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Descriptions as data: developing techniques to elicit descriptive materials in social research

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This article examines some general issues around the use of data in social research by taking an extended look at how drawings and text have been used in 'draw and write' research. With reference to a split between positivist and interpretivist studies, the authors argue that the problems generated by draw and write research reflect what has been described as a 'crisis of representation' in social research more broadly. With reference to descriptive material collected for a study of smoking initiation among young people in Liverpool, England, they argue that researchers must rethink the uses to which data, particularly descriptive data, are put within orthodox social research. The modified version of the 'draw and write technique' outlined in the article represents the authors' attempt to achieve that re-orientation.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2007

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