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Doing Qualitative Research


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Table of Contents

Part One: Introduction Chapter 1: How To Use This Book Chapter 2: What You Can (and Can't) Do with Qualitative Research Why Do Researchers Use Qualitative Methods? Are Qualitative Methods Always Appropriate? Should You Use Qualitative Methods? Chapter 3: Focusing a Research Project Moira's Research Diary Sally's Research Diary Simon's Research Diary Part Two: Starting Out and Project Foundations Chapter 4: Ethical Research The Standards of Ethical Research Why Ethics Matter for Your Research Ethical Guidelines in Practice Complex Ethical Issues Research Governance Managing Unfolding Ethical Demands Chapter 5: What Counts as 'Originality'? Originality Being a Professional Independent Critical Thought Chapter 6: Research Design Interviews Ethnographies Texts The Internet Audio Data Visual Data Mixed Methods Chapter 7: Using Theories How Theoretical Models Shape Research The Different Languages of Qualitative Research Theories, Models and Hypotheses Examples Chapter 8: Formulating a Research Question Challenges Solutions Some Cautions Chapter 9: Choosing a Methodology Qualitative or Quantitative? Your Research Strategy Choosing a Methodology: a Case Study Naturally Occurring Data? Mixed Methods? Chapter 10: Writing a Research Proposal Aim for Crystal Clarity Plan Before You Write Be Persuasive Be Practical Make Broader Links A Caution: Misunderstanding Qualitative Research? Part Three: Getting Support Making Good Use of Your Supervisor Supervision Horror Stories Student and Supervisor Expectations The Early Stages The Later Stages Standards of Good Practice Chapter 12: Getting Feedback Writing Speaking The Art of Presenting Research Feedback from the People You Study Part Four: Collecting and Analysing Data Chapter 13: How many cases do you need? What is a case study? The Quantitative Model of Generalization The Rationale of Case Study Design Case study Research in Practice Chapter 14: Collecting Your Data Collecting Interview Data Collecting Focus Group Data Collecting Ethnographic Data Collecting Internet Data Chapter 15: Developing Data Analysis Kick-Starting Data Analysis A Case Study Interviews Fieldnotes Transcripts Visual Data Chapter 16: Using Computers to Analyse Qualitative Data A note on learning to use QDA software What QDA software can do for you Advantages of QDA software Text analytics Chapter 17: Quality in Qualitative Research Validity Reliability Chapter 18: Evaluating Qualitative Research Two Guides for Evaluating Research Four Quality Criteria Applying Quality Criteria Four Quality Issues Revisited Chapter 19: Effective Qualitative Research Keep It Simple Do Not Assume That We Are Only Concerned with Subjective Experience Take Advantage of Using Qualitative Data Avoid Drowning in Data Avoid Journalism Part Five: Writing Up Your Research Chapter 20: Audiences The Policy-Making Audience The Practitioner Audience The Lay Audience Chapter 21: The First Few Pages The Title The Abstract Keywords The Table of Contents Chapter 22: The Literature Review Chapter Recording Your Reading Writing your Literature Review Practical Questions Principles Do You Need a Literature Review Chapter? Chapter 23: The Methodology Chapter What Should the Methodology Chapter Contain? A Natural History Chapter? Chapter 24: The Data Chapters The Macrostructure The Microstructure Tightening Up Chapter 25: The Concluding Chapter The Concluding Chapter as Mutual Stimulation What Exactly Should Your Concluding Chapter Contain? Confessions and Trumpets Theorizing as Thinking Through Data Writing for Audiences Why Your Concluding Chapter can be Fun Part Six: The Aftermath Chapter 26: Surviving an Oral Examination Viva Horror Stories Preparing for Your Oral Doing the Oral Outcomes Revising Your Thesis after the Oral A Case Study Chapter 27: Getting Published The Backstage Politics of Publishing Strategic Choices What Journals are Looking For Reviewers' Comments How to Write a Short Journal Article

About the Author

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 The Theory of Organizations in 1970. Apart from brief spells teaching at UCLA, his main teaching career was at Goldsmiths College. His three major research projects were on decision making in the Personnel Department of the Greater London Council (Organizational Work, written with Jill Jones, 1975), paediatric outpatient clinics (Communication and Medical Practice, 1987) and HIV-test counselling (Discourses of Counselling, 1997). He pioneered a taught MA in Qualitative Research at Goldsmiths in 1985 and supervised around 30 successful PhD students. Since becoming Emeritus Professor in 1999, he has continued publishing methodology books. David regularly runs qualitative research workshops for five universities in Sydney and Brisbane. He has also run workshops for research students in Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, France, Sri Lanka and Tanzania. Since 2000, he has done voluntary work with people with dementia. resident in an old people's home Besides all this, David's other interests include classical music, literary fiction, bridge, county cricket and spending time with his grandchildren.


Whether you are a scared neophyte research student or a more experienced qualitative researcher this is an excellent and invaluable and most importantly accessible text that will open the lid of a treasure box of resources. You need this book.
-- Therese A.G. Lewis

In principle it is impossible to write a method book that will be valid forever. In practice, David Silverman did just that. Adjustments in new editions only fine-tune the text that contains everything that a qualitative researcher needs to know.

-- Barbara Czarniawska

This is an excellent textbook that gives students very practical advice of how to conduct qualitative analysis in a thoughtful way. Silverman's vast experience within qualitative methods gives the text a clarity and overview that one can only admire.

-- Nanna Mik-Meyer
An essential guide for anyone new to or brushing up on qualitative methodology. This clear, student-centered guide offers first person insights and true-to-life stories that prepare readers for all of the surprises that await researchers in the field. From the ins and outs of designing a study to writing up and publishing analysis (and much more), this book is an accessible, soup-to-nuts account of a complex set of methods we call qualitative research.
-- Katie Headrick Taylor

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