This textbook presents an engaging introduction to the theory and methods of qualitative research in the social sciences. The authors employ a "holistic" approach to research by tightly linking research questions with the appropriate set of qualitative methods. They cover all the key mainstream qualitative methods, as well as a number of more unconventional ones such as oral history, visual and unobtrusive methods, and present an overview of mixed-methods approaches. As part of their discussion of the ethical issues underpinning all social research, the authors raise important issues concerning the problems and prospects novice researchers confront in researching human subjects.
"Hesse-Biber and Leavy have provided us with an excellent textbook for the beginning level of the study of qualitative research. It is just technical enough that an intelligent under graduate could use it to produce an elementary level research using some of the cookie cutter methodology presented in the how-to sections of the chapters."
Sharlene Nagy Hesse-Biber (PhD, University of Michigan) is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Women’s Studies & Gender Studies Program at Boston College in Massachusetts. She has published widely on the impact of sociocultural factors on women’s body image, including her book Am I Thin Enough Yet? The Cult of Thinness and the Commercialization of Identity, which was selected as one of Choice Magazine’s best academic books for 1996. She has also written widely on methodological and methods issues, including the role of technology and emergent methods in social research. Dr. Hesse-Biber is co-editor of Emergent Methods in Social Research and the Handbook of Emergent Methods, as well as co-author of The Practice of Qualitative Research. She is also editor of the Handbook of Feminist Research: Theory and Praxis, which was selected as one of the Critics’ Choice Award winners by the American Education Studies Association and was also chosen as one of Choice Magazine’s Outstanding Academic titles for 2007. Dr. Hesse-Biber is co-developer of the software program HyperRESEARCH, a computer-assisted program for analyzing qualitative data, and the new transcription tool HyperTRANSCRIBE. For more information, see www.researchware.com.
Patricia Leavy specializes in qualitative methodology, collective memory, popular culture and gender. Leavy previously taught at Boston College, Northeastern University and Curry College. She is the author of Iconic Events: Media, Politics and Power in Retelling History (Lexington Books, 2007), Method Meets Art: Arts-Based Research (Guilford Press, 2009) and Oral History: Understanding Qualitative Research (Oxford University Press, 2011). She is coauthor of Feminist Research Practice (Sage, 2007) and The Practice of Qualitative Research (Sage, 2005; 2011). She is the co-editor of Hybrid Identities: Theoretical and Empirical Examinations (Brill, 2009); Handbook of Emergent Methods (Guilford Press, 2008); Emergent Methods in Social Research (Sage, 2006) and Approaches to Qualitative Research: A Reader on Theory and Practice (Oxford University Press, 2004). She is currently the editor for a large book series with Oxford University Press titled Understanding Qualitative Research. Leavy has also authored articles on methodology, body image, collective memory, and media. She is regularly quoted in newspapers for her expertise on popular culture and gender and has appeared on CNN’s Glenn Beck Show and Lou Dobbs. Leavy is the founding Director of the Gender Studies Program at Stonehill. Patricia Leavy was named the New England Sociologist of the Year 2010 by the New England Sociological Association.
I. The Qualitative Paradigm
1. The Craft of Qualitative Research: A Holistic Approach
2. The Research Process
3. The Ethics of Social Research
II. Methods of Data Collection
4. In-Depth Interview
5. Oral History: A Collaborative Method of (Auto)Biography Interview
6. Focus Group Interviews
8. Content Analysis and Unobtrusive Methods
9. Mixed Methods Research
III. Analysis and Representation
10. Analysis and Interpretation of Qualitative Data
11. The Research Nexus: Staying Centered and Building Knowledge