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Morgan Centre for Research into Everyday Lives


Realities is slightly different to our other projects.

It is a focus for our innovative methodological work, and was funded between 2008 and 2011 by ESRC as part of their National Centre for Research Methods. (Between 2005 and 2008 had similar funding as part of NCRM in collaboration with the University of Leeds, under the name Real Life Methods.)

Realities was part of the ESRC's National Centre for Research Methods, which aims to improve research methods skills and techniques used by social scientists.

Realities aimed to develop methods and approaches that capture the combination of vital, tangible and intangible dynamics in the way that personal relationships and relationalities are lived. Methodological creativity is central to our work, but we also value and draw on long-established methodological traditions. We describe our approach as "qualitatively-driven" - it starts from what we see as some of the best principles of qualitative research, but moves beyond these to engage both qualitatively and quantitatively with the complex realities of everyday lives.

We have two research projects where we put our ideas into practice by developing and extending methodologies for understanding the dynamics of relationships and personal lives. Our projects are:

  1. Inter/generational dynamics - combining qualitative and quantitative approaches to study intergenerational relationships from the point of view of older people
  2. Critical associations - using new and traditional methodological approaches to explore the positive and negative aspects of personal relationships between friends, foes, colleagues and acquaintances.

Our training and capacity building activities include our Methods in Dialogue workshops and one day Training Workshops. See our events page for forthcoming events.

We also produce web-based resources, such as our working papers and toolkits.

Finally, in our 'interdisciplinary dialogue' events, we invite researchers working at the cutting edge of methodological developments into advanced level 'boundary-pushing' dialogue and debate.


1 October 2008 to April 2011

Research team

Jennifer Mason (Director), Nicola Allett, Katherine Davies, Brian Heaphy, Vanessa May, Stewart Muir, James Nazroo, Carol Smart.


This project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (Ref: RES-576-25-0022).