Qualitative Communication Research Methods / Edition 2

Qualitative Communication Research Methods / Edition 2

by Thomas (Tom) R. Lindlof, Bryan C. (Copeland) Taylor

This book is the only guide dedicated to qualitative research methods in communication. It introduces readers to every step of the qualitative research process, from developing research topics and questions, through writing a final report. In addition to covering the theories and methods currently used in qualitative communication research, the authors also discuss

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This book is the only guide dedicated to qualitative research methods in communication. It introduces readers to every step of the qualitative research process, from developing research topics and questions, through writing a final report. In addition to covering the theories and methods currently used in qualitative communication research, the authors also discuss important trends influencing the future of that research.

Product Details

SAGE Publications
Publication date:
Edition description:
Second Edition
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.77(d)

Meet the Author

Thomas R. Lindlof is a Professor in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications at the University of Kentucky. He received his B.A. from the University of Florida, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining the University of Kentucky faculty, he served on the faculty at the Pennsylvania State University. His research and graduate teaching are focused on the cultural analysis of mediated communication, media audience theory and research, social uses of communication technology, and interpretive research methods. His research has appeared in numerous scholarly outlets, including Communication Research, the Journal of Communication, the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Journalism Quarterly, Journalism Studies, the Journal of Media and Religion, the Social Science Computer Review, and Communication Yearbook. He has served as the editor of the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, and currently serves on the editorial boards of four journals. He has written or edited five books. His latest book, Hollywood under Siege: Martin Scorsese, the Religious Right, and the Culture Wars, was published by the University Press of Kentucky in 2008.

Bryan C. Taylor, Associate Professor, specializes in interpretive research methods, organizational communication, and cultural studies. His principal research program involves studies of nuclear and (post-) Cold War communication. This research explores ideological articulations of gender, ethnicity, technology, and (ir)rationality in organizational and cultural discourse. He is also interested in cultural studies of identity, technology, gender, organization, and media. His research has been published in Journal of Applied Communication Research, Communication Research, Critical Studies in Mass Communication, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Quarterly Journal of Speech, Rhetoric and Public Affairs, Studies in Cultures, Organizations, and Societies, and elsewhere. Current projects include a book about the impact of the Cold War on the speech communication discipline. He received his B.A. (1983) from the University of Massachusetts, his M.A.(1987) and Ph.D. (1991) from the University of Utah. Prior to joining the CU-Boulder faculty in 1995 he served on the faculty at Texas A&M University. He was the 1998 recipient of the Young Investigator Award from the Rhetorical and Communication Theory Division of NCA.

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Table of Contents

Preface xii

Acknowledgments xvi

Chapter 1 Introduction to Qualitative Communication Research 1

Introduction: Working With (and Studying) Cops 1

Four Paradigms and (Maybe) a Funeral: A Brief History of Qualitative Communication Research 5

Feeling Corporate, Going Global: Two Trends in Qualitative Communication Research 13

