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Qualitative Communication Research Methods
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Qualitative Communication Research Methods

Fourth Edition


November 2017 | 520 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
“This is the best qualitative methods book I’ve seen, especially among books aimed at undergraduate audiences.”
—Michael Irvin Arrington, Indiana State University

Qualitative Communication Research Methods, Fourth Edition introduces readers to qualitative research in speech and mass communication. Award-winning scholars and authors Thomas R. Lindlof and Bryan C. Taylor guide readers through every step of the qualitative process, from developing research topics and questions through writing a final report. Readers are given numerous examples of work in the field to illustrate how studies are designed, carried out, written, evaluated, and related to theory. In addition to covering the theories and methods currently used in qualitative communication research, the authors also discuss important trends influencing the future of that research, helping readers make informed judgments about the significance and consequences of recent trends.

New to the Fourth Edition:
  • A new chapter titled “The Diversity of Qualitative Research in Communication Subfields” provides readers with a complete guide to the field’s distinctive subfields and enables readers to identify the research agenda that best represents their own interests. Two rising subfields – Political Communication and Communication Activism – were added, resulting in thirteen subfields covered.  
  • Two major phases of data analysis have been split into separate chapters, enabling readers to concentrate on the initial steps of analysis before moving on to the interpretation phase of analysis. 
  • Discussions of important intellectual and institutional trends currently reshaping the landscape of qualitative research, including Materialist Theory, Big Data, and Open-Access publishing, provide readers with cutting-edge knowledge and skills that affect what they study and how they study it.
  • An analysis of new developments in media and technology shows readers how social media networks and other digital platforms are not only topics of research, but also the means for collecting and analyzing data. 

 


 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
Chapter 1. Introduction to Qualitative Communication Research
Rounding the (Paradigm) Bases: A Brief History of Qualitative Communication Research

 
Covering New Material(ism), Going Big: Two Trends in Qualitative Communication Research

 
Conclusion

 
Exercises

 
 
Chapter 2. The Diversity of Qualitative Research in Communication Subfields
Baker’s Dozen: Thirteen Subfields, Thirteen Stories of Qualitative Communication Research

 
Conclusion

 
Exercises

 
 
Chapter 3. Theoretical Traditions and Qualitative Communication Research
Introduction: “What Would You Like on Your Sandwich?”

 
The Phenomenological Tradition

 
The Sociocultural Tradition

 
Critical Theories

 
Conclusion

 
Exercises

 
 
Chapter 4. Design I: Planning Research Projects
Introduction

 
“My City, My Society, and My Life”: Renee’s Story

 
Sources of Research Ideas

 
Evaluating the Scene

 
Conclusion

 
Exercises

 
 
Chapter 5. Design II: Implementing Research Projects
Introduction

 
Negotiating Access

 
Exploratory and Mixed Methods

 
Sampling

 
Human Subject Protections

 
The Research Proposal

 
Conclusion

 
Exercises

 
 
Chapter 6. Producing Data I: Participation, Observation, and Recording Communication
Introduction: Welcome to Fieldwork

 
Ethnography and Participant Observation

 
Successful Participant Observation

 
Adapting Roles

 
Tactical Observing

 
Writing Fieldnotes

 
Conclusion

 
Exercises

 
 
Chapter 7. Producing Data II: Qualitative Interviewing
Introduction

 
Purposes of the Qualitative Interview

 
Types of Interviews in Communication Research

 
Interviewing Practices

 
Question Design and Use

 
Transcribing Interviews

 
Conclusion

 
Exercises

 
 
Chapter 8. Producing Data III: Studying Materiality
Introduction

 
Material Culture

 
Documents

 
Conclusion

 
Exercises

 
 
Chapter 9. Sensemaking I: Analyzing, Coding, and Managing Data
Introduction

 
Qualitative Data Analysis: An Overview

 
In-Process Writing

 
Categories and Codes

 
Grounded Theory

 
Coding Examples

 
Leaving the Field

 
Tools for Analysis

 
Conclusion

 
Exercises

 
 
Chapter 10. Sensemaking II: Creating, Evaluating, and Enhancing Interpretations of Data
Introduction

 
Creating Interpretations

 
Evaluating Interpretations

 
Enhancing Interpretations

 
Conclusion

 
Exercises

 
 
Chapter 11. Writing, Authoring, and Publishing
Introduction: Going Public

 
The Crisis of Representation

 
After the Fall: Reading and Writing Qualitative Research

 
Institutional Contexts of Qualitative Writing

 
The Craft of Qualitative Writing: Three Types of Formats and Their Related Strategies

 
Some Final Thoughts on Writing

 
Exercises

 
 
Epilogue
 
References
 
Author Index
 
Subject Index

“This is the best qualitative methods book I’ve seen, especially among books aimed at undergraduate audiences.”

Michael Irvin Arrington
Indiana State University

“The book is exceptionally well written and easy to read even for students who know nothing about research methods.”

Martina Topic
Leeds Business School, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK

“The engaging and accessible (generally) nature of writing is excellent and provides good inspiration and a good foundation to build on in terms of introductions to key steps and dimensions in qualitative research. The referencing of examples from ‘real’ research is attractive to lecturers and students alike and makes the introduction to qualitative research come alive.” 

Anders Hansen
University of Leicester, UK

“An insightful and thoroughly researched book that will be extremely helpful for students aiming to engage with qualitative research at a deeper level.”

Sylvie Magerstädt
University of Hertfordshire
Key features
NEW TO THIS EDITION:
  • A new chapter titled “The Diversity of Qualitative Research in Communication Subfields” provides readers with a complete guide to the field’s distinctive subfields and enables readers to identify the research agenda that best represents their own interests. Two rising subfields – Political Communication and Communication Activism – were added, resulting in thirteen subfields covered. 
  • Two major phases of data analysis have been split into separate chapters, enabling readers to concentrate on the initial steps of analysis before moving on to the interpretation phase of analysis.
  • Discussions of important intellectual and institutional trends currently reshaping the landscape of qualitative research, including Materialist Theory, Big Data, and Open-Access publishing, provide readers with cutting-edge knowledge and skills that affect what they study and how they study it.
  • An analysis of new developments in media and technology shows readers how social media networks and other digital platforms are not only topics of research, but also the means for collecting and analyzing data.

 KEY FEATURES: 

  • The market leader for qualitative research methods in communication, this text discusses the history and scope of qualitative research in communication, while perceptively tracking new trends.
  • A comprehensive overview of the history, culture, and conduct of qualitative research within Communication fosters students' professional development and encourages communication scholars to collaborate with other communication professionals and practitioners.
  • Examples of foundational and emerging communication theories used by real qualitative researchers provide readers with a foundational knowledge of real life application.
  • A guide to the current contexts of qualitative research addresses contemporary ethical, political, and practical issues students will face, including the influences of globalization on research; use of recording technology in fieldwork; the challenges and opportunities related to studying multi-media, online environments; and ongoing debates on the formats of qualitative writing. 

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