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A Guide to Qualitative Field Research
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A Guide to Qualitative Field Research

Second Edition


September 2006 | 232 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Thoroughly revised, the Second Edition of A Guide to Field Research is designed to assist undergraduate students and other beginning field researchers in carrying out their first qualitative studies. Its rich examples from classic ethnographies, as well as examples generated by the author herself, help bring alive the abstract principles of field research.
 
About the Author
 
Preface
Acknowledgments

 
 
1. Introduction to Qualitative Field Research
Overview

 
History of Field Research

 
Status Characteristics

 
Summary

 
Chapter Highlights

 
Exercises

 
 
2. Ethical Issues in Qualitative Field Research
Informed Consent

 
Deception

 
Confidentiality

 
Institutional Review Board

 
Chapter Highlights

 
Exercises

 
 
3. Prelude to Qualitative Fieldwork
Selecting a Research Topic

 
Ethical Issues

 
Practicality

 
Accessibility

 
The Familiar Versus the Unfamiliar

 
Record Keeping

 
Goals and Research Questions

 
Review of Literature

 
Final Preparations

 
Chapter Highlights

 
Exercises

 
 
4. The Infrastructure of Qualitative Field Research
Paradigms

 
Theory

 
Traditions of Inquiry

 
Chapter Highlights

 
Exercises

 
 
5. Methodology
Sampling

 
Gaining Entrée

 
Arrival in the Field

 
Key Actors

 
Informed Consent

 
Field Relationships

 
Triangulation

 
Chapter Highlights

 
Exercises

 
 
6. Observations
Planning Observations

 
Observations of Physical Surroundings

 
Observations of Participants

 
Observations of Actions

 
Ethics

 
Summary

 
Chapter Highlights

 
Exercises

 
 
7. Interviews
Unstructured Interviews

 
Structured Interviews

 
Semistructured Interviews

 
Selecting the Appropriate Type of Interview

 
Question Construction

 
Framing the Interview

 
Ethics

 
Status Characteristics

 
Terminating the Interview

 
Chapter Highlights

 
Exercises

 
 
8. Field Notes and Leaving the Field
Content of Field Notes

 
Guidelines for Writing Field Notes

 
Leaving the Field

 
Chapter Highlights

 
Exercises

 
 
9. Coding, Memoing, and Descriptions
Coding

 
Strategies for Improving Coding

 
Memoing

 
Computer-Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis

 
Descriptions

 
Summary

 
Chapter Highlights

 
Exercises

 
 
10. Typologies, Taxonomies, Visuals Representations, and Themes
Typologies

 
Taxonomies

 
Visual Representations

 
Themes

 
Chapter Highlights

 
Exercises

 
 
11. Storytelling, Critical Events, and Analytic Induction
Storytelling

 
Critical Event

 
Analytic Induction

 
Interpretation

 
Chapter Highlights

 
Exercises

 
 
12. Evaluation Criteria and Final Manuscript
Evaluation Criteria

 
Strategies for Enhancing Validity and Trustworthiness

 
Writing the Final Manuscript

 
Format of the Final Manuscript

 
Conclusion

 
Chapter Highlights

 
Exercises

 
 
References
 
Glossary/Index

This is a well written and easily accessible guide to research methods for Undergraduates. The chapter on Participant Observation is particularly good.

Dr Savithri Bartlett
Winchester Business School, Winchester University
February 9, 2015

It provides a good overview of the Topic. I highly recommend this book to my students, especially if they want to work with qualitative methods in their master theses.

Professor Julia Mueller
Strategic Management Unternehmensfuehrung, Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg
June 18, 2013

I decided to use a different Sage book for this course:

Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design Choosing Among Five Approaches Third Edition

Dave White
Community Resources and Development, Arizona State University - Tempe
January 2, 2013

A comprehensive text on the various forms of qualitative field research - an invaluable text for any field researcher. The book covers the different epistemological positions at the base of research before moving into the specific methods themselves. The book details aspects of observations, interviews, coding, storytelling, visual representations and ethics, among others. A highly valued resource that will be of particular use to my final year students for their dissertations.

Mr James Heydon
Business and Computing, Hull College
September 28, 2012

A fantastic and accessible look at the qualitative field research process.

Mr Nicholas Gibson
Sociology Dept, University of Hawaii - Manoa
September 16, 2011

Understandable, accessible, concise and clear overview of what it means to conduct qualitative field research.

Mr Nicholas Gibson
Sociology Dept, University of Hawaii - Manoa
August 23, 2011

price and content are excellent for undergraduate course

Dr Evelyn Rodriguez
Sociology Dept, University of San Francisco
February 17, 2011

good content

Mrs Tia Milburn
Sociology Social Work Dept, Central Missouri State University
February 26, 2010

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 3

Chapter 5


Carol R. Bailey

Carol A. Bailey is an associate professor emerita of sociology at Virginia Tech. She has won numerous teaching awards at the department and university level, including the Alumni Award for Teaching Excellence and the Wine Award for Excellence in Teaching. She taught undergraduate research methods and graduate-level courses on qualitative methodology and pedagogy. Once the Director of the University Writing Program, her research focused on evaluating programs that promote science education and those that serve children with severe mental illnesses and their families. More About Author

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