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Qualitative Research

Qualitative Research
Bridging the Conceptual, Theoretical, and Methodological

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September 2015 | 600 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Focused on developing the conceptual, theoretical, and methodological knowledge needed to engage in rigorous and valid research, this introductory text provides practical explanations, exercises, and advice for how to conduct qualitative research—from design through implementation, analysis, and writing up research. The book presents the field of qualitative research in a unique and meaningful way, and helps readers understand what the authors call “criticality” in qualitative research by communicating its foundations and processes with clarity and simplicity while still capturing complexity. Packed with real-life examples of questions, issues, and situations that stem from the authors’ and their students’ research, the book humanizes the qualitative research endeavor, illustrates the types of scenarios that arise, and emphasizes the importance of actively considering paradigmatic values throughout every stage of the research process. In every chapter, the authors illustrate the qualitative research process as decidedly ideological, political, and subjective using themes of criticality, reflexivity, collaboration, and rigor.

Chapter One: Qualitative Research: An Opening Orientation
Chapter Overview And Goals
An Overview Of The Processes Of Qualitative Research
Situating Qualitative Research
Defining Qualitative Research
Key Components Of Qualitative Research
Horizontals In Qualitative Research
Approaches To Qualitative Research: An Overview
A Note on the Possibilities Of Qualitative Research
Questions for Reflection
Resources for Further Reading
Chapter Two: Using Conceptual Frameworks in Research
Chapter Overview and Goals
Defining and Understanding Conceptual Frameworks and Their Role in Research
Constructing and Developing a Conceptual Framework
Building Your Own Conceptual Framework
Questions for Reflection
Resources for Further Reading
Chapter Three: Critical Qualitative Research Design
Chapter Overview and Goals
Research Design in Qualitative Research
Overview of the Qualitative Research Design Process
Conceptualizing Critical Qualitative Research Design
Questions for Reflection
Resources for Further Reading
Chapter Four: Design and Reflexivity in Data Collection
Chapter Overview and Goals
Defining Qualitative Data Collection as Iterative
Data Collection and Research Design
Reflexivity and Researcher-Generated Data Sources
Sampling: Site and Participant Selection
Questions for Reflection
Resources for Further Reading
Chapter Five: Methods of Data Collection
Chapter Overview and Goals
Observation and Fieldnotes
Focus Groups
Documents and Archival Data
A Survey Approach and Questionnaires
Participatory Methods of Data Collection
Revisiting Design
Questions for Reflection
Resources for Further Reading
Chapter Six: Validity: Processes, Strategies, and Trustworthiness
Chapter Overview and Goals
Overview of Validity and Trustworthiness in Qualitative Research
Assessing Validity and Trustworthiness
Specific Strategies and Processes for Achieving Validity
Rigor and Validity in Qualitative Research
Questions for Reflection
Resources for Further Reading
Chapter Seven: An Integrative Approach to Data Analysis
Chapter Overview and Goals
Defining and Critically Approaching Qualitative Data Analysis
Analysis and Interpretation
Overview of Data Analysis Processes
An Integrative Approach to Qualitative Data Analysis
Questions for Reflection
Resources for Further Reading
Chapter Eight: Methods And Processes Of Data Analysis
Chapter Overview And Goals
Data Organization And Management
Immersive Engagement
Writing And Representation
Questions for Reflection
Resources for Further Reading
Chapter Nine: Writing And Representing Inquiry: The Research Report
Chapter Overview And Goals
The Craft Of Writing: Outlining, Drafting, And Revising
Writing A Final Report: Building On, Deepening, And Codifying Analysis
Critical Writing Considerations
Concluding Thoughts: The Ethics Of Research Writing
Questions for Reflection
Resources for Further Reading
Chapter Ten: Crafting Qualitative Research Proposals
Chapter Overview And Goals
Qualitative Research Proposals
Writing Quality Proposals
Adapting Research Proposals
Questions for Reflection
Resources for Further Reading
Chapter Eleven: Research Ethics And The Relational Quality Of Research
Chapter Overview And Goals
Relational Ethics: Taking A Relational Approach To Research
Deepening The Concept of Research Ethics: Beyond IRB and Informed Consent
Going Beyond “Negotiating Entrée” And “Building Rapport”
Research Boundaries
Informed Consent, With An Emphasis On Informed
Transparency in Goals, Expectations, Processes, and Roles
Confidentiality and Anonymity
The Ethical Dimensions of the “Researcher as Instrument”
Pushing Against the “Expert-Learner Binary”
Ethical Collaboration: “Reciprocal Transformation and Dialectics of Mutual Influence”
Balance Between Design Flexibility and Rigor: Responsive Research as Ethical Stance
Questions for Reflection
Resources for Further Reading
Epilogue: Revisiting Criticality, Reflexivity, Collaboration, and Rigor
Revisiting the Horizontals in Qualitative Research
Closing Thoughts: The Power and Potential of Qualitative Research
Questions for Reflection


Instructor Resource Site

Calling all instructors!
It’s easy to log on to SAGE’s password-protected Instructor Teaching Site at for complete and protected access to all text-specific Instructor Resources for Qualitative Research. Simply provide your institutional information for verification and within 72 hours you’ll be able to use your login information for any SAGE title!

SAGE edge for Instructors supports teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students.  Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following:

  • Editable, chapter-specific Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides offer you complete flexibility in easily creating a multimedia presentation for your course.
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to certain full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected for each chapter. Each article supports and expands on the concepts presented in the chapter.
  • An Instructor Guide provides teaching tips and suggestions for using the book.
  • Sample course syllabi for semester and quarter courses provide suggested models for use when creating the syllabi for your courses.
Student Study Site

SAGE edge for Students provides a personalized approach to help students accomplish their coursework goals in an easy-to-use learning environment.

  • A complete online action plan allows you to track your progress and enhance your learning experience
  • Learning objectives help reinforce the most important material
  • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes allow for independent assessment by students of their mastery of course material
  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts
  • Meaningful multimedia resources facilitate further exploration of topics
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter. 
Key features


  • Examples of student work throughout the book show readers how to conduct qualitative research, offering clear application principles for the methods described. 
  • Perspectives and concepts from key methods scholars familiarize readers with a range of viewpoints to promote critical thinking.
  • Recommended practices, exercises, and thought-provoking questions help readers engage in and think actively about concepts and processes.
  • Central concepts defined in the margin or in parentheses allow students to quickly look up unfamiliar terms and easily proceed with the material and review them as needed.
  • Questions for Further Reflection help students apply what they’ve learned from each chapter to ensure comprehension of the material.
  • Recommendations for Further Reading provide a wide range of current sources for further exploration and encourage readers to expand their knowledge.
  • Student reflections on research in the epilogue provide powerful insights into the process of qualitative research from a fellow student’s point-of-view for more relatable perspective.

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