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 ubtrusive 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 vice researchers confront in researching human subjects.'Behind-the-Scenes' boxes provide valuable insights written by well-kwn qualitative researchers on problems and issues they have encountered in their research. Discussion questions, created and tested by undergraduate students, aimed at generating further thinking, group debates and practice work with the various methods and methodologies are reviewed. In-depth examples are carried through each chapter, so that students can see how different approaches to a particular topic allows a researcher to ask certain questions and gain particular kinds of insights. A thoroughly up-to-date analysis of the range of computer software programs is available. Lists of suggested websites are includes so that students can continue to research topics of interest, exploring recent work in the field. The Practice of Qualitative Research will be an invaluable textbook for students at upper undergraduate and graduate level across the social sciences. Examples are drawn from a range of disciplines including sociology, education, communication, and psychology. The candid wisdom and tips from leading researchers will help students with the day-to-day process of completing a successful research project.
Sharlene Nagy Hesse-Biber, Ph. D. University of Michigan, is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Women's and Gender Studies Program at Boston College. Her monograph, Am I Thin Enough Yet? (Oxford, 1996), was selected as one of Choice Magazine's best academic books for 1996. She is author of The Cult Thinness (Oxford, 2007) and Mixed Methods Research: Merging Theory with Practice (Guilford Publications, 2010). She is the co-author of Working Women in America (Oxford, 2005) and The Practice of Qualitative Research (Sage, 2006; 2011). She is the co-editor of Approaches to Qualitative Research (Oxford, 2004), Feminist Perspectives on Social Research (Oxford, 2004), Emergent Methods in Social Research (Sage, 2006) and The Handbook of Emergent Methods (Guilford, 2008). She is editor of The Handbook of Feminist Research (Sage, 2007), an AESA Critics' Choice Award winner and selected one of Choice Magazine's Outstanding Academic titles for 2007, and co-author of Feminist Research Practice: A Primer (Sage, 2007; Second Edition forthcoming, 2012). She is editor of The Handbook of Emergent Technologies in Social Research (Oxford, 2011). She is co-developer of HyperRESEARCH, a software tool for analyzing qualitative data, and HyperTRANSCRIBE, a transcription software tool (www.researchware.com).