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    Hello all,

    I’m new on Methodspace. I’m in the middle of writing my methodology chapter for a PhD thesis and I’m struggling with the different philosophical perspectives and also I’m not sure whether I’m choosing the righht methodology for my study. I aim to explore identity issues among a group of young immigrants in the UK.

    Hope you can help with some advice.

    Thank you so much.


    Hi María: 

    Respect of the methodology, it depends on the question and problem you are working with. On the other hand, there will be a bound between epistomology and methodology, if your intention is to explicit both. 




    Thank Joaquin for trying to help..

    My focus is exploring cultural/ethnic identities among a group of young immigrant people in the UK – this community has a challenging history as they are a forced displaced population 40 years ago – my study is about the young generation of this community, young people who are now aged 16+. The study wants to see how their schooling experiences + their family life influence their identity construction.

    Thanks again


    When you speak about identity, this speaks for some form of interpretivist/constructivist approach with corresponding methods (like discourse analysis). I think it should not be difficult to get some references when searching for identity in a publication database.

    In general, you might consult this article: Abdelal, R., Herrera, Y.M., Johnston, A.I. and McDermott, R. (2006) ‘Identity as a variable’. Perspectives on Politics, 4: 695-711.
    I think these authors (at least Abdelal) also have a book out on identity.


    Thank you Ingo for your message.

    I’m glad you mention interpretivist approach cause in the meantime I’ve progressed in the draft of my methodology chapter and I’ve opted indeed for interpretivism as philosophical perspective – methodological design will be a combination of narrative and phenomenological approaches; methods: narrative interviews complemented with photos and diaries. 

    I will definitely look at the references you’ve advised.

    Thank you very much.

    Dr Mike Lambert

    Maria, my favourite book on interviewing ‘in depth’ is Rubin & Rubin: Qualitative Interviewing: The Art of Hearing Data.  And I see it has just come out in a new edition:

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