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Questioning Qualitative Inquiry
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Questioning Qualitative Inquiry
Critical Essays



July 2008 | 216 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Is qualitative research in crisis?

In Questioning Qualitative Inquiry Martyn Hammersley raises fundamental questions about the current state of qualitative social research. He examines some of the changes that have taken place within it over the past fifty years, suggesting that the move away from natural science as a model, and towards an appeal to literature and art, involves rejection of key principles that are essential to research of any kind.

Hammersley argues that, in important respects, qualitative inquiry has not lived up to the claims originally made on its behalf, and that more recent developments have worsened the situation. Insufficient attention has been given to the problems surrounding leading ideas like thick description, analytic induction, and constructionism. The argument is pursued through discussion of the work of influential writers - such as Clifford, Geertz, Denzin and Lincoln - and by detailed examination of concrete issues, like the value of interview data, the rationales for discourse and conversation analysis, the role of rhetoric in research reports, and the nature of assessment criteria.

At a time when qualitative inquiry is coming under renewed challenge in some quarters, the task of addressing the methodological problems it faces has become urgent. These essays on current developments and debates are essential reading for anyone interested in the future of qualitative research.

 
Introduction
Dentists, Dadaists or Discourse Analysts?  
 
On the Failings of Qualitative Inquiry
 
Capturing Complexity? An Examination of a Common Rationale for Qualitative Research
 
On Thick Description
Interpreting Geertz  
 
The Critical Case of Analytic Induction
with Roger Gomm
Assessing the Radical Critique of Interviews
 
Conversation Analysis and Discourse Analysis
Methods or Paradigms?  
 
The Dadaist Alternative
"Postmodernist" Qualitative Research  
 
Is Qualitative Research Just Rhetoric?
 
Validity Criteria for Qualitative Research
Are They Possible or even Desirable?  

'Written in Hammersley's usual considered style and is pitched perfectly for post-graduate students, and teachers of advanced methods courses but alos for early career researchers still unclear of which direction they face within the contemporary landscape and proliferarting 'schools' of qualitative research' -
Rob Smith,
Cardiff University, for Qualitative Research


'Questioning Qualitative Inquiry is essential reading for both post-graduate student confronted by overwhelming methodological pluralism and the established scholar sitting comfortably in their ontological comfort-zone'
L. da Costa & Sam Hillyard, ,
Durham University, for Qualitative Research


'The critiques in Hammersley’s collection of essays have an even-handed rigour. Analyses of different approaches to developing knowledge about the social move between the nitty-gritty of method and exegetical discussion of philosophies behind different approaches'
Anita Naoko Pilgrim
University of Glamorgan for Qualitative Research

Sample Materials & Chapters

Introduction PDF

Chapter One PDF


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Martyn Hammersley

Martyn Hammersley is Emeritus Professor of Educational and Social Research at The Open University, UK. He has carried out research in the sociology of education and the sociology of the media. However, much of his work has been concerned with the methodological issues surrounding social enquiry. He has written several books including (with Paul Atkinson) Ethnography: Principles in Practice (Third edition, Routledge, 2007), The Dilemma of Qualitative Method (Routledge, 1989), The Politics of Social Research (SAGE, 1995), Reading Ethnographic Research (Second edition, Longman, 1997), Taking Sides in Social Research (Routledge, 2000),... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781412935159
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