Real Life Methods (RLM)

Principal Investigator: Professor Jennifer Mason

Real Life Methods explored new research methods that aim to grasp the multidimensionality of “real lives”. Real Life Methods aimed their research to be able to reflect, describe and explain people’s everyday lives. They used innovative approaches and combinations of methods to give us new perspectives on significant research questions in the areas of family, youth and community.

Real Life Methods research programme was made up of four projects. Each project used a combination of methodological approaches to investigate its research questions. The methods chosen varied widely. They could be well-established (semi-structured interviews), recently-emerging (self-portraits, video diaries, visual ethnographies, walking interviews) or new (a qualitative “experiment”). They could be qualitative or quantitative, though their particular focus was on qualitatively-driven research. Real Life Methods used an “interdisciplinary” mix of methods, as their team was interdisciplinary and they explored how using methods associated with different social science disciplines can shape and enhance our research.

Real Life Methods was based at the University of Manchester and University of Leeds.