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Interpreting Qualitative Data
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Interpreting Qualitative Data

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

Other Titles in:
Qualitative Research

520 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

In this major updating of his bestselling, benchmark text, David Silverman walks the reader through the basics of gathering and analyzing qualitative data.

New to the Fourth Edition:

• A new chapter on data analysis dealing with major contemporary approaches (e.g. grounded theory, discourse analysis and narrative analysis)

• An expanded chapter on quality issues which now includes advice on how to read and use research reports

• Further worked-through examples of different kinds of data and how to interpret them

• A separate section on focus groups and interpreting focus group data

• An expanded ethics chapter

• More coverage of digital media and photographs as data

• A companion website with additional case studies and examples; links to SAGE journals online; and links to useful websites, podcasts and Youtube videos.

This fourth edition is also accompanied with its own group page on www.methodspace.com where users can give feedback and discuss research issues.

 

 
PART ONE: THEORY AND METHOD IN QUALITATIVE RESEARCH
 
What Is Qualitative Research?
In Search of a Working Definition

 
Loaded Evaluations of Research Methods

 
Methods Should Fit Your Research Question

 
The Good Sense of Quantitative Research

 
The Nonsense of Quantitative Research

 
The Good Sense of Qualitative Research

 
The Nonsense of Qualitative Research

 
Varieties of Qualitative Research

 
 
Designing a Research Project
Selecting a Topic

 
Formulating a Researchable Question

 
Fitting your Research Question into an Appropriate Theory

 
Choosing an Effective Research Design

 
An Effective Literature Review

 
Basic Terms in Research Design

 
Conclusions

 
 
Data Analysis
Some Rules for Data Analysis

 
Content Analysis

 
Grounded Theory

 
Narrative Analysis

 
Conclusion

 
 
Research Ethics
Ethical Pitfalls

 
Ethical Safeguards

 
Some Ethical Complications

 
 
PART TWO: METHODS
 
Ethnography and Observation
The Ethnographic Focus

 
Methodological Issues

 
The Theoretical Character of Ethnographic Observations

 
Conclusion: The Unity of the Ethnographic Project

 
 
Interviews
What Is an 'Open-Ended' Interview?

 
Why Interview?

 
Implications: Three Versions of Interview Data

 
Positivism

 
Emotionalism

 
Constructionism

 
Adolescent Cultures: Combining 'What' and 'How' Questions

 
Moral Tales of Parenthood

 
The Three Models: A Summary

 
Summary: Basic Issues

 
Three Practical Questions - and Answers

 
Conclusion

 
 
Focus Groups
What Are Focus Groups?

 
Analysing Focus Group Data in Social Science

 
Form or Substance?

 
Concluding Comments

 
 
Texts
Structure of This Chapter

 
Comparative Keyword Analysis (CKA)

 
Ethnography

 
Ethnomethodology: Membership Categorisation Analysis

 
Conclusion

 
 
Naturally-Occurring Talk
Why Work with Tapes?

 
Transcribing Audiotapes

 
Why Talk Matters

 
Conversation Analysis

 
Discourse Analysis

 
Conversation Analysis and Discourse Analysis Compared

 
Conclusion

 
 
Visual Images
Kinds of Visual Data

 
Research Strategies

 
Content Analysis

 
Semiotics

 
Workplace Studies

 
Conclusion

 
 
PART THREE: RESEARCH PRACTICE
 
Credible Qualitative Research
Does Credibility Matter?

 
Reliability

 
Validity

 
Generalisability

 
Conclusions

 
 
Writing Your Report
Beginnings

 
Your Literature Review

 
Your Methodology Section

 
Writing Up Your Data

 
Your Final Section

 
A Short Note on Plagiarism

 
Self-Expression or Argument?

 
 
PART FOUR: IMPLICATIONS
 
The Relevance of Qualitative Research
Three Roles for the Social Scientist

 
The Audiences for Qualitative Research

 
The Contribution of Qualitative Social Science

 
Summary

 
Conclusion

 
 
The Potential of Qualitative Research: Eight Reminders
Take Advantage of Naturally Occurring Data

 
Avoid Treating the Actor's Point of View as an Explanation

 
Study the Interrelationships Between Elements

 
Attempt Theoretically Fertile Research

 
Address Wider Audiences

 
Begin With 'How' Questions; Then Ask 'Why?'

 
Study 'Hyphenated' Phenomena

 
Treat Qualitative Research as Different from Journalism

 
Concluding Remarks

 

'David Silverman's stellar new text demonstrates both his methodological sophistication and ability to reach students. With its well-organized format and accessible writing, this book provides an inspiring guide for novices and an excellent teaching tool for instructors. The book is clear, cogent, and remarkably current. Silverman introduces students to numerous recent innovations and advances in qualitative methods as he makes the research process understandable and manageable' -
Kathy Charmaz
Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, USA


'Silverman sets the benchmark for books on qualitative research and data analysis. They work well in teaching but are consulted by the experts. His experience and close engagement with contemporary developments is without equal. Interpreting Qualitative Data has helped shape contemporary qualitative research. As far as I am concerned, with this new edition the best just got better!' -

Jonathan Potter, Head of the Department of Social Sciences
Loughborough University


Useful for an overview of methods for interpreting qualitative data.

Mr Michael Bickerton
School of Digital Media Technology, Birmingham City University
March 19, 2015

Helpful exploration of qualitative research, ideal for final year undergraduate as well as postgraduate students. Practical and usable, a useful addition to the qualitative research library

Ms Sue Watling
Centre for Educational Research and Development, University of Lincoln
December 15, 2014

I recommended my studients this book for qualitative data Interpretation. Silverman with his constructivist viewpoint offers a great introduction into how to best deal with phenomena occuring in the social world.

Miss Johanna Held
Rechts- , University of Bayreuth
December 12, 2014

Strongly recommend as key text for students studying qualitative analysis

Ms Louise O'Boyle
School of Art and Design, Ulster University
August 12, 2014

Good background ideal for MSc level student and dissertations for BSc. Student might not be up to this level of reading initially with BSc cohorts but for health care related programmes excellent place to help support students with dissertations and higher level degrees.

Mrs Sherran Milton
School of Healthcare Studies, Cardiff Univ.
July 15, 2014

A really clearly written book that will be a useful resource for students undertaking their first research project

Ms Julia Bennett
Dept of Interdisciplinary Studies, Manchester Metro Univ. (Crewe)
June 30, 2014

an excellent book for dissertation writing students.

Mr Paul Tansey
Civil Engineering & Construction, Sligo Institute of Technology
June 26, 2014

For social science researchers and teachers in my context and excellent text

Sue Horder
Education, Glyndwr University
May 21, 2014

Silverman is the best on qualitative analysis.

Dr Mickey Lauria
Planning, Development, and Preservation, Clemson University
March 28, 2014

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One


Preview this book

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

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