Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Doing Qualitative Research: Designs, Methods, and Techniques / Edition 1

Doing Qualitative Research: Designs, Methods, and Techniques / Edition 1

by Greg M Scott, Roberta M Garner

See All Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0205695930

ISBN-13: 9780205695935

Pub. Date: 03/06/2012

Publisher: Pearson

ALERT: Before you purchase, check with your instructor or review your course syllabus to ensure that you select the correct ISBN. Several versions of Pearson's MyLab & Mastering products exist for each title, including customized versions for individual schools, and registrations are not transferable. In addition, you may need a


ALERT: Before you purchase, check with your instructor or review your course syllabus to ensure that you select the correct ISBN. Several versions of Pearson's MyLab & Mastering products exist for each title, including customized versions for individual schools, and registrations are not transferable. In addition, you may need a CourseID, provided by your instructor, to register for and use Pearson's MyLab & Mastering products.


Access codes for Pearson's MyLab & Mastering products may not be included when purchasing or renting from companies other than Pearson; check with the seller before completing your purchase.

Used or rental books

If you rent or purchase a used book with an access code, the access code may have been redeemed previously and you may have to purchase a new access code.

Access codes

Access codes that are purchased from sellers other than Pearson carry a higher risk of being either the wrong ISBN or a previously redeemed code. Check with the seller prior to purchase.


Examine qualitative research as evidence-based stories of social life.

Doing Qualitative Research shows how qualitative research is evidence-based stories of our social life.

By the time readers complete this book, they will be able to conduct their own research and understand the pleasures and perils of qualitative research. This text is ideal for classes in disciplines such as cultural studies, anthropology, political science, ethnic studies, women and gender studies, the media, journalism and communications, organizational behavior, and more.

Learning Goals

Upon completing this book, readers should be able to:

  • Assess others' research and develop their own research
  • Understand the scientific method, broadly defined and adapted to understanding human beings
  • Analyze with a critical and reflexive style of research — readers should understand how their own lives affect how others are seen
  • Link theory and research
  • Understand the macro-micro linkages created by qualitative research

Product Details

Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Preface x

Part 1 Getting Started.—Thinking about Research Choices 1

Chapter 1 Introduction: Logic of Inquiry, Research Designs and Strategies, and the Methods Tool-Kit 3

Overview 3

Guiding Principles 3

The Book's Organization 4

Part I Getting Started—Thinking about Research Choices 4

Part II Choosing a Research Design 4

Part III Focus on Ethnography 6

Part IV Choices from the Methods Tool-Kit 6

Part V Telling the Story 6

Key Concepts 6

An Example: Studying the Unhoused 8

Quantitative versus Qualitative Research 9

Unobtrusive and "Obtrusive" (or Interactive) Research 10

Fieldwork 10

Understanding the Experiences of Others 11

Exercises 12

Key Terms 13

Chapter 2 A Brief History Of Qualitative Research 14

Overview 14

Classical Ideas 14

Max Weber 15

Verstehen—Understanding 15

The Historical-Comparative Method 15

The Construction of "Ideal-Types" 15

The Chicago School and its Legacy 16

Spatial Mapping and Spatial Analysis 16

The Life History Method 16

Analysis of Documents 17

Observations and Descriptions of Neighborhood Life 17

Occupational Studies 17

Ethnographic Research in Anthropology 17

Anthropologists of the Early 1900s 18

Sociology and Anthropology: An Often Uneasy Union 18

The Frankfurt Institute 19

Street Corner Society: Paragon of Early Qualitative Research 23

Critical Community Studies 23

The Rise of Microsociologies and the Great Surge in Qualitative Research 24

Foundational Concepts of Early Qualitative Research 24

The Common Denominator: Get Out of the Office and into the Mix of Real Life! 25

Principles of the New Qualitative Methodology 25

Ethnomethodologists and "Breaching" Experiments 26

The Birth of a Contentious Divide 27

Feminist and Postmodernist Approaches: New Directions at the End of the Twentieth Century 27

