Working with Qualitative Data
- William Gibson - University of London, UK
- Andrew Brown - University of London, UK
By situating analysis in the context of the whole research process, this book helps the reader to introduce an analytical component to every stage of doing research: from designing a project, reviewing the literature, through the various stages of gathering data, to the process of writing-up. Through practical examples, the book maps out strategies for developing analytic frameworks in relation to all aspects of research, and demonstrates the ways in which such frameworks can be used in relation to various sorts of data.
In contrast to existing qualitative data analysis texts, this book offers a unified approach to the process of analysis within qualitative research. It is an ideal resource for students and researchers studying the full range of social, health and education sciences.
Overall this book provides a broad introduction to qualitative research theory, and supports the reader while they consider various types of analysis throughout the research process. Whilst Gibson and Brown are clear to state early on that they cannot cover all methods of qualitative data analysis in this introductory text, they do illustrate how a range of analysis methods affect enquiry. Importantly, Working with Qualitative Data is indeed an introduction...Throughout the book I enjoyed a number of recurring features, such as the critiques given on certain methods, theories, technologies, etc., which made for an engaging text. I also particularly enjoyed the pragmatic nature of this book. Specifically, the authors acknowledge that whilst there are research ideals, in practice these ideals may be difficult to meet for a number of reasons. By recognising the wide variety of approaches available, and the advantages, disadvantages and realities of research, this book provides a good alternative or supplementary introduction to qualitative data analysis for the beginner qualitative researcher.
Leeds Metropolitan University
Excellent text, very detailed coverage of a range of approaches. Both practical/pragmatic advice and extensive theoretical consideration. Highly recommended for PG and final year UG students.
It is suitable for additional reading for Masters and PhDs.
Addresses qualitative data analysis with relevant examples , making it a very useful guide when working with qualitative data as it not only covers the numerous analysis strategies but most importantly on how to write and present the different forms of analysis.
This book is a very accessible and important textbook on qualitative research - which, as Gibson and Brown explain is ''everything else' that is left over from numerical analysis' (p. 9).
For me, the first chapter of the book was the strongest - as it engages centrally with the issue that lies at the heart of my course - what is qualitative data analysis?! Gibson and Brown argue that we need to understand analysis as a situated practice. The book therefore integrates a focus on the research process and research design, different ways of collecting data and different ways of analysing data. For instance, the chapter exploring the use of interviewing, also introduces a focus on narrative analysis, while the chapter on using video data examines conversational analysis.
Given the focus of the course I teach - I found the first chapter (on 'what is qualitative analysis') the most stimulating, as well as the chapters on transcritpion and how to use literature in the research process. There was not quite enough detail on the different analytical approaches within qualitative research for me to use the whole book as a core text for my course, but I will certainly have as core reading the chapters mentioned above.
For colleagues running a course on social research or qualitative research - you might find this a good textbook to offer as core reading or to help you structure your course. It is useful for undergraduate courses, Masters-level teaching, and with supplemental reading (in my view), at doctoral level.
a useful text
A good book. It has all elements for the process of the analysis of the qualitative data.
This book is perhaps too difficult for most undergraduate students as it does not have many worked examples and does not concentrate on interviews - the main data collection technique used at undergraduate level. However, this is one of the reasons why I regard it is an outstanding book for postgraduate students. From the start, it addresses the questions that postgraduate students are likely to raise and tackles them in a realistic and pragmatic manner, acknowledging the gap between the ideal and the experience of research in practice. Less commonly used data collection techniques such as using documents are covered in far more detail than most textbooks and should broaden the thinking of postgraduate students to take in new possibilities. Although I can only recommend the book as supplemental reading for undergraduate students, I will be highly recommending it to the postgraduate students to our postgraduate and PhD students. A well written and extremely welcome text.
A useful text to be used as additional reading for our students on the MA Education and I will be putting on our reading list for Practitioner Research module.
I am on sabbatical next year and would consider adopting this book in my qualitative methods course the following year.
I really liked how the author's approach the teaching to qualitative data analysis. They are sensitive to students' wanting to have some step by step directions in the intricate "how-to's" in working with qualitative data. The book is loaded with examples of different analytical styles and techniques.