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Critical Approaches to Questions in Qualitative Research


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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Background: Questions and the Critical Framework in Qualitative Research

Chapter 2. Questions along the Qualitative Research Journey

Chapter 3. Mapping Diverse Pathways

Chapter 4. Critical Reflexivity and Artful Questioning

About the Author

Raji Swaminathan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Policy and Community Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her research and teaching interests are in the areas of emerging methods in qualitative research, urban education, and alternative education. Thalia M. Mulvihill, Ph.D., Professor of Social Foundations and Higher Education at Ball State University, serves as President of the International Society for Educational Biography and the Secretary for the AERA Biographical and Documentary Research SIG. Her areas of expertise include qualitative research methods, life writing, innovative pedagogies, history, and sociology of higher education.


I am encouraged by the bold steps taken by Drs. Swaminathan and Mulvihill in challenging members of the research community to embrace a critical approach. Given the seriousness of the times, their work succinctly confronts the dangerous return to research paradigms rooted in theories of deficit, marginalization, and White supremacy. For these reasons, I am indebted to their contribution.

David Stovall, Professor of Educational Policy Studies and African-American Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago

Swaminathan and Mulvihil tend to the important process of formulating questions throughout the entire qualitative research process; it is not relegated to the beginning of the process. Theirs is a critical process of questioning that engages scholars at every aspect of the research process and, as such, provides the opportunity for a deeper, richer inquiry. This book is important for critical scholars who find it imperative to go beyond traditional ways of knowing and doing qualitative research.

Penny A. Pasque, Brian E. & Sandra O'Brien Presidential Professor, University of Oklahoma

"The authors use strong research examples showcasing feminist, phenomenological, life writing, participatotry action and ethnographic research. [...] This text challanged the area of my interest. As I navigated through this text, my imagination was ignighted."

Naomi Norquay & Shameen Sandhu, York University, Toronto, Canada.

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