Our Team

Who is who in the NOVELLA team. more



NOVELLA, Narratives of Varied Everyday Lives and Linked Approaches, was a research study concerned with the everyday habitual practices of families. It was funded by ESRC and is a Phase III National Centre for Research Methods node.

The everyday habitual practices of families are frequently taken for granted,
but people's habits and their relation to society are often negotiated within families. Novella's research considers what people do and what they say they do, as this can tell us about their identities, values and possible future actions. By analysing narratives and practices in relation to Parenting Identities and Practices, Families and Food: Methodological Innovations, Advancing Paradata, and Family Lives and the Environment, NOVELLA interrogated the link between what people do and what they say they do; analysing the ways in which family members understand their practices; documenting and making accessible the process of conducting secondary narrative analysis and matching data across a range of datasets.


The six interrelated studies apply narrative methods in different ways and link these with other methods, using existing qualitative datasets. Together, they delivered innovation, in deriving new methodological insights into how to address the disconnect between behaviour and constructed meaning in understanding habitual practice. The study also provided knowledge about families' habitual everyday practices and their understandings of and feelings about these.

The research is predominantly based on secondary analysis of datasets as well as the collection of new data in the study of  Family Lives and the Environment, where available datasets do not address this issue. Another study will involve the collection of new data, focusing on parenting identities and practices analysed from asynchronous electronic interviews and online ethnography drawing on parenting discussion groups.

NOVELLA also ran a training programme designed to improve methodological skills in narrative analysis and linked approaches.