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Dictionary

DOCUMENT ANALYSIS

Chris Wharton

The detailed examination of documents produced across a wide range of social practices, taking a variety of forms from the written word to the visual image. The significance of the documents may be located in the historical circumstances of production, in their circulation and reception of the item and also the social functions, interpretations, effects and uses that may be associated with them. A wide range of documents is available to the social researcher. Personal items such as diaries, letters, aide-mémoires , shopping lists and photographs produced as part of everyday existence may form a private documentary record, evidence of the way lives are lived and how the social world is engaged with by individuals and social groups at different times and in different places. Life is usually recorded by a birth certificate, accompanied by a passport or identity card and may be concluded by a death certificate. Although involving ...

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