Qualitative inquiry and human development: historical aspects and contemporary trends

This paper reviews the historical construction of developmental psychology up to the moment when a qualitative epistemology re-emerged and discusses the historical links between epistemological principles and methodological guidelines. The role of narrative interviews, taking a qualitative approach in human development, is discussed and an excerpt from a research interview is presented to exemplify the analytical possibilities of the method designated as interpretation of small stories. The qualitative epistemology re-introduced culture in psychological research, emphasizing the role of semiotic mediation in knowledge construction processes and acknowledging discursive practices as important tools to interpreting subjective phenomena.

developmental psychology; qualitative research; narrative interviews; small stories analysis

Universidade Federal Fluminense, Departamento de Psicologia Campus do Gragoatá, bl O, sala 334, 24210-201 - Niterói - RJ - Brasil, Tel.: +55 21 2629-2845 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil
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