Discovering Qualitative Methods Field Research, Interviews, and Analysis

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2004-08-10
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Discovering Qualitative Methods guides students on a journey into the study of social interaction and culture. This highly readable text covers all the major types of qualitative research: field research or ethnography, interviews, documents, and images. Throughout the text, Warren and Karner emphasize the process of social research--from the initial idea to the final paper, journal article, or scholarly monograph. Chapter One situates the development of qualitative research in a historical and theoretical context. Chapter Two discusses ethical, political, and legal issues in qualitative research, including the development and requirements of institutional review boards. Chapters Three, Four, and Five cover field research in all its contexts, from stranger to member and from solo to team ethnography. The reader is introduced to issues of accessibility and cost in choosing a setting, entree as event and process, and the intersection of the setting with the field researcher. Chapter Four follows these processes into the establishment of roles and relationships within the setting, including intersections of gender, sex, race, and ethnicity. The task of writing fieldnotes is addressed in Chapter Five. Since thick description is the basis of good analytic description, the importance of writing timely and detailed fieldnotes is emphasized. Various technologies that can assist the student with this task are presented, together with examples and critiques of fieldnotes. Qualitative interviewing is the subject of Chapters Six and Seven, beginning with topic selection and moving into the process of developing research and interview questions. Various interview formats, from dyads to focus groups, are discussed, and face-to-face is contrasted with telephone and internet interviewing. Selection of interviewees--how many, what social types, and which individuals--is covered, together with how to deal with problems such as the inability to locate respondents and how to elicit detailed narrative answers. The process and format of the qualitative interview is also considered as a social interaction. Warren and Karner further explore the logistics of transcription, or turning a speech event into text, as well as the epistemology of the interview--how qualitative researchers interpret the interview as a source of data and sociological knowledge. Chapter Eight discusses and analyzes the use of texts and images in qualitative research, including still and moving images, the Internet, and historical documents. The creation of texts and images by the researcher and the respondent are considered methodologically--as is the use of existing documents, photographs, and films. The analysis of qualitative data and the task of writing are developed in Chapters Nine and Ten. By this time in the process of discovering qualitative methods, the researcher has the data: fieldnotes, interview transcripts, copies of texts, or images. The task of analyzing these data is discussed in detail, as are the various techniques and technologies available to facilitate this task. Chapter Ten covers the write-up of the research in the form of class papers, presentations, or publishable articles and books. Step by step, Warren and Karner take the reader through the process of crafting a well-written qualitative analysis. They include discussions and examples of outlines and drafts, titles and authors, abstracts, introductions, methods sections, literature reviews, findings, conclusions, and the relationship between methods, theory, and applied sociology. The Epilogue considers the future of qualitative sociology. Qualitative methods teaching is flourishing both at the undergraduate and graduate levels in sociology, as well as interdisciplinary areas such as education, gerontology, and evaluation research. Interdisciplinary cultural studies continue to expand theoretical research with qualitative methods. The Epilo

Table of Contents

Preface: Welcome to the Study of Qualitative Methods
Introduction to Qualitative Methods
The Logic of Qualitative Inquiry
Generalizability, Validity, and Reliability
Methods, Theory, and Representation
The Chicago School and the Development of Qualitative Methods in Sociology
Ethnography and Social Change
Visual Ethnography
Qualitative Interviewing: The Collective and the Individual Story
What Is It For?
The Purposes of Qualitative Research
The Law, Politics, and Ethics of Qualitative Research
The Law and Qualitative Sociological Research
The Brajuha, Scarce, and Leo Cases
The Protection of Human Subjects
Protection From Harm
Informed Consent
Confidentiality, Publicity, and Anonymity
Ethical Issues in Qualitative Research
Deception in the Field
Covert Versus Overt Field Research
Ethical Dilemmas in the Field: Researcher Versus Citizen
Field Research: Setting and Entree
Choosing a Setting
Accessibility, Interest, and Cost'Starting Where You Are'The Embodied Researcher: The Presentation of Self in Fieldwork Entree
Gender and Fieldwork Entree
Key Informants
The Go-Along
The Researcher as Spy
Roles and Relationships in Field Research
The Embodied Self of the Field Researcher
Researchers as Mascots
Apprentices, and Dancing Daughters
Sex in the Field
Ethnographers and Violence
Incorporation: Finding a Place
The Research Bargain
Going Native
Emotions in the Field
Leaving the Field
Reincorporating the Nonstranger
Membership Roles in Field Research
Writing Fieldnotes
Fieldnotes as Inscription of Thick Description
Time and Memory in Fieldnote Writing
Computers and Audiotapes
Preparing and Labeling Fieldnotes
Keeping Track of Fieldnotes
What Fieldnotes Look Like
Reading Fieldnotes
Writing the Other, Inscribing the Self
The Interview: From Research Questions to Interview Questions
The Chicago School and the Development of the Interview
When to Use Qualitative Interviews
Face Sheets
Questions, Prompts, and Probes
The IRB Review
The Format of the Interview
Interviews With Dyads and Triads
Focus Groups
Sampling Respondents
Number and Type of Respondent
Finding Respondents
Planning for the First Interview
The Interview as Social Interaction and Speech Event
The Interview as Social Interaction
Rapports, Truths, and Telling Accounts
After the Interview
Transcribing the Interview
Epistemology of the Interview
The Textual and the Visual as Qualitative Data: Documents,Images, and the Internet
Magazine Advertisements as Data Sources
Studying Gender
Sampling From Magazines
Historical Documents: Voices From the Past
Sampling Texts
Images in Qualitative Sociology
Using Visual Images as Prompts
Sampling Visual Images
Internet Studies
E-mail and Qualitative Research
Studying 'The Amplification of Deviance' on the Internet
Analyzing Qualitative Data: Fieldnotes, Interview Transcripts, Images, and Documents
Where to Begin
The Process of Analysis
Developing Analytic Patterns
The Logistics and Technologies of Analysis
Analyzing Fieldnotes
Analyzing Interview Transcripts
Analyzing Documents and Images
Linking Themes Into Analytic Descriptions
Making Connections
Developing Interpretations
Validating Your Analysis
Writing Well
The Practice of Writing
Preparing to Write
Crafting the Qualitative Research Paper
Elements of the Qualitative Research Paper
Author's Name and Affiliation
Literature Review
Endnotes and References
Editing and Rewriting
Epilogue: The Future of Qualitative Sociology
Interdisciplinary Directions
Applied Qualitative Research
Cultural Studies Research
Postmodern Challenges to Qualitative Research
Critiquing the Postmodern Critique of Ethnography
Critiquing the Interview Society
Feminist Reframings
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