interview 7
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Research Time
Youth Values
Sample Maintenance
Youth Transitions



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Instructions for completing memory book



One of the methodological innovations of the study, these memorybooks built on the theory and practice of 'memory work' ( Crawford, J. and Kippax, S., Onyx, J., Gault, U. and Benton, P. (1992) Emotion and gender, London: Sage); the use of photographic albums in oral history/cultural studies ( Spence, J. and Holland, P. (eds) (1991) Family snaps: The meaning of domestic photography, London:Virago); the use of photographs in autobiographical work with young people ( Cohen, P. (1989) Really useful knowledge: photography and cultural studies in the transition from school, London: Trentham Books; Towers, T. (1986) In Pateman, T. (ed) Autobiography and education, University of Sussex Education Area Occasional Paper); and methods employed in child therapy ( Jones, A. M. (1985) The foster child, identity and the life story book, Bangor: University College of North Wales; Harper, J. (1996) 'Recapturing the past: Alternative methods of life story work', Adoption and Fostering, 20 (3): 21-28; Barnardo’s (1992) The memory store, London: Barnado's).


We invited young people to include material they saw as relevant to their current and future identities and records of their experiences in whatever form they saw as appropriate. They were given the memorybook, together with a user guide and a set of stickers providing possible topics, at interview 2.


We hoped that the books would represent examples of the 'reflexive project of self'. When completed (N=49) the books were used as a basis for second round interviews. Their main characteristics were mapped in terms of style, content, and audience. They were also used as data within our wider project of understanding how young people 'invent' their emergent adult identities. The different functions of this method reflected Plummer's distinction between the roles that diaries, biographical objects and visual data may play as 'documents of life', and that of acting as resources for further explanation and as critical tools for understanding identity [ Plummer, K. (2001) Documents of life 2: A critical invitation to humanism, London: Sage].



Inventing Adulthoods







Individual Interview 3

Individual Interview 4



Case Profile Analysis

Individual Int. 2

Lifeline & Analysis

Narrative Analysis


Focus G. & Analysis

NUD*IST Analysis

Memorybook Analysis




Cross-Cut Analysis