Small numbers, big insights

Date of publication: September 26, 2013


Thinking big does not have to involve researching large numbers of people or utilising the latest online techniques to quickly gather data. We posit that at a time of change in the industry there is an important role for small scale face-to-face qualitative approaches; when done well, these approaches are unrivalled for obtaining insight, and going slow can be more revealing than instantaneous results. We also address the theme ‘transforming lives’ by exploring how, in longitudinal qualitative research, the relationship between the researcher and participant changes. We also discuss how the participants’ lives are transformed as they experience life events—births, redundancy, illness—but also as they come to realise they are powerful advocates for the many families in similar situations.

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