Revisiting qualitative studies of young people and social values: archives for educational and youth studies scholarship

Youth Research Centre Seminar Series 2017

In this presentation Professor Julie McLeod will consider how notions of the archive – as practice, as source, as knowledge – are being taken up in the social sciences. Renaming and reframing qualitative sources as ‘archives’, responding to the data revolution and the opportunities afforded by digital archiving, and calls for greater utilization, open access and re-use of data sets, signal some of the more immediate changes underway, alongside calls for greater dialogue between historical and sociological endeavours (Savage 2010). This is especially evident in a ‘revisiting impulse’, such as returning to and re-analysing earlier sociological and qualitative studies as historical or comparative sources and archives (McLeod and Thomson 2009).

The discussion develops in reference to a genealogy of youth identity and youth studies in Australia since the 1950s that combines conventional documentary and archival research with re-analysis of earlier qualitative studies, working towards a history of shifting expert knowledge on adolescence.

This presentation draws from preliminary review and re-analysis of large-scale mixed-methods studies of and reports on adolescence in Australia during the 1950s. In revisiting such studies Julie is trying to understand aspects of the history of youth studies scholarship and also looking at the form, design, data and ambitions of earlier research projects on young people as shedding light on the transnational history of social science research methods and the movement of educational theories across time and space.

Professor Julie McLeod

Professor Julie McLeod

Julie McLeod is Professor in Curriculum, Equity and Social Change at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Capability) at The University of Melbourne.

Julie researches in the history and sociology of education, with a focus on youth, gender and social change. She was an editor of the journal Gender and Education (2011-2016). She held an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (2012-2016) and is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia.