The Timescapes 10 Festival

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The Timescapes 10 Festival

Registrations are now open for the Timescapes 10 Festival, a major celebration of advances in qualitative longitudinal methods through a mixture of international symposia, panel sessions, video provocations, sandpits, and demonstrator events. Please go to: to register.

Jointly run through the Timescapes Archive and the National Centre for Research Methods, the Timescapes 10 Festival celebrates ten years since the conclusion of the original Timescapes Programme of research .

Confirmed keynote speakers include:

  • Barbara Adam, Professor of Sociology, University of Cardiff
  • Bren Neale, Professor of Life Course and Family Research, University of Leeds
  • Mike Savage, Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics
  • Rosalind Edwards, Professor of Sociology, University of Southampton
  • Mr Masud Khokhar, University Librarian and Keeper of the Brotherton Collection, University of Leeds

Confirmed Panel sessions and Symposia include:


  • Tuesday 6th September
    • AM Decolonising Archives, Decolonising Archives? Some Thoughts and Some Questions. Chair Etienne Joseph
    • AM Temporal Methodologies. Chaired by Professor Karen Henwood, with presentations from Fiona Shirani, Laura Fenton and Michelle Bastion
    • PM – Qualitative Longitudinal Research using Quantitative Panel Surveys, Chaired by JD Carpentieri, with presentations from Jane Elliott, University of Exeter (UK birth cohort studies), Chris Jeppeson, University of Cambridge (UK birth cohort studies), Deb Loxton, University of Newcastle, Australia (Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health), University of Oxford (Young Lives), JD Carpentieri, UCL (UK birth cohort studies)
  • Wednesday 7th September 
    • AM – Professor Ann Oakley in conversation with Professors Graham Crow and John Goodwin, plus the launch of an exclusive interview with Ann about her life’s work and legacy
    • PM – Getting Personal with Research Data, an open access training workshop, Dr Kahryn Hughes and Professor Anna Tarrant
  • Thursday 8th September 
    • AM: UKDA Data Dive workshop with Dr Maureen Haaker and Anca Vlad. ‘Reaching vulnerable populations through secondary analysis’
    • PM: Researching Social Security and Welfare Conditionality in Tough Times, Chair: Professor Sharon Wright, with presentations from Lisa Scullion, David Young and Phil Martin, and Kate Summers
  • Friday 9th September
    • AM – Rachel Thomson and Liam Berriman, Exploring Everyday Childhoods
    • The Mass Observations Archive, Fiona Courage and Kirsty Pattrick
    • The Dialect and Heritage Project, University of Leeds, Dr Fiona Douglas


  • Monday 12th September
    • Exploring Causal Complexity through Qualitative Longitudinal Research, Chaired by Professor Bren Neale
      • From Complex Causality to Complex Understanding: Background, Emergence, and Flow in addressing Organizational and Policy Problem, Hari Tsoukas
      • Unfolding Fluid Realities: Thoughts on Capturing Time, Lasse Gerrits and Sofia Pagliarin
      • Understanding the Process of Self-Management when Living with Advanced Cancer: A Multi-Perspective Longitudinal Qualitative Approach, Lynn Calman
      • Implications of Relational Causality on Research with Vulnerable Populations, Tanja Dall and Sophie Danneris
      • The Contribution of Qualitative Longitudinal Research to Understanding Homelessness, Emma Davidson
      • Panel Session, Anna Tarrant
  • Tuesday 13th September
    • AM – Qualitative longitudinal research on families and transitions, Chaired by Professor Susanne Vogl
      • Interviewing (lone parents) through time: opportunities and challenges of qualitative longitudinal research,
      • Núria Sanchez Mira, Université de Lausanne
      • Researching the Pandemic: Challenges for Qualitative Longitudinal Family Research, Ulrike Zartler, University of Vienna
      • Everyday Life in Transition – Methodological Explorations from a Qualitative Panel Study on the Transition from Work to Retirement, Anna Wanka, Goethe-University Frankfurt
      • Voices of transitions: Researching adolescents’ pathways to the future with qualitative longitudinal grounded theory analysis, Susanne Vogl, University of Stuttgart; Raphaela Kogler, University of Vienna
  • Wednesday 14th September 
    • AM – Intergenerational Poverty, chaired by Professor Julia Brannen
      • The time frames of young people living in precarious conditions, Professor Julia Brannen
      • Pathways to the intergenerational transmission of poverty and low-income: the impact of family change in historical and life-course context, Professor Jane Gray
      • Complicating the dynamics of linked lives: Family complexity and intergenerational trauma for men in low-income families. Professor Kevin Roy, University of Maryland
      • ‘Recovering’ accounts of men’s inter- and multi-generational family participation through  hardship over time, Dr Kahryn Hughes and Professor Anna Tarrant
    • PM – Fathers and Longitudinal research, Chaired by Professor Anna Tarrant, University of Lincoln
      • Using longitudinal data to explore how fathers’ involvement affects children’s educational outcomes, Helen Norman
      • When does qualitative longitudinal research end, Tina Miller
      • Esther Dermott, title tbc
      • Georgia Phillip, title tbc
  • Thursday 15th September
    • AM Histories of Reusing and Sharing Qualitative Data: Qualitative Secondary Analysis and International Qualitative Secondary Analysis, Chair Dr Kahryn Hughes
      • Pseudonyms unpacked – an animated abstract, Dr Janet Heaton
      • Data Reuse Across International Contexts: Possibilities and Challenges, Dr Kahryn Hughes, Professor Vibeke Asmussen Frank, Dr Maria Herold, Dr Esben Houborg
  • Friday 16th September
    • AM Round Table Panel Session: The Future of Qualitative Archives, with representatives from Mass Observations Archive, the UK Data Archive, the Timescapes Archive, and the Irish Qualitative Data Archive, as well as interdisciplinary speakers from the Festival

Abstracts of papers and further details of these events are below.