Feminist Research Strategies 27

Postmodernism in Qualitative Research 28

Toward More Comprehensive Orientations 29

Conclusion 29

Exercises 30

Key Terms 30

Chapter 3 Asking Research Questions 31

Overview 31

Introduction: What is a Research Question? 31

What Does a Research Question Produce? 32

The Sociologist's Way 32

The Scientific Method 33

The Scientific Method: A Set of Rules Guiding Procedures, Presentation of Evidence, and Storytelling 33

Principles of the Scientific Method 34

Framing Research Questions 38

Learning the Language: Qualitative Research Vernacular 38

Doubts and Concerns: Are We Being Too Scientific? 42

Choosing Research Activities 43

Where do Research Questions Come From? 44

Studying a Tattoo Parlor: Using the Scientific Method 45

Qualitative Research Principles in Action: Paul Willis, Learning to Labor: How Working Class Kids Get Working Class Jobs 47

Tips for Formulating a Research Question 48

Conclusion 49

Exercises 49

Key Terms 50

Chapter 4 The Ethics 0f Qualitative Research 51

Overview 51

A Mental Exercise in Role-Taking 51

Scenario 1 You're a Survey "Respondent" 51

Scenario 2 You're an "Informant" Neighbor 52

Ethical Conduct in Qualitative Research 52

Qualitative Research as a "Complicated Relationship" 53

The Question of Meaning 53

Rules on the Books versus Rules in Action 53

Formal Safeguards: Human Subjects Research, the Irb, and Professional Codes of Ethics 54

To Obey or Not to Obey: "The Milgram Study" 54

"Prisoner 819 Did a Bad Thing": The Stanford Prison Experiment 55

The Spy Who Didn't Love Me: Laud Humphreys' Tea Room Trade 55

Institutional Review Boards 56

Beyond Formal Codes of Ethics 59

Informed Consent 60

The (Hollow) Right to Withdraw 60

Informed Consent Is a Process, Not a Document 60

Some Suggestions for Resolving the Tension between Law on the Books and Law in Action 61

Deception 61

"Instrumentalization" of Relationships 62

Give in Order to Take. . . and Take More 63

Caveat: The Subject is Not a Dishrag 63

The "Gaze" 63

Revealing Subjects'Ignorance 64

Caveat: "Studying Up" versus "Studying Down"—The Patterning of Ethical Issues 64

Looking Ahead at Ethics 65

Exercises 65

Key Terms 66

Chapter 5 The Politics of Qualitative Research 67

Overview 67

Research and Politics: Together But Mostly Apart 67

Limiting Personal Bias by Exposing It: Embracing Transparency and Falsifiability 68

Research as a Means for Championing Rights: Social Justice and Social Science 69

Politicizing Research Without Compromising Science 70

Clusters of Values: Truth, Sociological Imagination, and Social Justice 70

Politically Engaged Science: Different Strokes for Different Folks 71

Political Engagement in Theory and Interpretation 72

Mounting a Critique of Existing Concepts and Constructing Alternative Concepts that more Accurately capture Social Realities 72

Dissecting Misrecognition 73

Controversy over Context 74

Engaging in Public Discussion 75

Combating Stereotypes 75

Exposing Misrecognition and Debunking Stereotypes 76

The Dangers of Trying a Little Politically Motivated Tenderness 76

Critical Examination of the State of Social Services and Government Policies 77

Identifying Inequalities in Service Delivery 78

Critique of Organizational Practices 79

Studying the Rich and Powerful 79

Activism: From Spokesperson to CBPR 81

Realistic Ways for Sociologists to Assist Straggling Communities 82

The Critical Analysis of Research Methods 82

The Politics of Researching Research: A Critique of Respondent-Driven Sampling 83

Case Study 83

Conclusion 85

Exercises 85

Key Terms 86

Chapter 6 Integrating Theory Into Qualitative Research: Foundational, Grounded, and Critical-Reflexive Theories 87

