This paper draws from life history interviews to investigate poverty dynamics in Bangladesh and considers life histories as a supplement to more quantitative approaches in poverty research. Qualitative life history methods allow the examination of the temporal and spatial context of people's lives in a way that uncovers a number of social phenomena concealed to other methods. These are discussed using life histories to demonstrate the types of social phenomena that can be uncovered. A number of categories of life trajectory are also identified and the use of a categorical approach as a way of using longitudinal qualitative findings to inform social policy is discussed. The lessons learned have relevance for using life histories to examine poverty dynamics more generally and also draw attention to the potential for using life history approaches in medium-n studies which may help to cross the qual/quant divide in poverty research.
Davis, P. (2006) Poverty in time: Exploring poverty dynamics from life history interviews in Bangladesh. Working Paper 69. Manchester: IDPM/Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC), UK, ISBN: 1-904049-68-0, iii + 35 pp.