The tip of the iceberg: working on the Victoria Climbié Data Corpus Project

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In this article I provide an overview of the methodological approaches of the Victoria Climbié Data Corpus Project, which aims to provide researchers, educators and policy makers with an invaluable source of data, based upon the coding of witness statements given to the Victoria Climbié Inquiry. I assess my own research role within this, making a case for the need to incorporate more grounded theory techniques, research reflexivity and subjective interpretation, alongside the 'objective' coding frame being used, derived from a Delphi exercise. I include witness testimonies to highlight the kind of issues that lay beyond the codes and which cannot be effectively grasped by them. In using the specific example of the Climbié case, I argue that research surrounding emotive issues must be qualitatively sensitive to the social and discursive nuances present in the data, as opposed to solely relying upon objective a priori codes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-135
Number of pages21
JournalQualitative Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2008


  • critical reflexivity
  • Delphi
  • grounded theory
  • Victoria Climbié


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