Overview 87

The Meaning of "Theory": What it is, What it Isn't 87

Foundational Theory 88

Grounded Theory 88

Critical-Reflexive Theory 88

Foundational Theory in Action: Research Illustrations 89

Foundational Theory in Action 89

Evaluating Foundational Theories in Action 90

Connecting Theory with Research Design and Methods 92

When Does Theory Begin? Before the Beginning 92

Foundational Theories and the Problematic of a Research Project 93

Grounded Theory in Action: Research Illustrations 93

To See the World in a Grain of Sand 94

Key Elements of Grounded Theory 94

But is Grounded Theory Really Built from the Ground Up? 96

The "Always Already" Contradiction of Grounded Theory 96

Critical-Reflexive Theory in Action 97

Getting Back to "Bias"—Simply but Not Simplistically 97

The Theory-Research "Dialogue" 97

Moving Ahead With Theory: A Practical Guide for Overcoming the Abstraction Paralysis 98

Levels of Analysis 98

Research and Theory: A Continuous Conversation 100

How Much Theory? 100

From Empirical Observation to Reflexive Theorizing: Four Steps for Getting Started 102

Conclusion 106

Acknowledgement 106

Exercises 106

Key Terms 107

Part 2 Choosing a Research Design 109

Chapter7 Ethnography: A Synopsis 111

Overview 111

An Example—In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio 111

An Exampk—Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street 112

Ethnography in Everyday Life 112

Professional Strangeness 112

Solving Puzzles in Reverse 113

Ethnography: A Logic of Knowing 115

The Culture Question: "How?" 115

Culture as Process and Structure in Context 116

Depth versus Breadth 117

Falsification 118

Questioning Reality 119

Parsimony and Ockham's Razor 120

The World in a Grain of Sand 120

Ethnography Holds Up a Mirror 120

Ethnography and Journalism 121

Conclusion 123

Exercises 124

Key Terms 124

Chapter 8 Historical-Comparative Research 125

Overview 125

History of Historical-Comparative Research 125

Exemplary Historical-Comparative Research Studies 126

Characteristics of Historical-Comparative Research 131

When and How to Use Historical-Comparative Analysis 132

Conclusion 132

Exercises 133

Key Terms 133

Chapter 9 Social Autopsies: Adverse Events and What they Tell Us About Society 134

Overview 134

Contemporary Life and the Demand for Autopsies 134

Types of Events: Natural Disasters, Accidents, and Intentional Acts 135

Examples of Social Autopsies 136

The Design of Social Autopsies 139

Appropriate Types of Research Questions 139

The Logic of the Social Autopsy 139

Social Autopsies are Contentious 140

Against the "Conspiracy Theory" 140

Components of a Social Autopsy 141

Who Was Affected? 141

The Role of Organizations and Institutions 145

Evaluate the Public Representations of the Event 146

Putting it all Together: The Need for Multilevel Design 147

Theoretical Foundations 147

Related Types of Inquiries 148

Applications 149

Conclusion 150

Exercises 150

Key Terms 151

Chapter 10 Community-Based Participatory Research or Participatory Action Research (With Krista Harper) 152

Overview 152

What is CBPR? 152

A Brief History (or Rather, "Herstory") 153

What is the Meaning of "Community?" 155

Problem-Solving? Whose Problems, Whose Solutions? 155

Par in Action: Environmental Justice in a Hungarian Village 156

Starting with Justice 156

Getting to Know the Roma 156

A Key Informant Emerges 157

Jointly Designing the Project 158

An Overview of CBPR as a Design Choice 159

Practical Tips 160

PAR as Method and Object of Teaching: Critical Perspectives 160

A Retelling of PAR's History 161

Revising the Definition of PAR 161

PAR and Pedagogy: The Politics of Teaching and Learning through CBPR 162

Beware the Backfire Effect: When CBPR Becomes the "Cure That Kills" 162

Conclusion 165

Exercises 165

Key Terms 166

Chapter 11 The Analysis of Cultural Objects and Discourses as a Research Design (With Martha Martinez and Christopher Carroll) 167