Through a mixture of international symposia, panel sessions, video provocations, sandpits, and demonstrator events, this online only festival showcases a decade of international advances in these methodological fields:

  • Qualitative Longitudinal research
  • Qualitative Secondary Analysis
  • Qualitative archiving
  • Decolonising Archives
  • Qualitative data in panel surveys
  • Auto/biographical methods
  • Big Qual
  • Mixed Methods
  • Ethics
  • Data Integrity and Data Management
  • Time and temporality, temporal methodologies.

For a nominal fee of £10, delegates can access the entire range of events taking place across the two weeks of the Festival. These include sessions with archives such as UKDA, Mass Observations and the Timescapes Archive, as well as presentations and training delivered by key international and interdisciplinary scholars.

There are three NCRM research methods training courses running across the two weeks. Spaces are limited and booking is required. The fee for each course is £10. This fee will also give delegates entry to the rest of the Festival:

13th – 15th September: NCRM Training: Working with large amounts of qualitative data:
an introduction to the Breadth-and-Depth Methods
, Professor Rosalind Edwards, Dr Emma Davidson, Dr Susie Weller, and Professor Lynn Jamieson

14th September: Introducing the Irish Qualitative Data Archive, Professor Jane Gray and Dr Aileen O’Carroll

15th September: Introducing Qualitative Longitudinal Research: From Design to Analysis (online) Professor Bren Neale

There is an additional Short Course, run as part of the Festival, by Dr Kahryn Hughes and Professor Anna Tarrant, which is accessible under the £10 Festival fee.

The full programme will appear below as the details are finalised.  Almost all morning events will start no earlier than 10am, and afternoon events will end no later than 4pm. Here are some examples of what’s to come:

5th  September 2022, KEYNOTES:

Fluid Enquiry, Causal Complexity, Policy Processes: Making a Difference with Qualitative
Longitudinal Research, Professor Bren Neale

Based on a recently published article in Social Policy and Society (2021), this presentation sets out the contours of Qualitative Longitudinal Research and explores its potential to ask new questions about what works (or fails to work) in policy interventions and professional practice. The particular focus is on the fluidity and complexity of causal processes. These themes will also be explored in a related Festival event: an international, interdisciplinary symposium on Causal Complexity.

The Politics of Archiving, Professor Mike Savage

Mike Savage will reflect on the changing historical form of the in-depth qualitative interview, drawing on his own experiences since the 1980s, as well as recent debates about the politics of archiving, and the challenges of re-analysing archived qualitative social science data. Mike will reflect on the potential to challenge the disciplinary divide between history and sociology which these recent affordances have allowed.

The Complexity of Longitudinal Big Qual, Professor Rosalind Edwards

In this brief keynote I will consider the importance of ‘big qual’ data, qualitative longitudinal data and the Timescapes Archive in the face of administrative big data, data hubs, data linkage and predictive analytics.  In particular, I’ll consider how the complexity in longitudinal big qual may help explain why predictive endeavours in the field of family and child intervention so far have been ineffective.

Opportunities and Challenges in Decolonisation of Libraries, Masud Khokhar

This keynote will introduce a selection of opportunities and challenges in the decolonisation and diversification efforts in libraries. Attendees will be provided context around the current initiatives aiming to support decolonisation in our collections, workforce, artworks, and archives, particularly in light of the work being undertaken by two major UK library associations, RLUK and SCONUL. Lastly, it will highlight the opportunities that come with contemporary collecting approaches and digital possibilities to expand the narratives that exist in libraries.

The role of Qualitative Archives in Open Science, Dr Kahryn Hughes

This presentation will introduce a two-week long consultation event where attendees are invited to comment on how they use qualitative archives and qualitative research data, ask questions about the practicalities, ethics and challenges of doing so. The aims of this are to foster and develop new cross-disciplinary dialogues, and begin the integration of questions concerning the distinctive qualities of qualitative data in the broader debates on Open Science. Attendee’s comments will be addressed during the Round Table discussion on the final Friday, 16th September.

6th September 2022:


Decolonising Archives? Some Thoughts and Some Questions, Chair Etienne Joseph

Join Decolonising The Archive founder Dr Etienne Joseph in conversation with colleagues and collaborators on the latitude and limits of decolonising archives.

