Working the when, where, and who of social context: The case of a traumatic injury narrative
Qualitative Research in Psychology
Taylor & Francis
Within qualitative research it is widely recognised that context matters. Despite this, in recent years a number of authors have observed a lack of contextual awareness in qualitative analysis. The purpose of this article is to analyse categorically and holistically the process of meaning making in relation to context using data generated during a series of interviews with an individual who encountered a chronic back injury. Drawing upon the work of Holstein and Gubrium (200412. Holstein , JA and Gubrium , JF . 2004 . “ Context: working it up, down and across ” . In Qualitative research practice , Edited by: Seale , C , Gobo , G , Gubrium , J and Silverman , D . 297 – 331 . London : Sage . View all references), we focus on questions of when and where to illustrate the locally unarticulated contextual alternatives that can come into play at specific times and places. In addition, we raise questions pertaining to who as a means of further understanding the significance of others in relation to the participant's experiences. In doing so, we illuminate the ways in which different contexts can shape the meaning of injury. After discussing the inherent problems associated with studying the notion of context, we close by suggesting that examining the ways that context might operate throughout the process of meaning making can be a useful analytical tool for qualitative researchers working within the domain of psychology.
This is a preprint of an article whose final and definitive form has been published in the Qualitative Research in Psychology © 2010 Taylor & Francis; Qualitative Research in Psychology is available online at: www.tandfonline.com ; DOI: 10.1080/14780880802571176
Qualitative Research in Psychology, 2010, 7(2), 140-155