`The book has no competitor; it summarises the development of the method, follows through all stages of research from accessing subjects through design to analysing diary information as data, and considers how the method can best be exploited and used. No other book comes remotely near doing this. I for one shall be using it gratefully as the single best text for diary research' - Professor Anthony P Macmillan Coxon, Honorary Professorial Fellow, University of Edinburgh
In this accessible and lucid introductory text, Andy Alaszewski considers the analysis of diaries as a distinctive research technique in its own right. Nothing has previously covered this area in single-volume format, but the timely emergence of Using Diaries for Social Research recognizes the increased interest in and relevance of diary methodology within social research teaching.
Effectively combining theory, history and methodology, Alaszewski begins by discussing how diary keeping has developed; outlining the key features of the medium and examining the ways in which diaries have been and can be used for social research. He describes how suitable diaries and diarists can be identified by the researcher and, once found, how these diaries can be structured to generate research material. Finally, the researcher is taken through the analysis stage; examining statistical techniques, content-analysis and structure-analysis as effective methods of investigating diary texts.
This introductory student guide is an essential text for anyone involved in the area of social or historical research and for those working in the narrative tradition.
This new textbook opens up the policy-making process for students, uncovering how government decisions around health are really made. Starting from more traditional insights into how ministers and civil servants develop policy with limited knowledge and money, the book goes on to challenge the conception of policy as a rational process, revealing it to be something quite different.
Knee-jerk reactions to disasters, keeping voters satisfied, the powerful leverage of interest groups, and the skewing of debate through ideology and the media are each considered in turn. These processes render policy far from rational or at least require a much broader approach for considering policy `logic', one that is open to different rationalities of values, norms and pragmatism. The book draws on historical and contemporary examples to highlight that though challenges to policy-makers may seem in some ways novel, in many senses key processes endure and indeed are rooted in historical contexts. Although the examples are drawn from UK health and social care, the book's theory-driven approach is applicable across national contexts Ð especially for countries where uncertainty, risk and resource pressures create significant dilemmas for policy-makers.
The book's multi-perspective, thematic approach will be especially relevant to students, as will the broad range of case study examples used. Making Health Policy will be essential reading for students of health policy, social policy, social work, and the sociology of medicine, health and illness.