Researching children and young people’s lives

Sarah Crafter explores important issues that are raised when interpretation is dealt with by researchers using a vignette methodology. Researchers using vignette methodology often struggle with interpretation: how to interpret the responses when participants shift between discussing the vignettes as themselves, taking the perspective of the character in the vignette and commenting on what ‘ought’ to happen. She argues that by foregrounding a consideration of the method with an explicitly articulated theoretical position of dialogicality, issues inherent in the process of interpretation become a valuable addition to the research rather than an obstacle to be overcome. In the paper she discusses ‘Louise’ a young carer, detailing the various positions she takes in her talk about the vignette of Mary, a fictitious young carer, to illustrate how a perspective based on the dialogical theory contributed to the analysis of her various moves through different identity positions.

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