Looking Closer: The Conduct of Qualitative Research in Communication 17

Applied Communication 17

Group Communication 18

Health Communication 19

Intercultural Communication 20

Interpersonal Communication 21

Language and Social Interaction 21

Media and Technology Studies 22

Organizational Communication 24

Performance Studies 25

Rhetoric 27

Strategic Communication 28

Conclusion 29

Chapter 2 Theoretical Traditions and Qualitative Communication Research 33

Qualitative Research and Communication Theory 33

The Phenomenological Tradition 35

The Sociocultural Tradition 39

Ethnomethodology 39

Symbolic Interactionism 42

Social Constructionism 45

Ethnography of Communication 46

Structuration Theory 49

Actor Network Theory 51

The Critical Tradition 52

Feminism 58

Postcolonialism 60

Critical Race Theory 63

Cultural Studies 65

Conclusion 69

Chapter 3 Design I: Planning Research Projects 71

Introduction 72

"My City, My Society, and My Life": Renee's Story 72

Sources of Research Ideas 75

Personal Experiences and Opportunities 75

Theory and Research Literature 78

Public Problems 83

Funding Priorities 84

Moving Toward a Commitment 86

Evaluating the Scene 87

Casing the Scene 88

Assessing Feasibility 90

Consulting Colleagues, Mentors, and Experts 93

Developing Emic and Etic Perspectives 94

Conclusion 95

Chapter 4 Design II: Implementing Research Projects 97

Introduction 97

Negotiating Access 98

Gatekeepers 98

Sponsors 100

Telling a Research Story 101

Clarifying the Involvement 104

Exploratory Methods 105

Sampling 109

Sampling Units 110

Sampling Strategies 112

Sample Size 116

Human Subject Protections 118

Informed Consent 119

Instruments 123

Vulnerable Groups 124

Data Security 125

Textual Representation 125

The Research Proposal 127

Title 127

Abstract or Executive Summary 128

Rationale 128

Conceptualization 128

Research Questions 130

Methodology, Protocol, and Logistics 130

Analysis 131

Schedule 131

Conclusion 131

Exercises 132

Chapter 5 Producing Data I: Participating, Observing, and Recording Social Action 133

Introduction: Fieldwork, Ethnography, and Participant Observation 133

Successful Participant Observation 136

Tolerance for Marginality 136

Embodiment 137

Spontaneous Decision Making 139

Being an Ethical Person 139

Difference Matters 141

Adapting Roles 144

Roles Based on Degree of Participation 144

Roles Based on Social Function 149

Tactical Observing 150

Who Are the Actors? 151

How Is the Scene Set Up? 152

How Do Initial Interactions Occur? 152

How do Actors Claim Attention? 153

Where and When Do Actors Interact? 154

Which Events Are Significant? 155

Writing Fieldnotes 155

Scratch Notes and Headnotes 156

Fieldnotes 156

Fieldwork and Fieldnotes: An Exemplar 160

Journals and Diaries 163

New Media and Participant Observation 164

Conclusion 168

Exercises 168

Chapter 6 Producing Data II: Qualitative Interviewing 170

Introduction 170

Purposes of the Qualitative Interview 172

Types of Interviews in Communication Research 176

Ethnographic Interviews 176

Informant Interviews 177

Respondent Interviews 179

Narrative Interviews 180

Focus Group Interviews 182

The Practices of Interviewing 186

The Interview Context 187

Recording Interviews 192

Developing Rapport 193

Listening 198

Question Design and Use 199

Interview Schedules and Interview Guides 199

Nondirective Questions 202

Directive Questions 207

Finishing Up 210

Transcribing Interviews 211

Conclusion 215

Exercises 216

Chapter 7 Producing Data III: Analyzing Material Culture and Documents 217

Introduction 217

Material Culture 218

Material Culture in Qualitative Research 219

Making Material Culture Visible 221

Documents 229

Documents in Qualitative Research 231

Types of Documents 233

Advantages of Document Analysis 234

Conclusion 239

Exercises 239

Chapter 8 Sensemaking: Qualitative Data Analysis and Interpretation 241

Introduction 241

Qualitative Data Analysis 243

In-Process Writing 244

Categories and Codes 246

Coding Narratives 248

Grounded Theory 250

Coding Example: An Interview Text 252

Coding Example: Invisible Disability in Families 254

Leaving the Research Site 256

Tools for Analysis 258

Manual Methods 258

Computer-Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software (CAQDAS) 260

Interpretation 266

Conceptual Devices in Interpretation 267

Exemplars in Interpretation 269

Evaluating Interpretations 271

Triangulation, Disjuncture, and Crystallization 274

Negative Case Analysis 278

Member Validation 278

Conclusion 280

Exercises 281

Chapter 9 Writing, Authoring, and Publishing 282

Introduction: Going Public 282

The Crisis of Representation 284

After the Fall: Reading and Writing Qualitative Research 286

Voice 287

Narrative Presence 288

The Genre-Audience Nexus 290

Institutional Contexts of Qualitative Writing 293

Academic Politics 293

Publishing Economics 297

New Media 299

The Craft of Qualitative Writing: Three Types of Format and Their Related Strategies 301

Traditional Writing Format 301

Alternative Writing Format 308

Multimedia Writing Format 313

Some Final Thoughts on Writing 315

Exercises 317

Epilogue 318

References 321

Author Index 358

Subject Index 371

About the Authors 377

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