Temporal Methodologies, Chair Professor Karen Henwood

Time, change, interpretive practice: A long view of creative QLL research. Professor Karen Henwood, Dr Fiona Shirani

Our talk will address issues in the design, practice and ethics of research that adopts a temporally sensitive approach involving multiple research encounters with the same participants over time, and where a key aim is often to understand dynamic processes of societal change.  In the context of multidisciplinary teamwork and stakeholder collaborations, a characteristically sociological interest may involve paying attention to timely issues and innovative questions that are designated socio-technical, socio-cultural or  socio-environmental/ecological/sustainable. Our mode of address turns takes a long view, by situating qualitative longitudinal research within interpretive social science and drawing upon qualitative research traditions of interviewing, multi-modal ethnography and psychosocial studies. Drawing on examples from established qualitative longitudinal research projects, beginning with our project as part of the Timescapes network, we explore three main methodological issues: intensive and extensive designs; temporality and flexibility; and the use of supplementary multimodal techniques. Through these examples the value of qualitative longitudinal design is demonstrated, highlighting creative practice, policy relevance, and emergent gaps that qualitative longitudinal research has the potential to address.

Recent reference : Henwood, K., and Shirani, F. (2022). Qualitative research design: Time, change, interpretive practice, in Uwe Flick (Ed) Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research Design.

Co-travellers in time? The diverse temporalities of oral history methods, Dr Laura Fenton

This presentation explores temporalities in the context of oral history research. Past projects exploring life histories and place histories and an ongoing project on futures will be discussed to disentangle the fluid and complex nature of time in the ‘now’ of the interview encounter. As sites of ‘time travel’, oral history interviews create conditions for enactments of temporally mobile and temporally multiple selves. The presentation considers both the methodological possibilities and ethics of venturing into shared journeys through time with research participants.

Dr Michelle Bastian, Editor in Chief: Time and Society, Title tbc.


Qualitative Longitudinal Research using Quantitative Panel Surveys, Chair: JD Carpentieri

What are the benefits and challenges of conducting qualitative longitudinal research within the framework of quantitative panel studies? This symposium explores that question through the experiences of qualitative researchers who work with the Centre for Longitudinal Studies’ British birth cohort studies, the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health, and the multinational Young Lives study. The multidisciplinary panel members share recent empirical findings and discuss the methodological affordances and complexities of conducting qualitative research within primarily quantitative contexts.


  • Jane Elliott, University of Exeter (UK birth cohort studies)
  • Chris Jeppeson, University of Cambridge (UK birth cohort studies)
  • Deb Loxton, University of Newcastle, Australia (Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health)
  • Presenter TBC, University of Oxford (Young Lives)
  • JD Carpentieri, UCL (UK birth cohort studies)

7th September 2022


Professor Ann Oakley, Professor Graham Crow, Professor John Goodwin

This session will open with the screening of a filmed interview with Professor Ann Oakley, on the themes of Gender, Family and Legacy.

Graham Crow will reflect on using Ann Oakley’s published work from the last five decades to write a book about her career. His presentation will consider how different formats (autobiographical writing, biographical writing about her father and other relatives, poetry, novel-writing, published interviews, website resources) work in different ways to convey the character of a life in and beyond academia.

John Goodwin will outline and reflect upon the life and work of Pearl Jephcott focusing particularly on her methodological imagination and creativity. Using examples from her research from diaries, art, observational writings, and drawings as well as the various ephemera Jephcott collected along the way, some consideration will be given to significance this body of work has for contemporary research practices.


‘Getting Personal With Existing Data: Methods of Qualitative Secondary Analysis’, Dr Kahryn Hughes and Professor Anna Tarrant

This three-hour workshop will develop your knowledge and skills in reusing and analysing archived qualitative data. Methods of Qualitative Secondary Analysis (QSA) enable qualitative researchers to engage analytically with questions of data reuse for the purposes of building new research directions, questions and analyses, in the endeavour of rigorous qualitative research. Such questions include how data may be put to new uses and how they are rendered as particular kinds of evidence in relation to specific analytic foci and substantive concerns.

Over the three hours, guided data analysis will be structured by short presentations that focus on introducing methods of qualitative secondary data analysis, covering key methodological debates in the field. Group and paired work will involve using existing qualitative data to explore the possibilities, limitations and challenges of ‘depth-to-breadth’ methods of QSA.

8th September 2022, 


Data Dive Workshop: Reaching Vulnerable Populations through Secondary Analysis, Maureen Haaker and Anca Vlad

This 2-hour workshop gives participants a change to explore qualitative data available through the UK Data Service, with a focus on sources which capture the voices of hard-to-reach populations. The workshop features a range of qualitative, text-based sources, including refugee testimony, children’s voices, and data from those deemed “unable to consent”. Guided, hands-on activities will help participants to explore and analyse each collection and critically discuss the challenges and opportunities of doing qualitative secondary analysis.


Researching Social Security and Welfare Conditionality in Tough Times, Chair Professor Sharon Wright

This session explores the challenges and benefits of researching lived experiences of social security and welfare conditionality over time using Qualitative Longitudinal Research.  Speakers reflect on their experiences of interviewing vulnerable and traumatised people about the welfare system during the austerity era and through the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • QLR Secondary Analysis of Welfare Conditionality Project Data for Gender, Sharon Wright
  • Veterans, conditionality and trauma, Lisa Scullion, David Young and Phil Martin
  • Welfare at a Social Distance – QLR during Covid, Kate Summers

9th September 2022


Showcasing Qualitative Archives and Collections

Everyday Childhoods Using the Mass Observations Archive, Professor Rachel Thomson, Dr Liam Berriman,

The Mass Observation Archive has been an inspiration to many sociologist – through its focus on the everyday, pioneering of citizen researchers and the creation of longitudinal data sets for sharing and reusing over time. University of Sussex sociologists Rachel Thomson and Liam Berriman worked with the MOA to imagine and co-create a collection exploring everyday childhoods. The project was a methodological experiment – testing the capacity of MO to work with digital data and children and their families as depositors, and testing the potentialities of digital methods for capturing the lived temporalities of children’s lives from the changing rhythms of a single day through to changing crazes for toys, technologies and fashions. The collaboration resulted in the Everyday Childhoods Archive and an open access book – Researching Everyday Childhoods.

