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Qualitative Social Research

Qualitative Social Research
Contemporary Methods for the Digital Age

November 2015 | 208 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Qualitative Social Research employs an accessible approach to present the multiple ways in which criticism enhances research practice. Packed full of relevant, 'real world' examples, it showcases the strengths and pitfalls of each research method, integrating the philosophical groundings of qualitative research with thoughtful overviews of a range of commonly used methods.

This book is ideal for students and prospective researchers and explains what makes qualitative sociological research practical, useful and ethical. It’s an essential guide to how to undertake research, use an appropriate research design and work with a range of qualitative data collection methods, and includes:

  • detailed discussions of ethical issues
  • references to new technologies in each chapter
  • explanations of how to integrate online and visual methods with traditional data collection methods
  • exercises to enhance learning

The authors use their many years’ experience in using a range of qualitative methods to conduct and teach research to demonstrate the value of critical thinking skills at all stages of the research process.

Part 1: Getting ready
Chapter1: The Foundations of Qualitative Research
Chapter 2: Aims of qualitative research
Chapter 3: From topic to research design
Chapter 4: The Politics and Ethics of Qualitative Research
Part 2: Doing the research
Chapter 5: Sampling
Chapter 6: Interviewing
Chapter 7: Focus groups and group interviews
Chapter 8: Observing people
Chapter 9: Observing things
Chapter 10: Observing texts
Chapter 11: Narrative inquiry
Chapter 12: Making sense: data management, analysis and reporting
Chapter 13: Combining Approaches

Qualitative Social Research provides a comprehensive and practical overview of qualitative research methodologies and I have no hesitation in recommending it as essential reading for students


Jenny van Hooff
Senior Lecturer, Sociology, Manchester Metropolitan University

Vivienne Waller

Vivienne Waller is a Sociology Lecturer at Swinburne University of Technology with research interests in the areas of knowledge, the environment, and technology, as well as research methods more generally. Viv holds a PhD in Sociology from Australian National University and a BA and a BSc from the University of Melbourne. Prior to entering academia, she worked as a consultant conducting social research and in policy and evaluation areas of the Australian government. More About Author

Karen Farquharson

Karen Farquharson is Associate Dean (Research & Engagement) and Associate Professor of Sociology at Swinburne University of Technology. She is a sociologist with research interests in the areas of sport, race and the media, and on issues of belonging and social inclusion more generally. Karen holds PhD and MA degrees in Sociology from Harvard University and a BA in Social Science from the University of California, Berkeley. She was also the recipient of a Fulbright International Dissertation Research Fellowship to South Africa. More About Author

Deborah Dempsey

Deborah Dempsey is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia. She holds a BA and MA from the University of Melbourne and a PhD from La Trobe University. Deb’s research interests are in the sociology of families, relationships, personal life and ageing, particularly relatedness in the era of assisted reproductive technologies and the socio-legal aspects of same-sex relationships. Before becoming an academic, Deb conducted social research in the community and social marketing sectors. More About Author