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Qualitative Research Methods
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Qualitative Research Methods

Second Edition
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January 2020 | 376 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Practical and straightforward, this book is a multidisciplinary introduction to the process of planning, conducting and analysing qualitative research, from selecting appropriate methods to publishing your findings. Built around the authors’ Qualitative Research Cycle – consisting of the design, data collection and analytic cycles – this pragmatic guide clearly demonstrates the steps you need to take to ensure your research is rigorous and robust.

Drawing on decades of experience teaching workshops, the book is packed with techniques and tools to help you turn theory and method into research practice. This second edition:

  • Showcases the importance of linking research design to data analysis, helping you avoid potential pitfalls and get the most out of your data
  • Highlights the relevance and wide application of qualitative methods with an array of international examples of real field research and interdisciplinary case studies
  • Gives clear guidance on writing qualitative research, including how to respond to critiques of qualitative methods
  • Has a renewed focus on evaluating quality in qualitative research, ensuring your work is valid, reflexive and ethical

Offering tried and tested research tools like interview guides that you can apply to your own projects and supported by online resources including checklists and reflective questions, this book is the perfect companion for anyone looking to complete a successful project using qualitative research methods.

 

 
Chapter 1: Introduction to the book
Who is this book for?

 
The qualitative research cycle

 
Structure of the book

 
Features of this book

 
 
Chapter 2: The nature of qualitative research
What is qualitative research?

 
When to conduct qualitative research

 
The underlying interpretive paradigm

 
Qualitative and quantitative research

 
Verstehen and understanding

 
The emic and etic perspectives

 
Subjectivity and the need for reflexivity

 
Our approach to qualitative research

 
Evaluating quality

 
 
Part I: The design cycle
 
Chapter 3: The design cycle
Formulating qualitative research questions

 
Incorporating literature and theory

 
Developing a conceptual framework

 
Selecting qualitative research methods

 
Evaluating quality

 
 
Chapter 4: Designing participatory research
Our participatory approach to qualitative research

 
The participatory design cycle

 
The participatory approach in data collection and analysis

 
Different roles of the researcher

 
Evaluating quality

 
 
Chapter 5: Ethical issues in qualitative research
What is ethics?

 
Ethics in qualitative research

 
Ethical issues in the design cycle

 
Ethical issues in the data collection cycle

 
Ethical issues in the analytic cycle

 
Evaluating quality

 
 
Part II: The data collection cycle
 
Chapter 6: Sampling and participant recruitment
What is purposive sampling?

 
Purposive sampling process?

 
Participant recruitment strategies

 
How many participants? The principle of saturation

 
Evaluating quality

 
 
Chapter 7: In-depth interviews
What is an in-depth interview?

 
When to use in-depth interviews

 
Purpose of an in-depth interview

 
The cyclical nature of data collection

 
Developing an interview guide

 
Preparing for data collection

 
Conducting the interview: skills of the interviewer

 
Strengths and limitations

 
Evaluating quality

 
 
Chapter 8: Focus group discussions
What is a focus group discussion?

 
When to use focus group discussions

 
The cyclical nature of data collection

 
Developing the discussion guide

 
Preparing for data collection

 
Conducting focus group discussions

 
Post-discussion information

 
Virtual focus groups

 
Strengths and limitations

 
Evaluating quality

 
 
Chapter 9: Observation
What is observation?

 
When to conduct observation

 
The cyclical nature of data collection

 
What to observe

 
Types of observation

 
Preparation and conducting an observation

 
Writing an observation

 
Strengths and limitations

 
Evaluating quality

 
 
Part III: The analytic cycle
 
Chapter 10: Data preparation and developing codes
Different approaches to textual data analysis

 
The nature of qualitative data analysis

 
Textual data preparation

 
Developing codes

 
Making a codebook

 
Coding data

 
Using software in qualitative analysis

 
Evaluating quality

 
Writing the manuscript or report

 
 
Chapter 11: Textual data analysis
After you write

 
Developing an analysis plan

 
Searching data

 
The cyclical process of analysis

 
Description

 
Comparison

 
Categorizing and conceptualizing

 
Theory development

 
Evaluating quality

 
 
Chapter 12: From analysis to participatory action
From analysis to participatory action

 
The overall participatory qualitative research cycle

 
The different roles of the researcher

 
Evaluating quality

 
 
Chapter 13: Academic writing of qualitative research
Writing qualitative research

 
Before you write

 
Writing a qualitative research article

 
After you write

 
Responding to critiques of qualitative research

 
Evaluating quality

 
 
Post Script: Assessing quality in the qualitative research cycle

This is essential for degree students who are focusing on a qualitative research project.

Mrs Chrissie Draper
Educational Psychology, Derby College
September 23, 2020

Excellent guide for students choosing to undertake qualitative research.

Mrs Sian Pitson
Swansea Business School (Swansea), University of Wales, Trinity St David
May 7, 2020

a useful and contemporary guide to qualitative research that will be appropriate to both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Mr Ian Andrew
Business School, Oxford Brookes University
May 7, 2020

It is always good to get an update to a book and this update is welcome ten years after the first edition.

I like to direct student to books that are readable and add value to their own learning, irrespective of their learning style. I think this book will appeal to a wide audience.

For me, take the time to also access the online resources, do not just use the book. Start at the glossary flash cards, a good place to help with some tricky terminology for people new to research.

Use book and online resources to get the most out of this publication

Mrs Christina Dodds
Faculty of Health, Social Work & Educ, Northumbria University
May 7, 2020

This is a very good resource

Mrs Josephine D Morris
Interdiscipline, Winchester University
May 4, 2020

Good information in the book

Professor David Ditaba Mphuthi
Health, University of South Africa (UNISA)
May 4, 2020

Great book for a beginners course (bachelor students).

Dr Marieke Haan
Sociology, University of Groningen
January 19, 2020

Whilst I looked at this for UG students my PGR students have found this really helpful, particularly if been a while since in study.

Ms Paula Hearsum
School of Arts and Media, Brighton University
December 9, 2019

This book presents really clear and useful information about qualitative research methods and methodologies in a contemporary world. The contents are nicely laid out and the discussions throughout are clear and thorough. I will highly recommend this book to students, academics and professionals. A must have book in qualitative research.

Ms Josephine D Moore
Interdiscipline, Winchester University
December 5, 2019

This text represents a current perspective on qualitative research methods to complement classic and seminal texts. A very useful text at L6 and L7, thank you.

Mrs Eleonora Teszenyi
Faculty of Education, The Open University
November 26, 2019
Key features
  • A discussion of the theoretical principles as well as practical application of qualitative research is covered through case studies, field examples, and exercises.
  • International field examples are provided and highlight the application of qualitative research in different cultural contexts.
  • Research tools, such as interview guides, recruitment scripts, coded data segments, theoretical frameworks, are provided throughout the text.
  • The chapters on research methods (in-depth interviews, focus group discussion and observation) include photographs of the method in practice to demonstrate specific elements of research practice (e.g. seating of interviewers, interview context, body language).
  • Exercises are included at the end of each chapter to help the reader practice specific skills such as writing a qualitative research question, conducting a mock focus group discussion, an interview or an observation, transcribing an interview, developing codes from data, and presenting qualitative research.
  • Annotated further readings are included in each chapter, one list of readings related to methodological concepts and a second list of readings for examples of empirical research.
  • Each chapter includes a series of questions to assist the reader in evaluating the quality of their research.
  • Each chapter concludes with a textbox summarizing the key points to reiterate important concepts to the student.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Introduction


For instructors

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