Sorry! De informatie die je zoekt, is enkel beschikbaar in het Engels.
This programme is saved into My study choice.
This programme cannot be saved.
You are not logged in yet to My study choice Portal. Login or create an account to save your programmes.
Something went wrong, try again later.

FSS - Doing Biographical Research

FSS - Doing Biographical Research

Biographical research uses individual life histories as material for answering social science questions. This course will teach and train participants in doing biographical research, from conducting a biographical interview, analyzing it, and making sense of it using sociological theories.

Prof. Kathy Davis (k.e.davis@vu.nl)

Prof. Kathy Davis (k.e.davis@vu.nl)

View the profile of Kathy Davis
Portrait of prof. Cathy Davis

Course Description

Course objectives 

This course will teach and train participants in doing biographical research. 

Course content

Biographical research uses individual life histories as material for answering social science questions. There are many different sources of biographies (life stories, accounts of personal experiences, oral histories, (auto)biographies, diaries) as well as different perspectives (realist, constructivist, psychoanalytic) and methods for analyzing them. Drawing upon texts on biographical analysis, we will discuss what is at stake in doing biographical research, when and where it makes sense to do it, and how to do it. We will take a closer look at some (good) examples of sociologists who have used biographical analysis as research method. Through in-class assignments participants we will work with the (examples) of data from biographical interviews conducted by the participants themselves in order to put the theory into practice. The course will conclude with a session in which the participants present to each other how they have incorporated the knowledge obtained in the course in their research.

Study Characteristics

  • Discipline: Qualitative Methods
  • Type of education: In class
  • Language: English
  • ECTS: 3-4
  • Academic skill: Research
  • Graduate School: Graduate School of Social Sciences
  • Start date: 02.03.2022
  • End date: 20.04.2022
  • Minimum number of students: 5
  • Maximum number of students: 15
  • Admission criteria: The course is appropriate for all PhD candidates working with qualitative data that has a biographical component. This includes life stories, accounts of personal experiences, oral histories, (auto)biographies, and diaries. The course is therefore also of relevance for PhD candidates that work with interview data.
  • Concluding assessment: Yes
  • Assessment type: Participants will write a short essay based on the work they have done in class and do an oral presentation in the final session. 
  • With Certificate: Yes
  • Roster/schedule info:

Session 1: Wednesday, 30th of March, 13:00-16:00

Session 2: Wednesday, 6th of April, 13:00-16:00

Session 3: Wednesday, 13th of April, 13:00-16:00

Session 4: Wednesday, 20th of April, 13:00-16:00

Session 5: Thursday, 28th of April, 13:00-16:00

Session 6: Wednesday, 11th of May, 13:00-16:00

Session 7: Wednesday, 18th of May, 13:00-16:00

Session 8: Tuesday, 24th of May, 10:00-16:00

  • Registration deadline: 19.01.2022
  • Available to: PhD students VU and AISSR. Fee for non VU-GSSS/AISSR PhD candidates: € 600,- (You will be placed on a waiting list until the registration deadline)
  • Course Description & Study Characteristics

    Course Description

    Course objectives 

    This course will teach and train participants in doing biographical research. 

    Course content

    Biographical research uses individual life histories as material for answering social science questions. There are many different sources of biographies (life stories, accounts of personal experiences, oral histories, (auto)biographies, diaries) as well as different perspectives (realist, constructivist, psychoanalytic) and methods for analyzing them. Drawing upon texts on biographical analysis, we will discuss what is at stake in doing biographical research, when and where it makes sense to do it, and how to do it. We will take a closer look at some (good) examples of sociologists who have used biographical analysis as research method. Through in-class assignments participants we will work with the (examples) of data from biographical interviews conducted by the participants themselves in order to put the theory into practice. The course will conclude with a session in which the participants present to each other how they have incorporated the knowledge obtained in the course in their research.

    Study Characteristics

    • Discipline: Qualitative Methods
    • Type of education: In class
    • Language: English
    • ECTS: 3-4
    • Academic skill: Research
    • Graduate School: Graduate School of Social Sciences
    • Start date: 02.03.2022
    • End date: 20.04.2022
    • Minimum number of students: 5
    • Maximum number of students: 15
    • Admission criteria: The course is appropriate for all PhD candidates working with qualitative data that has a biographical component. This includes life stories, accounts of personal experiences, oral histories, (auto)biographies, and diaries. The course is therefore also of relevance for PhD candidates that work with interview data.
    • Concluding assessment: Yes
    • Assessment type: Participants will write a short essay based on the work they have done in class and do an oral presentation in the final session. 
    • With Certificate: Yes
    • Roster/schedule info:

    Session 1: Wednesday, 30th of March, 13:00-16:00

    Session 2: Wednesday, 6th of April, 13:00-16:00

    Session 3: Wednesday, 13th of April, 13:00-16:00

    Session 4: Wednesday, 20th of April, 13:00-16:00

    Session 5: Thursday, 28th of April, 13:00-16:00

    Session 6: Wednesday, 11th of May, 13:00-16:00

    Session 7: Wednesday, 18th of May, 13:00-16:00

    Session 8: Tuesday, 24th of May, 10:00-16:00

    • Registration deadline: 19.01.2022
    • Available to: PhD students VU and AISSR. Fee for non VU-GSSS/AISSR PhD candidates: € 600,- (You will be placed on a waiting list until the registration deadline)

Graduate School of Social Sciences