Qualitative Research: Studying How Things Work
  • Qualitative Research: Studying How Things Work
  • Qualitative Research: Studying How Things Work

Qualitative Research: Studying How Things Work

by Robert E. Stake
     
 

This book provides invaluable guidance for thinking through and planning a qualitative study. Rather than offering recipes for specific techniques, master storyteller Robert Stake stimulates readers to discover "how things work" in organizations, programs, communities, and other systems. Topics range from identifying a research question to selecting methods,

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Overview

This book provides invaluable guidance for thinking through and planning a qualitative study. Rather than offering recipes for specific techniques, master storyteller Robert Stake stimulates readers to discover "how things work" in organizations, programs, communities, and other systems. Topics range from identifying a research question to selecting methods, gathering data, interpreting and analyzing the results, and producing a well-thought-through written report. In-depth examples from actual studies emphasize the role of the researcher as instrument and interpreter, while boxed vignettes and learning projects encourage self-reflection and critical thinking. After reading this book, doctoral students and novice qualitative researchers will be able to plan a study from beginning to end.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781606235454
Publisher:
Guilford Publications, Inc.
Publication date:
03/19/2010
Pages:
244
Sales rank:
354,731
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Make Yourself Comfortable 1

Projects 4

1 Qualitative Research: How Things Work 11

1.1 The Science of the Particular 13

1.2 Professional Knowledge 13

1.3 Individual Experience and Collective Knowledge 17

1.4 The Methods of Qualitative Research 19

1.5 Causes 20

1.6 The Thing 25

1.7 Comparing Things 26

1.8 Weaknesses of Qualitative Research 28

1.9 Essence of the Qualitative Approach 31

2 Interpretation: The Person as Instrument 36

2.1 Interpretive Research 36

2.2 Microinterpretation and Macrointerpretation 39

2.3 Empathy 46

2.4 Thick Description and Verstehen 48

2.5 Context and Situation 50

2.6 Skepticism 53

2.7 Emphasis on Interpretation 54

3 Experiential Understanding: Most Qualitative Study Is Experiential 56

3.1 The Places of Human Activity 57

3.2 Criterial and Experiential Description 58

3.3 Emphasizing Personal Experience 62

3.4 Multiple Realities 66

3.5 Bringing in the Experience of Others 66

4 Stating the Problem: Questioning How This Thing Works 71

4.1 First the Question, Then the Methods 72

4.2 Laying Out Your Study 77

4.3 A Librarian Thinking of a Design 78

4.4 Design for Studying How This Case Works 82

4.5 Raising and Answering Questions 86

5 Methods: Gathering Data 88

5.1 Observing 90

5.2 Interviewing 95

5.3 Exhibit Questions 97

5.4 Survey 99

5.5 Keeping Records 99

6 Review of Literature: Zooming to See the Problem 104

6.1 Refining the Problem to Be Studied 104

6.2 Concept Mapping 106

6.3 Representing the Field 109

6.4 Building upon the Nearby Studies 112

6.5 Finding the Literature 115

7 Evidence: Bolstering Judgment and Reconnoitering 117

7.1 Evidence-Based Decision Making 120

7.2 Unbearable Lightness of Evidence 121

7.3 Triangulation 123

7.4 Mixed Methods and Confidence 125

7.5 Member Checking 126

7.6 Review Panels 127

7.7 Progressive Focusing 129

8 Analysis and Synthesis: How Things Work 133

8.1 Taking Apart and Putting Together 134

8.2 Working with Patches 137

8.3 Interpretation and Sorting 150

9 Action Research and Self-Evaluation: Finding on Your Own How Your Place Works 157

9.1 Participatory Action Research 159

9.2 Evaluation 161

9.3 Studying Your Own Place 163

9.4 Bias 164

9.5 Assertions 167

10 Storytelling: Illustrating How Things Work 170

10.1 Vignettes 171

10.2 Elements of Story 174

10.3 Story versus a Collage of Patches 179

10.4 Multiple Case Research 181

11 Writing the Final Report: An Iterative Convergence 183

11.1 The Iterative Synthesis 184

11.2 The Ukraine Report 188

11.3 Dualities and the Dialectic 191

11.4 Particular and General Assertions 192

11.5 Generalization from Particular Situations 197

11.6 The Professional View 198

12 Advocacy and Ethics: Making Things Work Better 200

12.1 All Research Is Advocative 200

12.2 A Voice for the Underrepresented 202

12.3 Personal Ethics 203

12.4 Protection of Human Subjects 206

12.5 People Exposed 209

12.6 Essentials of Qualitative Research 212

12.7 Looking Forward 214

Glossary: Meanings for This Book 217

Bibliography 223

Author Index 233

Subject Index 237

About the Author 244

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