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This text provides a clear guide to realist qualitative methods and also offers plenty of practical examples to illustrate its central argument that qualitative research would benefit greatly from a realist approach. It will prove helpful to researchers as well as those interested in teaching qualitative methods.
The starting point of all social research, at least according to the methods ‘cookbooks’, is to consider who and where to study – a decision usually known as sampling or case selection according to the researcher’s preferred paradigm. The job is done according the first approach if one can show that the sample chosen is typical of the population to which one’s findings will apply. The second approach trades on atypicality. The researcher’s job is to understand and remain faithful to the unique, neglected characteristics of the situation under study.
In a nutshell, the book remains a valuable piece that completes the body of literature of qualitative research mainly that deals with the issue of sampling. It is original since few works dealt with the movement from sampling to casing in realist qualitative research. Its unique content, simplified through rich illustrations and simple language, makes the reader able to understand qualitative research and sampling strategies within it in social sciences.
This book presents an overview of sampling and casing strategies for qualitative social science inquiry alongside systematic consideration of the foundational ontological and epistemological issues driving decision-making when conducting research. The book is most suited to practitioners and postgraduate students seeking to develop their understanding or manipulation of the principles and procedures that underlie rigorous qualitative case-based inquiry aimed at generating theoretical insights.
This is one of the most lucid and accessible reviews of qualitative approaches to sampling – or as the author prefers, choosing cases, that I could recommend to students and colleagues. It is also a carefully constructed argument for a scientific realist approach.
This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.