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Oh what a tangled weave we weave: experiences of doing multiple perspectives research in families

Harden, Jeni; Backett-Milburn, Kathryn; Hill, Malcolm; MacLean, Alice


Jeni Harden

Kathryn Backett-Milburn

Malcolm Hill

Alice MacLean


It is not uncommon to explore the views of parents and children in qualitative research with families. Yet the implications and challenges of a multiple perspective approach often remain at a relatively taken‐for‐granted level. In this article we draw on our experience across a range of qualitative interview‐based projects, focusing in particular on two case studies, to illustrate the practical working out of the challenges posed by multiple perspective research in families. The implications of research with parents and children are discussed in relation to two themes – power and truth. This discussion reflects on the challenges and benefits of multiple perspective research at different points in the research process. It is not the intention of this article to try to provide definitive ‘answers’ to some of the challenges posed. Rather we aim to open up discussion by reflecting on a range of scenarios, offering suggestions based on our experience, and so, allow the reader to reflect on the particularities of their own research.


Harden, J., Backett-Milburn, K., Hill, M., & MacLean, A. (2010). Oh what a tangled weave we weave: experiences of doing multiple perspectives research in families. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 13, 441-452.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 25, 2010
Publication Date 2010-12
Deposit Date Jan 6, 2012
Print ISSN 1364-5579
Electronic ISSN 1464-5300
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 13
Pages 441-452
Keywords Families; research methods; multiple perspective; power; truth;
Public URL
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