Overview 167

Why Conduct Cultural Objects Research? 168

Practical Reasons for Studying Cultural Objects 168

Theory-Driven Reasons for Studying Cultural Objects 168

Research in Action: Examples of Studying Cultural Objects 169

Entertainment 169

Advertising 170

Understanding the Religious Imaginary: Thank You, St. Jude! 170

Style 171

Architecture and Urban Design 172

Managers'Views of Workers: Developing a Research Design and Asking a Research Question 172

The Invisible Metropolis (by Christopher Carroll) 176

Analysis of High School Yearbooks 178

Content Analysis Exercise: Home Pages of Colleges and Universities 180

Summary: When and How Do We Use This Design? 181

Formulate the Research Questions and Think about Relevant Theories 181

Carefully Specify the Units of Analysis and Organize Your Sampling 182

Identify Key Variables to Record 182

Select Your Time Period(s) 182

Create a Data File 183

Conclusion 183

Exercises 183

Key Terms 184

Chapter 12 Multimethod Designs 185

Overview 185

Mixing Methods: The Value of Triangulation 185

Reasons and Strategies For Bringing Methods Together 185

Using Qualitative Research to Understand Forces that Produce Patterns of Variable Relationships 186

Including Quantitative Analysis within an Overall Qualitative or Ethnographic Design 186

Using Quantitative Methods to Analyze Qualitative Materials 187

Using Qualitative Data to Contextualize Quantitative Data 187

Using Quantitative Tools in Comparative Research 189

Using Multimethod Research to Understand Contemporary Issues: The Example of Youth Crime and Homelessness 190

Conclusion 192

Exercises 192

Key Terms 192

Part 3 Focus on Ethnography 193

Chapter 13 Ethnography: Defining, Preparing For, and Entering the field 195

Overview 195

What is Ethnography? 195

The Field 196

Casting a Big Light with a Small Lampz 197

Getting Ready to Get Close: Planning for Ethnographic Work 198

Doing Your Homework: Background Research 198

Refiexivity Exercises: Placing Your Vague Preconceptions in a Vivid Foreground 199

Asking Questions and Planning to Seek Answers 200

Prepare for Your Role on a Stage Not Your Own 201

Reflecting on Reduction and Recognizing Your Blinders! A Preparatory Exercise 203

Thinking About Your Project: The Logic of Ethnographic Discovery 204

Mental Habits of Ethnographers 205

Sameness and Difference: Not the Same Difference 205

Generalizing from Your Sample of One: Culture X 205

Iterative Recursive Abduction 206

Speculation, Imagination, and Surprise 208

Maintaining the Capacity to Be Surprised 210

Entering the Field 211

New People 211

Knowing When to Keep Quiet 213

Conclusion 214

Key Terms 214

Chapter 14 Types of Ethnographic Data 215

Overview 215

Review: Designing Research, Knowing the Data you Need 215

Types of Data 215

Behavior/Action 216

Words 221

Nonbehavioral Data 224

Objects and Styles 226

Events and Rituals 227

The Intangibles: Norms, Values, Standards, and Beliefs 228

People and Personas 229

Conclusion 231

Key Terms 231

Chapter 15 Writing Ethnographic Field Notes (With Gerald R.Suttles) 232

Overview 232

The Significance of Field Notes 232

The Basics of Field Notes 232

Handling Time 233

Language and Terminology: The Key to Understanding Insider Views 236

Concreteness 237

Present Tense 238

Contemporaneity 238

Writing to Think, Thinking to Write: Writing as Thinking 239

From the Periphery to the Core: Lessons from a Student Ethnography of a Tattoo Parlor in Chicago, IL 240

