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The Researchers' Perspective: Working with two temporalities: life history and diary data Joanna Bornat The Researchers' Perspective: Working with two temporalities: life history and diary data Joanna Bornat and Bill Bytheway The Open University

Aims of this paper How we recruited participants, informed them of what was involved Aims of this paper How we recruited participants, informed them of what was involved and gained their consent to data being archived How we have anonymised these linked data sets How we have undertaken some primary analyses How we are regulating access by secondary analysts

Fieldwork for The Oldest Generation (TOG) project An eighteen month period, autumn 2007 to Fieldwork for The Oldest Generation (TOG) project An eighteen month period, autumn 2007 to summer 2009 Twelve diverse families, each including at least one person aged 75 or more, recruited through the UK-wide Open University network One member of the family aged 75 or more, nominated as the Senior One member nominated as the Recorder

Methods Life history interviews with the 12 seniors, autumn 2007 Diaries kept by the Methods Life history interviews with the 12 seniors, autumn 2007 Diaries kept by the 12 recorders over an 18 -month period Photographs taken by the recorders and others Monthly contact with the recorders Follow-up interviews with the seniors, spring 2009

Recruitment Circular to the UK-wide OU network inviting volunteers Selection in order to maximise Recruitment Circular to the UK-wide OU network inviting volunteers Selection in order to maximise diversity Induction Maintaining participation

Informed consent The original invitation The induction and introductions Monthly contact re. diaries Regular Informed consent The original invitation The induction and introductions Monthly contact re. diaries Regular newsletters

Life history interviews First interview: Childhood experiences and subsequent life events Current domestic circumstances Life history interviews First interview: Childhood experiences and subsequent life events Current domestic circumstances and family-related activities Follow-up interview: Changes and events since first interview The economic downturn The future

Diaries 7 daughters 2 sons 1 niece I husband I self (the senior kept Diaries 7 daughters 2 sons 1 niece I husband I self (the senior kept his own diary) Events (celebrations, visits) Life transitions (moving house, going into hospital) Activities etc. of the senior

Photographs Taken to record: ‘life in and around where your Senior lives, family events Photographs Taken to record: ‘life in and around where your Senior lives, family events and commemorations, and anything else that you think reflects the kinds of networks you all maintain as a family’.

Comparing data sources Life histories Diaries Photographs Retrospective Continuing contemporary Instant Oral Written Visual Comparing data sources Life histories Diaries Photographs Retrospective Continuing contemporary Instant Oral Written Visual Biographical (but based on answers to questions) Autobiographical Static The individual perspective A collective perspective An image Past (historical time) and prospective Continuous present Present (eventual historical time)

Five primary analyses 1 Orientations towards the future (21 st Century Society) 2 Attitudes Five primary analyses 1 Orientations towards the future (21 st Century Society) 2 Attitudes to risk (Brit J Soc Work) 3 Memories of significant events 4 Embodiment in later life 5 Life transitions

One example of how we have used evidence from the three datasets Recollections of One example of how we have used evidence from the three datasets Recollections of a childhood experience: An extract from an interview with the senior, 4. 9. 07 The entry in the diary for 27. 11. 07 A photograph taken on 27. 11. 07

An extract from the interview with Alice Watson, 4. 9. 07 […] I wouldn’t, An extract from the interview with Alice Watson, 4. 9. 07 […] I wouldn’t, I couldn’t. I don’t know why. I knew she was dying. Why couldn’t I go and see her? And I went a few weeks ago with my friend and we sat at the house opposite, and I said “That’s where my Grandma was” I said, “and my Grandma died you know upstairs there” I said. “Do you know Mary, ” I said, “I sat, ” I said, “and I would not go and see her. ” I said “Do you know, if that were me today, ” I said “and I was in bed and I knew my granddaughter was downstairs and wasn’t coming up, ” I said “Do you know? ” I said “I know how I feel”. But I could not.

The same event as recorded in the diary kept by Alice’s son, Brian, 27. The same event as recorded in the diary kept by Alice’s son, Brian, 27. 11. 07 As the weather is mild and pleasant Mother took a bus to Updale (see photographs). Mother reported Updale as quiet 'not many visitors around'. Just the locals going about their business. Mother took a photograph of her grandmother's cottage. Mother remembers having to take flowers when Grandmother was poorly, but refused to go upstairs and sat downstairs until it was time to go home. She was ill at the time and now feels a little ashamed of herself.

The photograph that illustrates the story: Alice Watson visiting her grandmother’s cottage, 27. 11. The photograph that illustrates the story: Alice Watson visiting her grandmother’s cottage, 27. 11. 07

Access to TOG data Primary research team Approved researchers Researchers registered with Timescapes Access Access to TOG data Primary research team Approved researchers Researchers registered with Timescapes Access to the general public