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Reflexive Methodology

Reflexive Methodology
New Vistas for Qualitative Research

Third Edition

November 2017 | 456 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Praise for the Second Edition:

 "In opposition to most literature on how to conduct good social science research which is either empirically oriented or gives priority to theoretical and philosophical considerations, which tends to make empirical research look odd or irrelevant, this volume on 'Reflexive Methodology' explicitly turns towards a consideration of the perceptual, cognitive, theoretical, linguistic, political and cultural circumstances as backdrop of data interpretation and research design. It showed up to be the most important and informative resource and a source of enlightenment to my lecture on methodology at our institute. I can highly recommend the volume to lecturers and students alike."

  Professor Sabine Troeger, Geography Institute - Library, University of Bonn
Reflexivity is an essential part of the research process. Mats Alvesson and Kaj Sköldberg make explicit the links between techniques used in empirical research and different research traditions, giving a theoretically informed approach to qualitative research. The authors provide balanced reviews and critiques of the major schools of grounded theory, ethnography, hermeneutics, critical theory, postmodernism and poststructuralism, discourse analysis, genealogy and feminism. Useful reading for students and researchers across the social sciences.

The first edition established itself as a ground-breaking success, providing researchers with an invaluable guide to a central problem in research methodology - namely, how to put field research and interpretations in perspective, paying attention to the interpretive, political and rhetorical nature of empirical research.  The second edition introduced a new chapter on positivism,  social constructionism and critical realism, and offered new conclusions on the applications of methodology.

This third edition of Reflexive Methodology provides further updates on new research, including neorealism, and illustrations and applications of reflexive methodology in formulating research strategies, that build on the acclaimed and successful previous editions

Chapter 1. Introduction: The Intellectualization of Method
Chapter 2. (Post-)Positivism, Social Constructionism, Neorealism: Three Reference Points in the Philosophy of Science
Chapter 3. Data-Oriented Methods: Empiricist Techniques and Procedures
Chapter 4. Hermeneutics: Interpretation and Insight
Chapter 5. Critical Theory: The Political and Ideological Dimension
Chapter 6. Poststructuralism And Postmodernism: Destabilizing Subject and Text
Chapter 7. Language/Gender/Power: Discourse Analysis, Feminism and Genealogy
Chapter 8. On Reflexive Interpretation: The Play of Interpretive Levels
Chapter 9. Applications of Reflexive Methodology: Illustrations
Chapter 10. Applications of Reflexive Methodology: Criteria and Strategies

Some new research examples 2 (Post-)positivism, social constructionism, neorealism: three reference points in the philosophy of science - Critical realism analysis replaced by “Neorealism” section which adds coverage of assemblage theory (DeLanda), which has gained interest in recent years, in addition to coverage of critical realism.
Applications of reflexive methodology chapter (formerly 9) split out into two chapters and expanded. Now: 
9 Applications of reflexive methodology: illustrations – focuses on showing reflexive methodology in practice using two in-depth research examples
10 Applications of reflexive methodology: criteria and strategies – focuses on how reflexive methodology can facilitate qualitative research and now includes new section which suggests two specific reflexive research strategies: “problematization” and finding/creating and solving empirical mysteries, as alternatives to the more traditional “gap-spotting” in research.

Mats Alvesson

Mats Alvesson works at Lund University and also part-time at the University of Queensland and Cass Business School, City University. He has published about thirty books on critical theory, organizational culture, leadership, gender and qualitative and reflexive methods. More About Author

Kaj Skoldberg

Kaj Sköldberg is Professor emeritus in Business Administration at the School of Business, University of Stockholm, Sweden. Research interests include the philosophy of science, social power, social identities, organization science, management science, complexity science, and the poetics of organizations. Published books include The Poetic Logic of Administration. Styles and Changes of Style in the Art of Organizing (2002), Tracks and Frames. The Economy of Symbolic Forms in Organizations (2002), and Maktens många ansikten (2014). More About Author