In writing the life stories of this book, the positions we have adopted – in this case, in relation to methodology – are somewhat contrived (in the best pedagogical sense). We are aware that the methodological landscape that we paint below, as well as our appearance on this scene, is somewhat too clear and transparent to be true. We know that researchers adopt a whole host of overlapping and mutually inclusive methodological positions when they enact life story research. However, for the sake of clarity, we have each deliberately assumed a distinct – perhaps exclusive – methodological position in the writing of our stories in order to demystify method/ology in researching life stories:

• Chapter 1 – Gerry O’Toole: A design for life – reflects a non-participatory ethnographic approach undertaken by Dan Goodley;

• Chapter 2 – ‘I’d never met a vegetarian, never mind a lesbian’: Colleen’s story – is the product of an emancipatory interview approach adopted by Rebecca Lawthom;

• Chapter 3 – The death story of David Hope – reflects a participatory ethnographic approach utilised by Michele Moore;

• Chapter 4 – Frank – is Peter Clough’s piece of non-participatory fiction.