Introducing The Mass Observations Archive: Fiona Courage, Director of Mass Observation Archive and Kirsty Pattrick, Mass Observation Projects Officer

An introduction to the Mass Observation Archive as a source of qualitative secondary data. For over 40 years its national panel of volunteer writers have generated narratives rich in their documentation of everyday life in Britain: their experiences, thoughts, and opinions. The volunteers candid accounts highlight the nature of trust that has been nurtured over decades and provide a source of longitudinal data for researchers across disciplines. Fiona Courage and Kirsty Pattrick will provide insights to the archive and their current Wellcome funded project Mass Observing COVID-19.

The Dialect and Heritage Project, University of Leeds, Dr Fiona Douglas

Sharing some of the rich and varied types of data that we have in the original archive collection, the new complementary material we are collecting as part of the Dialect and Heritage project, and to explore how this rich, varied, multimedia dataset might be used in new collaborations and partnerships to take the project forward in new directions. In this first phase of the project, much of our focus has been on dialect, but the archive and the new data we are collecting are likely to be of interest to a much wider body of researchers, who would be able to bring their own areas of expertise to bear, and possibly work with us as collaborators on the next phase;  the archive and new data are rich in social history, photography, mapping, spatial and social connections possibilities.

12th September 2022:


Exploring Causal Complexity through Qualitative Longitudinal Research: An international Symposium, Chaired by Professor Bren Neale 

This symposium will explore the complexities of causal processes from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including organisation studies, urban development, health, social welfare, and housing research. Delegates will be invited to engage in debate and discussion about the usefulness of the concept of causality; the complex nature of dynamic understandings; how these complexities may be discerned through research design and practice; and the implications for engaging with and shaping real-world processes in varied policy contexts. The symposium includes two Q&A sessions, and concludes with a panel session.

From Complex Causality to Complex Understanding: Background, Emergence, and Flow in addressing Organizational and Policy Problems, Hari Tsoukas

Drawing on phenomenology, I will articulate doubts concerning the extent to which complex causality helps us address organizational and policy problems. I will suggest, instead, that researchers and practitioners alike should be concerned with complex understanding – the ability to make holistic sense of background, emergence and flow that typically characterize organizational life. I will further suggest how deliberate change may be understood and brought about in organized contexts.

Unfolding Fluid Realities: Thoughts on Capturing Time, Lasse Gerrits and Sofia Pagliarin

The ways in which reality unfolds over time is notoriously hard to capture. One of the keys lies in in-depth, longitudinal inquiry. However, there are ample operational issues with this kind of research, such as how one may move beyond descriptions. We will look back at how we have tried to capture fluid realities and will propose some possible avenues for future research.

Understanding the Process of Self-Management when Living with Advanced Cancer: A Multi-Perspective Longitudinal Qualitative Approach. Lynn Calman

This presentation will explore causal complexity from the perspective of health services research. The focus is on the experiences of people living with advanced cancer and the self-management of their illness, which is a key component of the personalised care approach to cancer care in the UK. Learning from the experiences of people living with advanced cancer, and of those close to them, we are uncovering the complex causal processes that underpin self-management and gaining insight into what matters to people in terms of outcomes. This vital ‘insider’ knowledge is helping us to understand how self-management strategies unfold, whether and in what ways they change over time, and what is effective in different illness contexts and circumstances. Revealing the fluid and interacting elements of these complex processes will support the development of person-centred service interventions for those living with advanced cancer.

Implications of Relational Causality on Research with Vulnerable Populations, Tanja Dall and Sophie Danneris

Drawing on the concept of relational causality, this presentation will suggest that public welfare policies gain their effects in relational processes in which different actors continuously perform, (re)produce and enact given practices across various contexts. Recognition of such complexity has implications for research methodology and (potential) impact on policy development. In our presentation we will briefly introduce the concept of relational causality before discussing how to bring these ideas into research with vulnerable welfare claimants and how such an approach may impact welfare policy.

The Contribution of Qualitative Longitudinal Research to Understanding Homelessness, Emma Davidson

This presentation explores qualitative longitudinal research and the unique insight it can provide into understandings of homelessness. Qualitative longitudinal designs can enable dynamic insight into the complex causal processes associated with becoming homeless; how people are churned through, out and (often) back into homeless services; and their choices, behaviours and responses at different points in the journey. Gaining a complex understanding of how policy works in everyday lives can help evidence the resources, services and policies required to make positive, sustainable outcomes for people experiencing homelessness.

