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Qualitative Research in Sport and Physical Activity
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Qualitative Research in Sport and Physical Activity



December 2012 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Designed especially for students in sport and physical activity, this book provides a detailed guide to planning, undertaking, and writing up qualitative research. Opening with a discussion of the main traits of qualitative inquiry and its use in sport and physical activity, the authors provide a coherent and accessible overview of qualitative research using numerous examples to bring research alive. The book is divided into five parts informed by stages in the research process with chapters on:
  • Early steps in the research process
  • Ethics
  • Choosing an approach
  • Methods of data collection
  • Analyzing the data
  • Writing up and disseminating your findings
This is essential reading for undergraduate and graduate students carrying out a qualitative research project in sport and physical activity and for PhD students looking to refresh their knowledge.
 
PART ONE: INTRODUCING QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN SPORT
 
Qualitative Research and Its Use in Sport and Physical Activity
The Main Characteristics of Qualitative Research  
Qualitative Research in Sport and Physical Activity  
 
Ethical Considerations in Research
Recruiting Participants  
Informed Consent  
Confidentiality and Anonymity  
Avoiding Harm  
 
Developing the Research Question and Writing the Proposal
The topic and Research Question  
Writing the Proposal  
 
The Role of the Literature in Qualitative Research
The Literature and the Proposal  
The Literature Overview  
The Inductive Approach  
The Ongoing Dialogue with the Literature  
Keeping Track of References  
 
Sampling
Purposive Sampling  
Sampling Types  
Sampling Decisions  
Accessing the Sample  
Referring to the Sample  
 
PART TWO: COLLECTING QUALITATIVE DATA
 
Interviews
Types of Interview  
Variety of Interviews  
Asking Questions  
Interviewing Skills  
The Relationship Between Interviewer and Participants  
Practical Sspects of Interviewing  
Potential Problems in Interviewing  
 
Focus Groups
The Origin and Purpose of Focus Groups  
Choosing the Sample: Size, Number and Composition  
Conducting Focus Group Interviews  
The Involvement of the Interviewer  
Analysing Focus Group Data  
Ethical Issues  
Advantages and Limitations of Focus Groups  
 
Participant Observation
The research Setting  
Types of Observation  
Getting Started  
Keeping a Record  
Using Documentary Sources of Data  
Problematic Issues  
 
PART THREE: CHOOSING THE RESEARCH APPROACH
 
Grounded Theory
The Origins of Grounded Theory  
The Main Elements of Grounded Theory  
The Process of GT: Data Collection and Analysis  
The Developing Theory  
Problems in Grounded Theory  
 
Ethnography
Fieldwork  
A Focus on Culture  
Ethnographic Methods  
Sample and Setting  
The Ethnographic Record  
Analysis and Interpretation  
Problems in Conducting Ethnographic Research  
 
Phenomenology
Descriptive and Interpretive Phenomenology  
Eliciting Life-World Descriptions  
The Use of Bracketing and Sensitising  
The Findings of Phenomenological Research  
Sampling  
Phenomenological Interviews  
Analysis in Descriptive and Hermeneutic Phenomenology  
Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA)  
Limitations  
 
Narrative Research
Stories and Their Structure  
Types of Story  
The Functions of People’s Stories  
Collecting Data  
Narrative Analysis  
The Distinctive Nature of Narrative Research  
A Critique of Narrative Research  
 
Mixed Methods Research
Adopting Mixed Methods Research  
Designing Mixed Methods Research  
The problems Inherent in Mixed Methods Research  
 
PART FOUR: ANALYSING AND REPORTING QUALITATIVE DATA
 
Data Analysis
Managing the Data  
Transcribing and Writing Memos  
Data Reduction and Conceptualisation: Codes, Categories and Themes  
Computer-aided Analysis of Qualitative Data  
Interpreting the Data  
 
The Quality of Qualitative Inquiry
Validity and Reliability  
Alternative Criteria for Qualitative Research  
How to Ensure Trustworthiness  
 
Writing Up Qualitative Research
Writing in the First Person  
The Format of the Report  
Checklist Before Submission  
Telling the Tale: Creativity and Originality  
Publishing and Presenting the Research  
 
Glossary
 
References
 
Index

This is a 'must have' book for aspiring qualitative researchers in the field of sport and physical activity. The book is well structured, providing the researcher with a step-by-step guide to the processes that need to occur to undertake methodologically sound qualitative research. It is intellectual and yet pragmatic which makes this a book that I will recommend to my PhD students and colleagues alike.
Murray Drummond
Professor in Sport, Health and Physical Education, Flinders University


This text provides students with an excellent foundation for understanding qualitative research studies and for conducting their own qualitative inquiries, in fields ranging from sport management and marketing to sport sociology and psychology.
Paul M. Pedersen
Professor and Director, Sport Management Doctoral Program, Indiana University-Bloomington


This book, whilst fairly basic, gives a good overview of qualitative research methods for sport and exercise. This works very well for this introductory research methods module.

Dr Janine Coates
School of Sport & Exercise Sciences, Loughborough University
October 24, 2016

This text provides all the relevant details our students will need when planning their research projects. The ethical considerations will be a must for them as it sets out the project in small concise steps.

Mr Andy Petch
School of Sport, New college Pontefract
May 27, 2016

wonderful book. Focuses on an interesting angles

Dr Ilan Tamir
school of communication, Bar-Ilan University
September 29, 2015

A useful text that provides learners with relevant information when starting a research project. Further reading would be recommended to explore factors in greater depth. However much of the content is subject specific allowing readers to apply to there own research project.

Mr Mark Treagust
Dept of Applied Health Sciences, Farnborough College of Technology
March 23, 2015

Very useful book.
Split in to easily manageable sections.
The students comment it helps them in their assignments.

Mr Stuart Priestley
Sport, Myerscough College
January 7, 2015

I have given this book as good overview on Qualitative research methods for students during their independent studies. It allows them to consider the type of methods available to them when making decisions on their research methodology.

Mr Peter Gilliver
Outdoor, Countryside, adventure and ecotourism, University of Derby, Buxton
November 18, 2014

I would recommend this text to students searching for a comprehensive overview of appropriate techniques to qualitative research from all levels of degree study. Especially useful for independent projects, a good read.

Mr Mark Treagust
Dept of Applied Health Sciences, Farnborough College of Technology
October 28, 2014

Really interesting, clear and structured nicely. Will be informing the library to acquire a copy.

Dr Adam Benkwitz
Sport and Physical Activity Quality Group, University of Cumbria
October 7, 2014

This is a useful text in addition to other Research Methods texts. Offers expertise and good views on Qualitative Research as well as providing learners with an alternative angle from which to understand the topic. Excellent to use for further reading due to the plethora of references throughout the text.

Mr John Harrison
Care, Sport and Leisure, Tyne Metro College
July 10, 2014

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1


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