This paper outlines the theoretical reasoning and technical implementation of a particular approach to creating multi-layered chronological charts in qualitative biographical studies. The discussed method elucidates the interpretation of traditional life chronologies where the individual's "objective" life facts are reconstructed free from analysis. The novelty of multi-layered chronological charts lies in their ability to enrich the visualization of a temporal connection between personal and social contextual factors based on categories determined by the researcher. In doing so, such charts make existing interview data more accessible and processable. In-depth, thematic data analysis can be supported through the visualization of prominent life aspects or the presentation of integrative perspectives of individuals' lives. Case examples are presented to demonstrate how methodological and theoretical objectives are fulfilled through the customized use of genealogy software. Based on the underlying research problem, multi-layered biographical charts can be customized for different research purposes and connected to an array of complex linkage systems.
Biography, Biographical Chart, Chronology, Genealogy Software, Life History, and Visualization
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Recommended APA Citation
Hiller, P. T. (2011). Visualizing the Intersection of the Personal and the Social Context - The Use of Multi-layered Chronological Charts in Biographical Studies. The Qualitative Report, 16(4), 1018-1033. Retrieved from http://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol16/iss4/7