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Into the archive: A realist perspective of the archive as a site for research

Crossdale, Rachel Louise (2019) Into the archive: A realist perspective of the archive as a site for research. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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The evolution of social enquiry is a product of constant negotiation between theory and context. Whilst changes in theoretical thought are well-documented in literature, it is the archive that guards changes in practice. The archive is used as a site for research in wide ranging disciplines. What is kept, what is discarded and what is publicised, along with changes to the content of these categories over time, are clues to how the archive has been constructed. This thesis uses a realist perspective to explore the processes involved in the creation of an archive collection, and in the use of archive material for social research. It draws on socio-political milestones, as well as shifts in underpinning ontology, to argue that archive collections are a result of underlying mechanisms influencing archival processes and shaping the archive’s offering. Using research into unpaid care within the Carers UK archive collection, the content of the archive itself is used to explore these mechanisms. Understanding the mechanisms that underpin the archive, and using this to inform research and research methodology, means that both the potential and limitations of the archive as a site for research will be better understood and thus better utilised in the field of social enquiry.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: archive,realist,carer
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Sociology and Social Policy (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.789478
Depositing User: Rachel Louise Crossdale
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2019 10:10
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2020 12:51
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/25168

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