Panel Session: Chair Anna Tarrant

The presenters will be invited to give short reflections on key themes emerging from the symposium. Delegates will be invited to engage in debate and discussion about these themes, including the usefulness of the concept of causality; the complex nature of dynamic understandings; how these complexities may be discerned in research practice; and the implications for engaging with and shaping real-world processes in varied disciplinary and policy contexts

13th September 2022

13th – 15th September

NCRM Training: Working with large amounts of qualitative data:
an introduction to the Breadth-and-Depth Methods
Professor Rosalind Edwards, Dr Emma Davidson, Dr Susie Weller and Professor Lynn Jamieson

Join us for an exciting and flexible online course that will develop your knowledge and skills for working with
qualitative data at scale: ‘big qual’.  Discover cutting-edge analytic methods with applications across archival
research, social media research, secondary analytic practice and other research arenas in which large amounts of
diverse qualitative data, including longitudinal, are brought together and analysed.

Gain guided experience of the unique four-step Breadth and Depth Method to enable you to combine extensive
coverage with intensive illumination, moving between the span of big qual analysis and the detail of qualitative engagement.

The course is suitable for early career as well as more experienced researchers.  The course is accessible for
researchers with quantitative, as well as those with qualitative skills, but you will need to be familiar with the
purpose and process of qualitative research.

By the end of the course participants will:

  • gain hands-on experience of accessing, searching, obtaining and organising large amounts of qualitative data;
  • practice identifying and exploring datasets using contextual metadata;
  • learn how to undertake preliminary exploration across the breadth of big qual using basic text analysis software;
  • acquire an understanding of using analytic software to identify points of interest and select cases to follow up;
  • learn about and undertake in-depth analysis of selected cases to deal with context, complexity and detail; and
  • understand the iterative relationship between extensive and intensive explorations enabled by the
    Breadth-and-Depth Method.

To register:

14th September 2022:


An International Panel: The Longitudinal Dynamics of Intergenerational Poverty

The time frames of young people living in precarious conditions, Professor Julia Brannen

This presentation discusses the time frames of young people living in precarious conditions (low-income families in three countries), their aspirations for the future and the contexts in which those aspirations are socially reproduced. The methodological discussion will encompass a range of approaches adopted within a muti-layered comparative research design.

Pathways to the intergenerational transmission of poverty and low-income: the impact of family change in historical and life-course context, Professor Jane Gray

A substantial literature addresses the phenomenon of ‘diverging destinies’ (McLanahan 2004) whereby family patterns associated with the ‘second demographic transition’ may contribute to increased social inequality across the generations because children in lower income families are more likely to experience family instability. Recent research has highlighted the extent of variation in pathways to instability across the life course, for example in the transition to lone parenthood, but there has been comparatively little research on the consequences of these differences across generations. This presentation will draw on evidence from the Irish Research Council funded Enabling Resilience project to demonstrate the potential of a qualitative lens on the life course to address these questions.

Complicating the dynamics of linked lives:  Family complexity and intergenerational trauma for men in low-income families, Professor Kevin Roy, University of Maryland, College Park

Men in low-income families are uniquely situated within complex family configurations due to multiple co-parenting relationships and residential fluidity in their families of origin and procreation. Such dynamic family networks also increase men’s contact with punitive social institutions in the US.  This presentation explores how qualitative longitudinal methods effectively capture the dynamics of linked lives and increasing family complexity over time – specifically for fathers, partners, and citizens as they heal from intergenerational trauma related to experiences of incarceration, migration, discrimination, and poverty.  We will draw from life history interviews (with life history grid data) from a diverse set of 200 low-income men in the US, including cohorts of incarcerated fathers, transnational migrant fathers, as well as young emerging adult men navigating the margins of school and work.

‘Recovering’ accounts of men’s inter- and multi-generational family participation through  hardship over time, Dr Kahryn Hughes and Professor Anna Tarrant

This presentation reports on a programme of shared work using data from four linked datasets from studies in low income localities in which we focus on men’s intergenerational and longitudinal family participation in low-income contexts. A central concern is to identify experiences of multidimensional disadvantage and hardship over time, described as the longitudinal dynamics of poverty. Analysing participant experiences of low-income family life to explore these dynamics, we consider how enduring poverty shapes opportunities and limits for family participation, specifically for men, and consider how broader formal and informal policy involvements and dependencies may contour families intergenerationally.


Fathers and Qualitative Longitudinal Research, Chair: Professor Anna Tarrant

    • Using longitudinal data to explore how fathers’ involvement affects children’s educational outcomes, Helen Norman
    • When does qualitative longitudinal research end, Tina Miller
    • Esther Dermott, title tbc
    • Georgia Phillip, title tbc

NCRM Methods Training Event: Introducing the Irish Qualitative Data Archive, Professor Jane Gray and Dr Aileen O’Carroll

This half day short course will introduce delegates to the opportunities for qualitative secondary analysis (QSA) offered by the Irish Qualitative Data Archive and the Digital Repository of Ireland.  It will focus on two themes:

  • Opportunities for the creation of cross-national data assemblages for QSA
  • Reflection on some challenges associated with sharing and re-using potentially traumatising data and Facebook data.