Putting the Blinders Back On: Smartly This Time! 240

Digital Recording Technology 241

Integrity of Data 241

Logistics 242

Conclusion: Field Notes and Professional Standards 243

Exercises 244

Key Terms 244

Chapter 16 Directed Strategies for Data-Making 245

Overview 245

Ethnography Essentials: A Brief Review 245

The Directed Strategies 246

When Should I Use Directed Strategies? 246

What Do Directed Strategies Produce? 248

Asking Questions 248

Processual Interviewing 250

Manualize 251

Free-Listing and Pile-Sorting 251

Sociometric Grid Mapping 252

Daily Diary 253

Ethnographic Shadowing 255

Informant Mapping: Individuals and Focus Groups 256

Systematic Social Observation (SSO) 258

Conclusion 261

Exercises 262

Key Terms 262

Part 4 Choices from the Methods Tool-Kit 263

Chapter 17 Observation, Participant-Observation, and Carnal Sociology 265

Overview 265

A Spectrum of Observation: Degrees of Separation 265

Unobtrusive Observation 265

"Obtrusive" Observation: A Range of Involvement 266

Carnal Participation and Observation 266

Choosing Carnal Sociology 267

The "Goodness of Fit" between Observer and Observed 267

Research Ethics and IRB Restrictions 268

Entry and Guides 268

Entry 269

The Guide, Key Informants, and Research Bargains 270

Recording Observation and Participation: Field Notes and Analytic Memos 272

Choices about Recording: Descriptive Notes 273

The Analytic Memo: A Device for Making Sense of Notes 274

Howard Becker's Tips for Improving Objectivity and Plausibility 275

Observable Indicators 275

Credibility of Informants 275

Volunteered and Spontaneous Sharing of Information versus Directed Information: A Clue to the Salience of Concerns 276

Noting the Frequency and Distribution of Phenomena 276

First Steps: Mapping Space, Identifying Icons, Recording Time 277

A Summary of Practical Tips 278

Conclusion 279

Exercises 279

Key Terms 279

Chapter 18 Interviewing 280

Overview 280

Background and Orientations 280

Orientations toward Interviewing 281

The Postmodern View 281

Structured, Semi-Structured, and Unstructured Interviews 282

Interview Procedures and Practices 285

The Sympathetic Ear: An Example of Research in Action 285

Believing, Disbelieving and Disbelieving Belief 285

Elite Interviews 288

Asking Questions Informally and Interacting Effectively 290

The "10 Commandments of Informant Interviewing" 290

The Basics of Getting Informants to Engage in Revelatory Talk 294

A Final Word on the Subject: Observation Trumps Interviewing! 296

Conclusion 296

Exercises 296

Key Terms 297

Chapter 19 Focus Groups (With Tracey Lewis-Elligan) 298

Overview 298

The Many Uses of an Unnatural Venue: Focus Group Basics 298

One Exception: The In Situ Focus Group 299

Gauging Appropriateness of the Method 299

Guidelines for Running a Focus Group 300

Research in Action: Examples of Focus Group-Based Studies 304

Case Example: Are African American girls joining the eating disorder mainstream? 304

High School Focus Groups 307

Conclusion 310

Exercises 310

Key Terms 310

Chapter 20 Life Narratives 311

Overview 311

The Life Narrative: A Staple Item in the Qualitative Research Method Inventory 311

