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Secondary analysis of survey data

Allum, N and Arber, S (2008) Secondary analysis of survey data In: Researching Social Life. Sage, London, pp. 372-393. ISBN 141294662X

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This chapter discusses the practical issues and considerations that students need to take into account when selecting and analysing data from existing survey datasets. A discussion of what is meant by ‘secondary’ analysis, and why one might want to undertake such analysis, is followed by a summary of the major types of survey dataset that are available. Differences between panel, cross-sectional and continuous surveys are highlighted and examples of these are discussed. There then follows a discussion of some of the advantages and also pitfalls of using secondary data sources for sociological analysis, followed by a guide to locating and obtaining datasets. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of methods that can be used for the analysis of survey data and some ideas for student projects. Government and other large surveys, as well as the increasing number of panel/longitudinal studies, provide very rich sources of data for secondary analysis. Many of these are under-analysed, from both a statistical and a theoretical viewpoint. This chapter argues that secondary analysis requires sociological imagination and that the secondary analysis of large, primarily government, surveys has untapped potential as a source of sociological insights.

Item Type: Book Section
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Authors :
Allum, N
Arber, S
Editors :
Gilbert, GN
Date : 2008
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 15:52
Last Modified : 28 Mar 2017 15:52

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