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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. 

 

 
Introduction to Qualitative Communication Research
Working with Cops: One Story of Qualitative 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
 
The Diversity of Qualitative Research in Communication Subfields
 
Baker’s Dozen: Thirteen Subfields, Thirteen Stories of Qualitative Communication Research
Applied Communication  
Communication Activism  
Communication Media and Technology Studies  
Group Communication  
Health Communication  
Intercultural Communication  
Interpersonal Communication  
Language and Social Interaction (LSI)  
Organizational Communication  
Performance Studies  
Political Communication  
Professional/Strategic Communication  
Rhetoric  
 
Conclusion
 
Exercises
 
Theoretical Traditions and Qualitative Communication Research
 
Introduction: “What Would You Like on Your Sandwich?”
 
The Phenomenological Tradition
 
The Sociocultural Tradition
Ethnomethodology  
Symbolic Interactionism  
Ethnography of Communication  
Social Constructionism  
Structuration Theory  
Actor Network Theory  
 
Critical Theories
Two Traditions of Critical Theory  
Cultural Studies/Media Audience Studies  
Feminism  
Postcolonialism  
Critical Race Theory  
Queer Theory  
 
Conclusion
 
Exercises
 
Design I: Planning Research Projects
 
Introduction
 
“My City, My Society, and My Life”: Renee’s Story
 
Sources of Research Ideas
Personal Interest and Opportunity  
Theory and Research Literature  
Public Problems and Issues  
Funding Opportunities  
Taking Stock of the Idea, and Moving on (or Not)  
 
Evaluating the Scene
Casing the Scene  
Assessing Feasibility  
Consulting Colleagues, Mentors, and Experts  
Developing Emic and Etic Perspectives  
 
Conclusion
 
Exercises
 
Design II: Implementing Research Projects
 
Introduction
 
Negotiating Access
Gatekeepers  
Sponsors  
Telling a Research Story  
Clarifying the Involvement  
 
Exploratory and Mixed Methods
Maps and Visualization Exercises  
Still and Video Photography  
Mobile Methods  
Diaries and Other Self-Report Tools  
Surveys  
Briefing Interviews  
 
Sampling
Sampling Units  
Sampling Strategies  
Sample Size  
 
Human Subject Protections
Informed Consent  
Instruments  
Vulnerable Groups  
Data Security  
Textual Representation  
 
The Research Proposal
Title  
Abstract or Executive Summary  
Rationale  
Conceptualization  
Research Questions  
Methodology, Protocol, and Logistics  
Analysis  
Schedule  
 
Conclusion
 
Exercises
 
Producing Data I: Participation, Observation, and Recording Communication
 
Introduction: Welcome to Fieldwork
 
Ethnography and Participant Observation
 
Successful Participant Observation
Tolerance for Marginality  
Embodiment  
Spontaneous Decision Making  
Being an Ethical Person  
Difference Matters  
 
Adapting Roles
Roles Based on Degree of Participation  
Roles Based on Social Function  
 
Tactical Observing
Who Are the Actors?  
How Is the Scene Set Up?  
How Do Initial Interactions Occur?  
How Do Actors Claim Attention?  
Where and When Do Actors Interact?  
Which Events are Significant?  
 
Writing Fieldnotes
Scratch Notes and Headnotes  
Fieldnotes  
A Fieldnote Example” Dancing with the (Computerized) Stars  
Journals and Diaries  
 
Fieldwork and Information and Communication Technology
“This is Your Brain, On ICT”  
“Press ‘Record’ Now”  
“Let’s Talk More Online”  
 
Conclusion
 
Exercises
 
Producing Data II: Qualitative Interviewing
 
Introduction
 
Purposes of the Qualitative Interview
 
Types of Interviews in Communication Research
 
Ethnographic Interviews
 
Informant Interviews
Respondent Interviews  
Narrative Interviews  
Focus Group Interviews  
 
Interviewing Practices
The Interview Context  
Developing Rapport  
Listening  
 
Questions Design and Use
Interview Schedules and Interview Guides  
Nondirective Questions  
Directive Questions  
Sensitive Topics  
 
Transcribing Interviews
 
Conclusion
 
Exercises
 
Producing Data III: Studying Materiality
 
Introduction
 
Material Culture
Material Culture in Qualitative Research  
Studying Materiality  
 
Documents
Documents in Qualitative Research  
Studying Documents  
 
Conclusion
 
Exercises
 
Sensemaking I: Analyzing, Coding, and Managing Data
 
Introduction
 
Qualitative Data Analysis: An Overview
 
In-Processing Writing
Asides and Commentaries  
Memos  
 
Categories and Codes
Categories  
Codes  
Coding Narratives  
 
Grounded Theory
 
Coding Examples
Attractions of Advance  
Invisible Disability in Families  
 
Leaving the Field
 
Tools for Analysis
Manual Methods  
Computer-Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software (CAQDAS)  
 
Conclusion
 
Exercises
 
Sensemaking II: Creating, Evaluating, and Enhancing Interpretations of Data
 
Introduction
 
Creating Interpretations
Defining Interpretation  
Using Conceptual Devices in Interpretation  
Exemplars  
 
Evaluating Interpretations
Reliability and Validity  
 
Enhancing Interpretations
Triangulation, Disjuncture, and Crystallization  
Negative Case Analysis  
Member Validation  
 
Conclusion
 
Exercises
 
Writing, Authoring, and Publishing
 
Introduction: Going Public
 
The Crisis of Representation
 
After the Fall: Reading and Writing Qualitative Research
Voice  
Narrative Presence  
The Genre-Audience Nexus  
 
Institutional Contexts of Qualitative Writing
Academic Publishing  
New Media  
 
The Craft of Qualitative Writing: Three Types of Formats and Their Related Strategies
Traditional Writing Format  
Innovative Writing Formats  
Multimedia Format  
 
Some Final Thoughts on Writing
 
Exercises
 
Epilogue: This Way to Exit

“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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ISBN: 9781452256825