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Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods: A Guidebook and Resource, 4th Edition

ISBN: 978-1-118-76721-4
416 pages
October 2015
Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods: A Guidebook and Resource, 4th Edition (1118767217) cover image

Description

An informative real-world guide to studying the "why" of human behavior

Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods is a practical, comprehensive guide to the collection and presentation of qualitative data. Unique in the market, this book describes the entire research process — from design through writing — illustrated by examples of real, complete qualitative work that clearly demonstrates how methods are used in actual practice. This updated fourth edition includes all new case studies, with additional coverage of mixed methods, non-sociological settings, funding, and a sample interview guide. The studies profiled are accompanied by observation field notes, and the text includes additional readings for both students and instructors. More than just theory, this guide is designed to give you a real-world practitioner's view of how qualitative research is handled every step of the way.

Many different disciplines rely on qualitative research as a method of inquiry, to gain an in-depth understanding of human behavior and the governing forces behind it. Qualitative research asks "why" and "how," and the data is frequently complex and difficult to measure. This book shows you how to effectively handle qualitative work, regardless of where it's being applied.

  • Understand the strengths and limitations of qualitative data
  • Learn how experts work around common methodological issues
  • Compare actual field notes to the qualitative studies they generated
  • Examine the full range of qualitative methods throughout the research process

Whether you're studying sociology, psychology, marketing, or any number of other fields, especially in the social and behavioral sciences, human behavior is the central concern of your work. So what drives human behavior? That's what qualitative research helps to explain. Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods gives you the foundation you need to begin seeking answers.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

PART ONE : Among the People: How to Conduct Qualitative Research 1

Chapter 1 Introduction: Go to the People 3

A Note on the History of Qualitative Methods 4

Qualitative Methodology 7

Theory and Methodology 11

Notes 28

Chapter 2 Research Design and Pre-Fieldwork 29

Research Design 29

Selecting Settings 32

Obtaining Institutional Review Board Approval 34

Writing Proposals 40

Access to Organizations 44

Access to Public and Quasi-Public Settings 46

Access to Private Settings 47

What Do You Tell Gatekeepers and Informants? 49

Collecting Data About Obtaining Access 51

Covert Research 51

Chapter 3 Participant Observation: In the Field 54

Entering the Field 55

Negotiating Your Role 56

Establishing Rapport 58

Participation 62

Key Informants 64

Difficult Field Relations 66

Forming Relationships 68

Field Tactics 69

Asking Questions 73

Learning the Language 76

Field Notes 78

Boundaries of a Study 90

Leaving the Field 91

Triangulation 93

Ethics in the Field 95

Chapter 4 In-Depth Interviewing 101

The Qualitative Interview 102

Types of Interview Studies 103

Choosing to Interview 104

Selecting Informants 107

Approaching Informants 110

Understanding the Interview in Context 114

Managing the Interview Situation 115

Getting People to Talk About What Is Important to Them 118

The Interview Guide 122

Probing 123

Cross-Checks 126

Relations With Informants 128

Recording Interviews 130

Group Interviews 131

The Interviewer’s Journal 132

Note 134

Chapter 5 Montage: Discovering Methods 135

Disrupting the “Commonsense World of Everyday Life”: Harold Garfinkel 138

Qualitative Research as Autobiography 140

Entering a World Without Words 142

Personal Documents 144

Picturing Disability 146

Photography and Videotaping 148

Official Records and Public Documents 151

Historical and Archival Research 153

Notes 159

Chapter 6 Working With Data: Data Analysis in Qualitative Research 161

Narratives: Descriptive and Theoretical Studies 161

Building Theory 163

Working With Data 168

Constructing Life Histories 194

PART TWO: Writing Qualitative Research: Selected Studies 197

Chapter 7 Writing and Publishing Qualitative Studies 199

What You Should Tell Your Readers 200

Some Tips on Writing 203

Common Mistakes in Writing From Qualitative Data 207

Publishing Qualitative Studies 210

Selected Studies 213

Chapter 8 “You’re Not a Retard, You’re Just Wise”: Disability, Social Identity, and Family Networks 215
Steven J. Taylor

Chapter 9 Producing Family Time: Practices of Leisure Activity Beyond the Home 247
Marjorie L. DeVault

Chapter 10 Ethnicity and Expertise: Racial-Ethnic Knowledge in Sociological Research 267
Marjorie L. DeVault

Chapter 11 Citizen Portraits: Photos of People With Disabilities as Personal Keepsakes 289
Robert Bogdan

Chapter 12 “They Asked for a Hard Job”: World War II Conscientious Objectors on the Front Lines 312
Steven J. Taylor

Closing Remarks 335

Appendix 1

Field Notes 338

Appendix 2

Interview Guide Template 351
Peter Ibarra

References 354

Author Index 381

Subject Index 391

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Author Information

Steven Taylor, PhD is professor of cultural foundations of education, centennial professor of disability studies, and co-director of Syracuse University's Center on Disability Studies, Law, and Human Policy. He is the author of numerous books and articles  He was the recipient of the 1997 Research Award of the American Association on Mental Retardation, the 2003 Syracuse University Chancellor's Citation for Exceptional Academic Achievement, and the 2008 Senior Scholar Award of the Society for Disability Studies.

Robert Bogdan, PhD is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Social Science and Education at Syracuse University. After serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nigeria (1964-1966) he went to graduate school in sociology. He joined the faculty at Syracuse University in 1971. He has won many awards for his writing and teaching including an honorary doctorate degree from Stockholm University.

Marjorie DeVault, PhD is the Maxwell Professor of Teaching Excellence and the undergraduate director of the department of Sociology at Syracuse University. Her special areas of interest include gender studies, qualitative methodology, feminist studies, and social interaction. . She maintains an IE website at http://faculty.maxwell.syr.edu/mdevault/Default.htm.

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