The course will spotlight the innovative Archiving Reproductive Health collection.  Funded by the Wellcome Trust, this uniquely broad collection focuses on the 2015 referendum to liberalise access to abortion in Ireland. The collection includes interviews with activists and doctors. Organisational data has been donated by some of the main groups campaigning for increased access to abortion, including a wide collection of pro-choice artists work. Other collections include a database of tweets from the referendum period, a collection of posts from the InHerShoes Facebook page and a collection of images of posters and streets in the time period leading up to the referendum. The addition of interviews conducted in twenty years leading up to the referendum and in the years after the referendum add to the longitudinal perspective of this social movement for change.

15th September 2022


Histories of Reusing and Sharing Qualitative Data: Qualitative Secondary Analysis and International Qualitative Secondary Analysis, Chair Dr Kahryn Hughes

Pseudonyms unpacked – an animated abstract, Dr Janet Heaton

‘Pseudonyms unpacked’ is a light-hearted animation depicting some of the deliberations involved in anonymising qualitative data that are often glossed in published findings. Made in Powerpoint, this short film is based on a recent publication in Qualitative Inquiry by Janet Heaton. Janet has a long-standing interest in the secondary analysis of qualitative data and is author of Reworking Qualitative Data (Sage 2004) and other works on the topic.

Data Reuse Across International Contexts: Possibilities and Challenges, Dr Kahryn Hughes, Professor Vibeke Asmussen Frank, Dr Maria Herold, Dr Esben Houborg

This presentation reports on the first phase of a longer programme of international development in methods of international Qualitative Secondary Analysis (iQSA) using datasets from studies exploring data mis-use that span a period of 20 years of active fieldwork in Denmark and the UK. We discuss the early challenges for translating evidence across international contexts, what strategies might be best placed to support or facilitate this, and the empirical value iQSA might have. Working across international contexts involved new ‘translational’ work to address the challenges of establishing and sharing meaning, and how collective reflexive engagement with empirical cases generated new and novel questions. We move on to introduce the next two planned phases of the programme and some of the innovations needed to support data analysis across international contexts.

All Day:

NCRM Methods Training Event: Introducing Qualitative Longitudinal Research: From Design to Analysis (online)

Professor Bren Neale

This one-day online, interactive course will provide a practical introduction to qualitative longitudinal enquiry. The morning session will explore key design features of this methodology, including how to build time into a study, how to sample through time, how to generate temporal data, the ethics of longitudinal enquiry, and the potential to create real-time impact in policy processes. The afternoon session will focus on the intricate nature of QL analysis. The course will comprise two lectures and two interactive workshops (see below for further details). The course will be delivered by Bren Neale, a specialist in QL research and the author of two books on this methodology.

Friday 16th September: Round Table Event on The Future of Qualitative Archives


This Round Table will host representatives from the Mass Observations Archive, the UK Data Archive, the Timescapes Archive, and the Irish Qualitative Data Archive, as well as interdisciplinary speakers from the Festival. This Round Table links to the crowdsourcing event introduced by Dr Kahryn Hughes on 5th September, inviting comments, questions, suggestions that will be addressed during this Round Table by leading thinkers in the field.


Video Provocations:

Socially Distanced Qualitative Longitudinal Research: Insights from the Educational Pathways and Work Outcomes of Disabled Young People Study, Dr Angharad Butler-Rees

Undertaking qualitative longitudinal research can present a number of opportunities and challenges, when working with vulnerable populations. Recruitment and retention of hard-to-reach populations have always posed a challenge to qualitative longitudinal research, but these have arguably been made harder by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the requirement to socially distance. This video will provide some reflection from our experience of conducting socially distanced longitudinal research as part of the Educational Pathways and Work Outcomes of Disabled Young People study which started in March 2021 during the third national lockdown in England. In this video we discuss how we adapted our research approach, moving both our recruitment strategies and research methods online. We further discuss the effectiveness of this approach along with the potential for use of online qualitative longitudinal research approaches with hard-to-reach populations beyond the current pandemic, drawing reflections from our recently published paper (Butler-Rees and Chatzitheochari, 2022).

 ‘Breaking the fourth wall’ in Qualitative Secondary Analysis: experiences of engaging with the primary research team, Dr Annie Irvine

This provocation relates to my experiences of making contact with the primary research team, when embarking on a qualitative secondary analysis of archived data. My feelings ranged between anxiety, apprehension, awe, guilt, gratitude and excitement. I borrow (perhaps clumsily!) the metaphor of ‘breaking the fourth wall’ to reflect this experience of stepping outside of the comfort of a discrete textual archive to acknowledge and engage with the real-world researchers who invested in the data, some of whom are still actively working with it and others who have since moved on and have other priorities and preoccupations. This engagement has been overwhelmingly positive but has not been without some tensions and dilemmas. I will reflect on conflicts about ‘bothering’ the primary research team, about profiting from their work, about accessing information beyond the archive and about reconciling my own research interests with theirs.

Ethical implications of longitudinal visual research during COVID-19,  Dr. Emma Smith, Dr. Melody Carter, Dr. Paul Hazell, Dr. Elaine Walklet

This PhD research investigated the complex experiences of individuals in recovery from problem substance use using a visual research method known as ‘Photovoice’. Eight clients of a substance misuse recovery organisation were recruited to participate. Participants were given digital cameras and asked to take and share meaningful photographs which were subsequently discussed during interviews. Although they were originally given three months to accomplish this, due to the pandemic participants were engaged in this research project for 18-months. Visual research with this population requires an assessment of many ethical questions. This was further complicated not only by the pandemic, but by the longitudinal nature of this research. As participant’s identity shifted and transformed in recovery, so did their engagement with this research study. This video presentation intends to outline these ethical difficulties and how they were overcome in the context of this research and also advance the understanding of conducting ethical visual research with marginalised populations.