The Chicago School: Exemplary Life Narrative Studies 312

The Spontaneity Factor 312

Whose Life, Whose Narrative? 313

A Suitable Topic 313

A Suitable Life 314

Motivation 314

The Life History Interview 315

Levels of Data 315

Limitations of the Life History Interview 316

FormatsVary 318

Practical Guidance for Building the Life Narrative 318

Recording 318

The Transcript 319

Interpretation 319

Conclusion 323

CODA 324

Exercises 324

Key Terms 325

Chapter 21 Visual Methods (With Thomas Fredericks) 326

Overview 326

The Centrality of "The Visual" 326

Having a Vision: The Beginning 327

The Image 328

Creator and Consumer: A Contested "Relationship" 328

Our Basic Assumptions about Imagery 329

A Brief History of Visual Methods in the Social Sciences 329

In the Beginning: Photography 329

Science Poo-Poos Pictures 330

Then Came Pictures in Motion... The Movies x331

Then Came the 1960s: Peace, Love, and Subjectivity 332

50 Years Later... and ... ? 332

(Critical) Visual Literacy 334

Visual Intelligence and Literacy 335

Visual Literacy and Sociology 337

How Sociologists Approach Visual Material and Methods 337

The Data are and Must Be Images 338

Implementing Visual Methods: Key Ideas 339

Straddling the Great Divide: The Image as an Objective-Subjective Matter 339

The Practice of Image-Making 340

Video (as) Documentation 340

Ethnographilm: A Particular Kind of Documentary Movie 341

The Heart of Ethnographilm Is Ethnography 341

Ethnographilm and Documentary Film: A Shared History 342

So What Exactly is an Ethnographilm? 343

Approaches You Can Take 343

Some Basic Rules of Ethnographilmmaking 344

Why Make an Ethnographilm? 346

Conclusion ... Actually, We've Only Just Begun 347

Exercises 347

Key Terms 347

Chapter 22 Computer Software for Qualitative Data Analysis (With Sarah Korhonen and Rachel Lovell) 348

Overview 348

CADA 348

New Tricks for Old and Young Dogs 349

The Importance of Setting Reasonable Expectations 350

Introduction to CAQDAS 351

A Brief History of CAQDAS 351

Reduction: The Key to CAQDAS 353

Back to the Future: The Primacy of the Binary 354

Garbage in, Garbage Out—Revisited with an Addendum Regarding False Hope 354

The Magic Moment: Al Green or Alanis Morissette? 354

Remembering Meaning 355

Path Forward 355

The Contenders: NVivo Versus ATLAS.ti 355

A Note on Grounded Theory: Inductive and Deductive Approaches to Making Sense 356

Coded Chunks of Text: The Foundation of Qualitative Data Analysis 357

Inductive and Abductive Coding: Not Mutually Exclusive 358

Logic of NVivo and ATLAS.ti 359

Logic of NVivo 360

Logic of ATLAS.ti 361

The Trinity of Units: Analysis, Observation, and Manipulation 363

Specifics of the Program Software 364

Data Preparation 367

Working With Data 369

Coding 369

Additional Coding Procedures 371

Queries 372

Relations/Relationships 373

Eyeballing and Beyond: A Graphical View of Your Research 374

Conclusion 374

Key Terms 374

Part 5 Telling the Story 375

Chapter 23 The Research Report 377

Overview 377

The Canons of Form and the Canonical Research Report 377

Voice 378

Play it Straight 378

Or Play it Not So Straight 378

Writing Lit Reviews 379

Other Elements of the Research Report: Practical Tips 379

What Is Paraphrasing and Why is it Often a Problem? 380

Truth: The Big Onion 382

Truth and Objectivity 385

Understanding the Participants' Point of View 385

Distinguishing the Insider and the Outsider's Perspectives 385

Developing Thick Description 385

Considering Macro-Micro Linkages 385

Theory-Methods Linkages in the Research Report 386

Critical-reflexive sociology (Bourdieu, Wacquant, Burawoy) 389

Conclusion 389

Exercises 390

Key Terms 390

Chapter 24 Wrapping It Up 391

Overview 391

Challenges Abound 391

Legal Complications 391

Holding Up the Mirror: Research Subjects See Themselves in Your Report—the Issue of Representation 393

Promises to Keep (and Some to Break): Sharing Findings 397

The Fading of Friendship 398

Post-Project Blues 400

Conclusion 401

Exercises 401

Key Terms 401

Bibliography 402

Index 408

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews