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Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi PART ONE : Among the People: How to Conduct Qualitative Research 1 Chapter 1 Introduction: Go to the People 3 A Note on the History of Qualitative Methods 4 Qualitative Methodology 7 Theory and Methodology 11 Notes 28 Chapter 2 Research Design and Pre-Fieldwork 29 Research Design 29 Selecting Settings 32 Obtaining Institutional Review Board Approval 34 Writing Proposals 40 Access to Organizations 44 Access to Public and Quasi-Public Settings 46 Access to Private Settings 47 What Do You Tell Gatekeepers and Informants? 49 Collecting Data About Obtaining Access 51 Covert Research 51 Chapter 3 Participant Observation: In the Field 54 Entering the Field 55 Negotiating Your Role 56 Establishing Rapport 58 Participation 62 Key Informants 64 Difficult Field Relations 66 Forming Relationships 68 Field Tactics 69 Asking Questions 73 Learning the Language 76 Field Notes 78 Boundaries of a Study 90 Leaving the Field 91 Triangulation 93 Ethics in the Field 95 Chapter 4 In-Depth Interviewing 101 The Qualitative Interview 102 Types of Interview Studies 103 Choosing to Interview 104 Selecting Informants 107 Approaching Informants 110 Understanding the Interview in Context 114 Managing the Interview Situation 115 Getting People to Talk About What Is Important to Them 118 The Interview Guide 122 Probing 123 Cross-Checks 126 Relations With Informants 128 Recording Interviews 130 Group Interviews 131 The Interviewer's Journal 132 Note 134 Chapter 5 Montage: Discovering Methods 135 Disrupting the "Commonsense World of Everyday Life": Harold Garfinkel 138 Qualitative Research as Autobiography 140 Entering a World Without Words 142 Personal Documents 144 Picturing Disability 146 Photography and Videotaping 148 Official Records and Public Documents 151 Historical and Archival Research 153 Notes 159 Chapter 6 Working With Data: Data Analysis in Qualitative Research 161 Narratives: Descriptive and Theoretical Studies 161 Building Theory 163 Working With Data 168 Constructing Life Histories 194 PART TWO: Writing Qualitative Research: Selected Studies 197 Chapter 7 Writing and Publishing Qualitative Studies 199 What You Should Tell Your Readers 200 Some Tips on Writing 203 Common Mistakes in Writing From Qualitative Data 207 Publishing Qualitative Studies 210 Selected Studies 213 Chapter 8 "You're Not a Retard, You're Just Wise": Disability, Social Identity, and Family Networks 215 Steven J. Taylor Chapter 9 Producing Family Time: Practices of Leisure Activity Beyond the Home 247 Marjorie L. DeVault Chapter 10 Ethnicity and Expertise: Racial-Ethnic Knowledge in Sociological Research 267 Marjorie L. DeVault Chapter 11 Citizen Portraits: Photos of People With Disabilities as Personal Keepsakes 289 Robert Bogdan Chapter 12 "They Asked for a Hard Job": World War II Conscientious Objectors on the Front Lines 312 Steven J. Taylor Closing Remarks 335 Appendix 1 Field Notes 338 Appendix 2 Interview Guide Template 351 Peter Ibarra References 354 Author Index 381 Subject Index 391

About the Author

Steven Taylor, PhD is professor of cultural foundations of education, centennial professor of disability studies, and co-director of Syracuse University's Center on Disability Studies, Law, and Human Policy. He is the author of numerous books and articles He was the recipient of the 1997 Research Award of the American Association on Mental Retardation, the 2003 Syracuse University Chancellor's Citation for Exceptional Academic Achievement, and the 2008 Senior Scholar Award of the Society for Disability Studies. Robert Bogdan, PhD is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Social Science and Education at Syracuse University. After serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nigeria (1964-1966) he went to graduate school in sociology. He joined the faculty at Syracuse University in 1971. He has won many awards for his writing and teaching including an honorary doctorate degree from Stockholm University. Marjorie DeVault, PhD is the Maxwell Professor of Teaching Excellence and the undergraduate director of the department of Sociology at Syracuse University. Her special areas of interest include gender studies, qualitative methodology, feminist studies, and social interaction. . She maintains an IE website at

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