(Re-)discovering the value of longitudinal qualitative methods in healthcare research, Marta Wanat, Anne-Marie Boylan and Aleksandra Borek

Longitudinal qualitative research (LQR) has a long tradition in a variety of social science disciplines yet so-far it has been under-utilised in primary care research. When used, it is often seen as a way of studying patient experiences over time. But LQR can offer primary care researchers much more.  It offers an opportunity to follow participants through important transitions, such as the impact of clinicians’ career progression or patients transitioning through services. It can be used to study the implementation of new practices, processes, or interventions at different stages – alongside clinical trials and in routine clinical care. It allows us to explore the importance of historical change and/or macro context, such as the covid-19 pandemic. Using LQR, we can develop a deeper understanding of a particular phenomena, by developing better rapport with participants. We urge primary care researchers to consider the value of LQR when studying the variety of people and processes.

Further programme details for the Timescapes 10 Festival will continue to appear here.

There is still time to submit a proposal for a video provocation, a Timescapes Archive blog, or to propose the launch of new publications or other materials that link to the key themes of the Festival. Please send details to Dr Kahryn Hughes,


About the Presenters

Julia Brannen is Emerita Professor of the Sociology of the Family, Thomas Coram Research Unit, UCL Institute of Education, London, and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Science. She has an international reputation for research on family lives of children, young people and parents. Her research topics include work-family life, intergenerational relations, and food in families. She is also known for her expertise in mixed methods, biographical approaches and comparative research. Recent single and co-authored books include: Families and Food in Hard times: European research (UCL Press 2021); Social Research Matters: A life in family sociology (Policy Press 2019).

Angharad Butler-Rees is a Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick. Her research interests include disability rights, social justice and inclusion. She is currently working on the 3-year longitudinal study ‘Educational Pathways and Work Outcomes of Disabled Young People in England’ (PI – Stella Chatzitheochari).

Lynn Calman is an Associate Professor in Health Sciences at the University of Southampton; she is a health service researcher and registered adult and mental health nurse. Over the last 17 years Lynn’s research has focused on understanding and responding to the needs of people living with and beyond cancer. She had led and collaborated on major research programmes in cancer survivorship/psychosocial oncology, leading to widely published findings that have underpinned the development of services to improve the outcomes of cancer patients.

Tanja Dall is a post-doctoral researcher with the Department of Sociology & Social Work, Aalborg University. She specialises in research on social work, professionalism and client participation in public employment services (PES). Tanja works with a range of qualitative methodologies, including qualitative longitudinal studies, and is preoccupied with developing ways to conduct and disseminate research in close collaboration with the practice – and policy field of PES.

Sophie Danneris is a project manager in the Danish Fund, TrygFonden, where she is responsible for research donations and partnerships within the areas of work, employment, and vocational training. Prior to this, she was a researcher (PhD and postdoc) at the Department of Sociology and Social Work, Aalborg University, where she did research on employment and labour market issues, with a special focus on qualitative, longitudinal research. In her PhD thesis she did a qualitative longitudinal study of 25 vulnerable welfare recipients and their unemployment trajectories towards labour market participation (Ready to work (yet)? Unemployment trajectories among vulnerable welfare recipients – Sophie Danneris, 2018 (

Emma Davidson is a lecturer in social policy and qualitative research methods at the University of Edinburgh. Prior to this, she worked in the private sector as a social researcher in housing studies, before moving to Heriot Watt University as a Research Fellow. During her career, Emma has developed a special interest in QLR, having used QL designs in research on homelessness, intensive family support, and care-experienced young people. Most recently Emma has been working with Timescapes data to develop innovations in ‘big qual’ analysis (

Rosalind Edwards is Professor of Sociology at the University of Southampton, UK, where she is also a Fellow at the National Centres for Research Methods (NCRM).  She is an elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, and a founding and co-editor of the International Journal of Social Research Methodology.  Rosalind’s main research foci are on families and qualitative methodologies.  She was one of the original Timescapes research teams, involved in generating longitudinal data from children and young people for the Siblings and Friends project with Susie Weller.  Together with Emma Davidson, Lynn Jamieson and Susie Weller, Rosalind developed the breadth-and-depth method for working with large amounts of qualitative data, under an NCRM programme of research.  Currently Rosalind is working on projects looking at parental social licence for operational data linkage and predictive risk modelling, building qualitative longitudinal research capacity as part of an EU twinning project, and investigating the part play by sociologists’ wives in some of the classic British community studies.

Dr Laura Fenton is a sociologist with expertise in youth, gender, the life course, and creative methods. She is a Research Associate on the UKRI-funded Austerity and Altered Life-courses project at the University of Manchester, and on the Wellcome-funded Youth Drinking in Decline project at the University of Sheffield. Prior to these roles, Laura worked on the Girlhood and Later Life project, which explored the implications of youth transitions for the later life experiences and identities of women born in the UK between 1939-52 (see Tinkler, Cruz and Fenton, 2021).

