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The Nature of Evidence: The Use of Life Story Narratives in International Demography

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Download PDF versionFranklin, Nadra. "The Nature of Evidence: The Use of Life Story Narratives in International Demography." PSC Research Report No. 98-428. October 1998.

Using narratives to collect qualitative data provides a context to our demographic inquiry, and can function in much the same way as census data do in providing a baseline picture of a population. In this paper, I illustrate the use of life story narratives in demographic inquiry, and in so doing suggest increased use of this research method by demographers as a technically viable method of data collection and one which sheds light on epistemology, the nature of knowledge. Based on current research among the Kassena-Nankana in northern Ghana, I will discuss the evidence these narratives provide. This work is two-fold in nature, one is a discussion of the life story narrative as a qualitative and cultural census, and the second is to address the nature of narrative evidence.

Dataset(s): Narratives of the Kassena-Nankana: A Cultural Census, Ghana, 1988.

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