Mixed Methods Research: Merging Theory with Practice

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This accessibly written book is ideal for use in graduate courses or by practicing researchers and evaluators. The author puts the research problem at center stage, showing how mixed methods designs can fruitfully address different types of research questions. She illustrates the discussion with examples of mixed methods studies from a variety of disciplines and qualitative approaches (interpretive, feminist, and postmodern). The text demonstrates how to navigate ethical issues; gather, analyze, and interpret data; and write up the results, including an in-depth example with step- by-step commentary. Special features include "researcher standpoint" reflections from leading scholars and practical strategies to help users develop their own research perspectives. Every chapter concludes with a glossary, discussion questions, and useful Web resources.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"By ensuring that qualitative methods are given appropriate attention, this book fills an important niche in the growing literature on mixed methods. Hesse-Biber demonstrates strong mastery of both the epistemological and practical challenges of carrying out mixed methods studies. Her extensive experience shines through as she gives readers insights into both the challenges and rewards of this kind of research. The book successfully balances theory, methodology, and real-world praxis in its creative use of examples, exercises, and discussion questions."--Deborah K. Padgett, PhD, MPH, Silver School of Social Work, New York University

"I was especially impressed with the strong use of practical examples from actual research projects, both in the 'researcher standpoint' interviews and in the numerous case studies."--David L. Morgan, PhD, University Professor, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Portland State University

"Unique. This is the first book I have seen that presents a detailed strategy for mixed methods research that is grounded in a qualitative--rather than quantitative or pragmatist--framework. Explicitly connecting with feminist, critical, and postmodern perspectives, the book will be particularly helpful to qualitative researchers who see value in using some quantitative methods and data but who are turned off by the usual quantitatively oriented presentations of mixed methods research."--Joseph Maxwell, PhD, Graduate School of Education, George Mason University
"Four of the most serious problems in the social sciences are the fragmentation of research methods, the use of conventional methods for convenience, the lack of knowledge of qualitative methods, and naiveté regarding alternative philosophical frameworks. This book directly and competently addresses all four problems. It will help students and seasoned researchers learn to tailor methods to their research problems with sophisticated qualitative skills and philosophical perspective."--Frederick J. Wertz, PhD, Department of Psychology, Fordham University

"Hesse-Biber's perspective on mixed methods research is grounded in the qualitative tradition, which allows her to examine the use of theoretical frameworks such as feminism and postmodernism in mixed methods work. Students will especially benefit from the book's numerous examples and its inclusion of firsthand reflections from mixed methods researchers, who discuss their approaches and the challenges they have faced. The book combines in-depth theoretical perspectives with practical advice on the technical side of mixed methods research."--Donna M. Mertens, PhD, Department of Educational Foundations and Research, Gallaudet University

"This book is unique in its focus on how mixed methods may be utilized from various qualitative paradigms, including interpretative, feminist, and postmodern approaches. It is loaded with case examples and is written clearly for a graduate student audience. The treatment of ethics in mixed methods work is commendable."--Kai A. Schafft, PhD, Department of Education Policy Studies, Penn State University

"Finally, a text that guides the reader toward sensitively and ethically completing a mixed methods research project. The book is rich with examples of interesting qualitative research studies that illustrate mixed methods without jargon or mystery. Contemporary issues include managing human subjects review, working with stakeholders, publishing across the disciplines, and judging what is feasible in conducting a mixed methods study."--Nancy Grudens-Schuck, PhD, Department of Agricultural Education and Studies, Iowa State University 
"For both students and practicing researchers alike, [this book] will be an invaluable resource across a range of disciplines. Through its emphasis on the centrality of the relationship between theoretical perspective and research design, the book guides the reader into thinking reflexively about the theoretical perspective in which research questions are grounded as well as the researcher’s axiological standpoint, to ensure that they consider the impact these factors have on the knowledge produced by research. Through the presentation of three different theoretical positions: feminist, interactionist and post-modernist, and with the assistance of glossaries, worked examples, discussion points and suggested resources, Hesse-Biber presents complex theoretical ideas in a manner accessible to those new to mixed methods research as well as more experienced researchers wishing to explore qualitative approaches to mixed methods research. Arguably the biggest triumph of this book is its centering of qualitative approaches to mixed methods research in a field largely dominated by quantitative approaches. The first mixed methods book dedicated solely to the presentation of qualitative perspectives, it challenges not only qualitative researchers to consider the possibilities suggested by a mixed methods design, but also those undertaking mixed methods research from a primarily quantitative perspective to consider what a qualitative vantage point might offer research design. Overall, this book is comprehensive, readable, and importantly, challenging, to the field of mixed methods research where a systematic presentation of qualitative approaches has long been lacking."--Felicity Boardman, PhD, Research Fellow in Mixed Methods Research, Warwick Medical School, United Kingdom

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606235058
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/2010
  • Pages: 242
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Sharlene Nagy Hesse-Biber is Professor of Sociology and Director of Women’s Studies at Boston College. She is also the founder and former Executive Director of the National Association for Women in Catholic Higher Education. She has published widely on the impact of sociocultural factors on women’s body image, as well as on feminist and qualitative research methods. She is codeveloper of the software program HyperRESEARCH, a computer-assisted program for analyzing qualitative data, and of the new transcription tool HyperTRANSCRIBE. Her article "Qualitative Approaches to Mixed Methods Practice" was the most downloaded article of 2010 in the journal Qualitative Inquiry.
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Table of Contents

1. Introduction to Mixed Methods Research

2. Formulating Questions, Conducting a Literature Review, Sampling Design, and the Centrality of Ethics in Mixed Methods Research

3. A Qualitative Approach to Mixed Methods Design, Analysis, Interpretation, Write Up, and Validity

4. Interpretative Approaches to Mixed Methods Research

5. Feminist Approaches to Mixed Methods Research

6. Postmodernist Approaches to Mixed Methods Research, with Chris Kelly

7. Putting It Together: Qualitative Approaches to Mixed Methods Research Praxis

8. Conclusion: The Prospects and Challenges of Mixed Methods Praxis

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