc.).

They also consider individuals’ lives to be composed of different interrelated dimensions, linked to other individuals’ lives, and that individuals are not entirely socially determined (the idea of agency).

Researchers within the biographical approach focus their attention on “the interrelation between individual and society, and how broader perceptions and modes of thought are represented and monitored within the specific situation and outlook of individuals and groups” (Roberts : 34).

They essentially analyze subjective biographical data about the individual’s entire existence, such as life stories or written biographies, whether about a short period of life or some specific dimensions of life.In order to grasp both objective and subjective events and the trajectories of individuals’ lives, and simultaneously chronological and subjective time scales, we propose the use of the LIVES history calendar (Morselli et al.)—which is a life history calendar—and an in-depth biographical interview.Next, we present the tools: the in-depth biographical interview and the LIVES history calendar.Finally, we describe the mixed-mode design developed within the research project “From youth to adulthood: descendants of immigrants insertion in the Swiss society” funded between 20 by the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES: Overcoming Vulnerability: Life Course Perspective (NCCR LIVES).These principles, in turn, are translated into concepts to investigate trajectories, phases, events and transitions in the life course (Levy et al. Qualitative biographical methods and the life course perspective share some common points, such as the interrelation between individuals’ lives and social systems, for which they take into account historicity (Ferrorrati in Bertaux ).However, there are also some divergences regarding the methodological approach and the focus of the study, such as the study of objective events and trajectories versus subjective events and trajectories as well as quantitative versus qualitative research designs.At the same time, our goal is to account for the methodological benefits of both tools, such as a more systematic process and increased validity of the “objective” life course data gathered by using life event calendars (Belli and Callegaro ) as well as in-depth exploration of subjective life stories obtained by using in-depth biographical interviews.To apply this idea, we tested and used the combination of semi-structured biographical interviews and the LIVES history calendar in studying the transition to adulthood of the children of Albanian-speaking immigrants in Switzerland.In this chapter, we develop a methodology to collect data on second-generation residents based on the combination of a life history calendar and in-depth biographical interviews.The first tool comes from the life course perspective, and the second comes from the biographical tradition.


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