Qualitative Research Practice: A Guide for Social Science Students and Researchers

Qualitative Research Practice: A Guide for Social Science Students and Researchers

Hardcover(Second Edition)


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Qualitative Research Practice: A Guide for Social Science Students and Researchers by Jane Ritchie

Ritchie and Lewis, who are both affiliated with the Quality Research Unit at Britain's National Centre for Social Research, present 11 papers (all from current and former members of the Unit) that advance the Centre's project towards the development of statistical and qualitative research methods and standards in the field of social policy. Chapters cover design issues, sample selections, fieldwork strategies, focus groups and interviews, qualitative analysis, generalizing from data, and reporting and presenting research. Annotation ©2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781446209110
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Publication date: 12/12/2013
Edition description: Second Edition
Pages: 456
Product dimensions: 7.32(w) x 9.13(h) x (d)

About the Author

Jane Ritchie is a psychologist and worked exclusively in social policy research throughout her career. She founded the Qualitative Research Unit at Nat Cen Social Research in 1985 and was the Unit's Director until 1998. She was one of the originators of the qualitative analytic tool, Framework, and teaches and writes about qualitative methods.

Jane Lewis was Director of the Qualitative Research Unit at Nat Cen Social Research from 1998-2007, and then Director of Research and Evaluation at the National Children's Bureau. Her career has since focused on research utilisation and implementation in child and family services. She ran the national support agency for evidence-informed practice Research in Practice and is now centrally involved in the development of UK implementation science and practice as a Director of the Colebrooke Centre for Evidence and Implementation.

Table of Contents

Notes on Contributorsix
Editors' Acknowledgementsxii
1The Foundations of Qualitative Research1
Defining qualitative research2
The historical development of qualitative research5
Key philosophical and methodological issues in qualitative research12
The 'approach' within this book18
Key points22
Key terms22
Further reading23
2The Applications of Qualitative Methods to Social Research24
Theoretical and applied research24
The functions of qualitative research26
The functions of different qualitative methods34
Combining qualitative and quantitative methods38
Key points44
Key terms45
Further reading46
3Design Issues47
Defining the research questions48
Building design around research settings and populations49
Selecting the time frame for research53
Choosing a data collection method56
Negotiating research relationships62
Resourcing and timetabling qualitative research studies71
Key points74
Key terms75
Further reading76
4Designing and Selecting Samples77
Sampling strategies for qualitative research77
Study populations86
Sample frames88
Designing a purposive sample96
Implementing the sample design104
Key points107
Key terms107
Further reading108
5Designing Fieldwork Strategies and Materials109
Structuring data collection110
Designing topic guides115
Incorporating other research instruments and materials127
Preparing for fieldwork and refining fieldwork strategies133
Key points136
Key terms137
Further reading137
6In-depth Interviews138
The in-depth interview139
The staging of an interview144
Asking questions to achieve breadth and depth148
Question formulation153
Further techniques for achieving depth155
Practical considerations165
Key points168
Key terms168
Further reading169
7Focus Groups170
Features and types of focus group171
Group processes and the stages of a focus group174
Conducting the discussion180
Using the group process: some further strategies185
Group composition and size190
Practicalities in organising the group193
Key points197
Key terms197
Further reading198
8Analysis: Practices, Principles and Processes199
Traditions and approaches within qualitative analysis200
Computer-assisted qualitative methods206
The key requirements of analytic tools209
The analytic hierarchy213
Key points217
Key terms217
Further reading218
9Carrying out Qualitative Analysis219
Data management220
Descriptive accounts237
Explanatory accounts248
Analysing group data257
Key points261
Key terms262
Further reading262
10Generalising from Qualitative Research263
Definitions of generalisation264
Approaches to generalisation266
Reliability and validity270
Generalising from qualitative data277
Key points284
Key terms285
Further reading286
11Reporting and Presenting Qualitative Data287
Challenges facing the qualitative reporter288
Forms of research outputs290
Writing a qualitative research report293
Displaying qualitative evidence - some general features and principles301
Oral presentations315
Key points319
Key terms320
Further reading320

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