Lasse Gerrits is Professor and Academic Director at the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies; Sofia Pagliarin is postdoc at the Department of Public Administration (both at the Erasmus University Rotterdam). Together, they have spent many years working with longitudinal inquiry.

Karen Henwood is a Professor in Cardiff University’s School of Social Sciences. She has extensive methodological expertise in interpretive research approaches within social science, and a track record in leading qualitative longitudinal research projects and emplaced (‘real world’) research in local community settings. Her research investigates how it is possible for people to meet the challenges posed to themselves and society by the psychosocial and temporal dynamics of socio-environmental risk and socio-cultural change. A main focus since 2010 has been on those connected to wider transitions in energy systems. Her publications report findings from qualitative and multimodal research spanning fields such as the low carbon transition, environmental social sciences and risk research, and psychosocial identity studies (including fatherhood and masculinities as part of Timescapes).

Kahryn Hughes is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the Timescapes Archive at the University of Leeds. She is an NCRM Senior Fellow with a special interest in Qualitative Longitudinal and Qualitative Secondary Analysis research methods. She is currently Editor in Chief of the BSA/SAGE Journal: Sociological Research Online. 

Masud Khokhar is the University Librarian and Keeper of the Brotherton Collection at the University of Leeds. A computer scientist by education, and with libraries in his DNA, Masud is passionate about digital leadership and innovation in the changing library and archive environments. His core interests include strategic development, digital transformation, open research, and inclusive leadership. Masud is also the Vice-Chair of Research Libraries UK (RLUK), a member of SCONUL BAME group, and a firm supporter of diversity embedded in our thinking and practice within libraries and collections.

Annie Irvine is a qualitative researcher with over 20 years’ experience of applied social policy research. Her work focuses around the themes of mental health, employment and welfare systems. Annie seeks primarily to contribute to research that has policy and practice relevance, whilst also exploring conceptual and theoretical aspects of mental health and society. Her methodological interests include conversation analysis, the effects of different interview modes on participant interaction, and growing interests in narrative methods and qualitative secondary analysis.

Bren Neale is Emeritus Professor of Life course and Family Research (University of Leeds, School of Sociology and Social Policy, UK) and a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. She specialises in Qualitative Longitudinal (QL) research methodology and has published widely in this field. From 2007 to 2012 Bren directed the Economic and Social Research Council-funded Timescapes Initiative ( She continues to advance QL methods across the disciplines and provides support and training in this methodology for new and established researchers.

Helen Norman is a Senior Research Fellow at Leeds University Business School. Her research interests focus on fathers and fatherhood, the gendered division of labour and gender inequalities in work, employment and family life. She is currently the Principal Investigator on a project funded by the ESRC’s Secondary Data Analysis Initiative (SDAI), which uses longitudinal survey data to explore whether and how fathers’ childcare involvement affects children’s educational attainment at primary school, in partnership with the Fatherhood Institute and Professors Colette Fagan and Mark Elliot at the University of Manchester ( This builds on her previous project, also funded by the ESRC SDAI scheme (2016-17), which developed her doctoral research exploring what influences fathers’ childcare involvement from nine months to eleven years post-birth, in partnership with Working Families. She is also an Associate Editor for Families Relationships and Societies.

Kevin Roy, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Family Science at the University of Maryland College Park School of Public Health. His research focuses on the life course of young men on the margins of kin networks and the work force, as they transition into adulthood and fatherhood. Through participant observation and life history interviews, he explores men’s health equity and disparities (specifically trauma), masculinities, and policy systems, such as immigration, incarceration, and community-based parenting programs. He  served as a deputy editor for Journal of Marriage and Family and has published over 50 articles and chapters, in journals that include Pediatrics, Journal of Family Theory and Review, Social Problems, American Journal of Community Psychology, and Family Relations.  He is editor for the Sourcebook on Family Theories and Methodologies (2022) and published Nurturing dads:  Social initiatives for contemporary fathering in the ASA Rose Series at Russell Sage Foundation Press (2012).  

Fiona Shirani is a Research Associate in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University. Since 2007, she has worked on qualitative longitudinal projects and specializses in this methodological approach. She has a research interest in family relationships, life course transitions, and the impact these have on people’s planned futures and present lives. She currently leads fieldwork on the social sciences qualitative longitudinal work stream of the Cardiff University strand of the Active Building Centre.

Emma Smith is a research associate at King’s College London with an interest in substance use, recovery, visual research, and participatory action research methods.  She began her academic career by completing her undergraduate degree in Anthropology at the University of Georgia. After this, Emma moved to Scotland where she completed a Public Health MPH at the University of Dundee. Her master’s thesis was a prospective cohort study quantifying the associated risks for drug death in Tayside, Scotland. Emma completed her PhD at the University of Worcester where her research has focused on investigating the experiences of individuals in recovery from substance use using digital photography. She is currently working on a NIHR funded study investigating the experience of care pathways for pregnant women who use drugs.

Haridimos Tsoukas is a Greek organization and leadership theorist and professor of organization studies. He is currently the Columbia Ship Management Professor of Strategic Management at the University of Cyprus, and Distinguished Research Environment Professor of Organization Studies at the Warwick Business School UK.