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Doing Qualitative Research

Doing Qualitative Research
A Practical Handbook

Fourth Edition
  • David Silverman - Visiting Professor at the University of Technology, Sydney and King’s College, London, Emeritus Professor at Goldsmiths’ College and Adjunct Professor at Queensland University of Technology
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488 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
In the fourth edition of his best-selling textbook, David Silverman provides a step-by-step guide to planning and conducting qualitative research. Using real examples from real postgraduate students, the book makes it easy to link theory to methods and shows how to move from understanding the principles of qualitative research to doing it yourself.
The new edition has been fully updated and now includes:

- a brand new chapter on formulating a research question appropriate for qualitative research
- an expanded discussion of the role of theory in research
- extended discussion of case study research and the number of cases needed for effective qualitative research
- further coverage of focus groups and analysing internet data
- new student examples from around the world
- a new section on the common pitfalls encountered in qualitative research
- an expanded companion website with more student examples and videos.

Filled with exercises to test your understanding and develop your skills, as well as David's own tips for research success based on years of experience, this book is essential reading for anyone doing qualitative research.

Available with Perusall—an eBook that makes it easier to prepare for class
Perusall is an award-winning eBook platform featuring social annotation tools that allow students and instructors to collaboratively mark up and discuss their SAGE textbook. Backed by research and supported by technological innovations developed at Harvard University, this process of learning through collaborative annotation keeps your students engaged and makes teaching easier and more effective. Learn more

Preface to the Fourth Edition
Companion Website
How to Use This Book
What You Can (and Can't) Do with Qualitative Research
Focusing Research Project
Issues in Research Design
What Counts as 'Originality'?
Formulating a Research Question
Using Theories
Choosing a Methodology
How Many Cases Do You Need?
Ethical Research
Writing a Research Proposal
Collecting Your Data
Developing Data Analysis
Clive Seale
Using Computers to Analyse Qualitative Data
Quality in Qualitative Research
Evaluating Qualitative Research
Effective Qualitative Research
The First Few Pages
The Literature Review Chapter
The Methodology Chapter
Writing Your Data Chapters
Your Concluding Chapter
Making Good Use of Your Supervisor
Getting Feedback
Surviving an Oral Examination
Getting Published
Appendix: Transcription Symbols
Author Index
Subject Index


David Silverman expands and revises his seminal text to include a new chapter on Effective Qualitative Research where he provides five rules to guide the research process. With this book students and novice researchers alike have the resources and necessary tools to produce an effective research study, thesis, or dissertation.
Dale Crowe
Faculty, School of Advanced Studies , University of Phoenix


Overall, this new edition is a comprehensive and welcome updating of what was already an essential text. Silverman takes his readers through a substantial and comprehensive introduction to qualitative research and gives them pointers for where to go next. This book will be of great use to students studying research methods, and will give them a thorough and readable introduction to what can sometimes feel like a rather overwhelming subject. As such it deserves its place on reading lists.

Sally Brown
LSE Review of Books

'any practitioner who has been away from the classroom and textbooks for some time will find this resource refreshing, engaging and help re-light their passion for qualitative research. Silverman pulls no punches in challenging the reader to be brave, bold, and open in their approach and application.'

Shane Brownie
social researcher, Department for Communities and Local Government
SRA Research Matters

The new edition offers a valuable overview of qualitative research. The expanded companion website is very useful for teaching interactively with students.

Professor Michela Cozza
Business Administration , Malardalen University
September 18, 2016

An excellent book for qualitative researchers. This book will most definitely be recommended to students and the library.

Dr Juanida Horne
Police Practice, University of South Africa
May 9, 2016

Excellent resource for new research students.

Ms Shauna Garry
School of Business & Humanities, Institute of Technology Blanchardstown
January 14, 2016

A thorough and practical research companion that I inform my students about. Recommended to the doctoral students.

Runolfur Steinthorsson
Business Administration , University of Iceland
October 15, 2015

Links to Silverman's Interpreting and compliments this - both have style, language and practicality for Masters level. And being self explanatory are good for individual study

Mrs Natalia Lavrushkina
School of Tourism, Bournemouth University
October 7, 2015

Another standard course textbook, essential for introductory classes on qualitative social research but also useful for more advanced students. Very clear and again, packed with useful summaries and examples.

Dr Fauzia Ahmad
Political Science, University College London
September 1, 2015

Book is good as it provide a step-by-step guide on how to complete qualitative research. I like the use of real life examples from people who have done research to illustrate how the concept under discussion is applied in practice. Good book. thank you.

Mrs Dorothy Kupara
Nursing , University of West London
August 13, 2015

David Silverman

David Silverman is Visiting Professor in the Business School, University of Technology, Sydney, Emeritus Professor in the Sociology Department, Goldsmiths’ College and Adjunct Professor in the School of Education, Queensland University of Technology. He has lived in London for most of his life, where he attended Christ's College Finchley and did a BSc (Economics) at the London School of Economics in the 1960s. Afterwards, he went to the USA for graduate work, obtaining an MA in the Sociology Department, University of California, Los Angeles. He returned to LSE to write a PhD on organization theory. This was published as... More About Author