The Practice of Qualitative Research

The Practice of Qualitative Research

Second Edition

Companion Website

© 2011 | 424 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc


Offering a step-by-step approach to collecting, analyzing, designing and interpreting qualitative research

This engaging, student-centered text presents invaluable insights into the practice of qualitative and mixed methods research. In this thoroughly updated edition, authors Sharlene Nagy Hesse-Biber and Patricia Leavy offer a mix of theoretical approaches for qualitative methods practice that ranges from the interpretive tradition to critical perspectives.

New to This Edition   

  • New chapters on the case study approach and how to write up qualitative research 
  • Enhanced coverage of ethics woven throughout each chapter 
  • Exemplary research studies designed to engage students in hands-on research practice 
  • Tips for guiding students through the research process 
  • New sections on concept mapping, cross-cultural and international focus groups, computer-assisted technologies for analyzing qualitative and mixed methods data, and arts-based research projects 
  • Ancillaries at, which provide students and instructors with ongoing up-to-date learning resources.

This text is appropriate for all undergraduate and beginning graduate-level students taking qualitative and research methods courses in the social and behavioral sciences.

Part I. Qualitative Practice
1. An Invitation to Qualitative Research
2. Approaches to Qualitative Research
3. Designing Qualitative Approaches to Research
4. Ethics of Social Research
Part II. Methods of Data Collection
5. In-Depth Interview
6. Oral History
7. Focus Group Interviews
8. Ethnography
9. Content Analysis and Unobtrusive Methods
10. Case Study
11. Mixed Methods
Part III. Analysis and Interpretation
12. Analysis and Interpretation
13. The Writing and Representation of Qualitative Research
14. The Research Nexus

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1 - An Invitation to Qualitative Research

Chapter 4 - The Ethics of Social Research


Combined site
Materials on the companion site include:
  • Links to a variety of qualitative and mixed methods SAGE journal articles
  • PowerPoint presentations for each chapter

"The book is designed elegantly, and chapters contain several helpful features. [The chapters on data selection] offer useful how-to information while also providing a helpful overview, both of which will benefit you even if you do not plan to implement a particular method. Discussion questions allow for further reflection and could be used effectively in a class."

Russell Willerton
Boise State University
Technical Communication Book Reviews

A very good and clear introduction to qualitative research. Lots of good, clear advice, covers a wide range of qualitative research methods, including formulating research questions, methodology and ethics, with a good portion of the book also dedicated to qualitative research analysis.
Easy to follow for students with a clear writing style.

Dr Fauzia Ahmad
Political Science, University College London
September 1, 2015

I have taken the other book instead...

Dr Claudia Bernhard-Oettel
Department of Psychology, Stockholm University
December 18, 2012

This book is useful addition to any researcher's library in terms of tha various methods available to those involved with qualitative research.

Andre Kurowski
Childhood Studies : Early Years, Chichester University
November 22, 2012

This is a very comprehensive book covering the topic very thoroughly.

Mrs Kirsten Andersen
Department of Organization, Copenhagen Business School
September 27, 2012
Key features
    • Each chapter provides an in-depth example that is carried throughout the chapter so that students have a clear understanding of how each concept explained can be used during actual qualitative practice.
    • Boxes in which different qualitative researchers discuss first-hand how they linked their theory/problem with a particular research method so that students can see how the method selection process works in practice
    • Two types of exercise sets: One, to give students the opportunity to review the chapter's concepts. And, two, out-of-class exercises that can provide opportunities for students to do actual research.



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ISBN: 9781412974578