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Record Type: Review   ID: 174

Handbook of Qualitative Research

Denzin, Norman K., & Lincohn, Yvonna S. (Eds.).

 This could serve as the bible for EHE researchers for years to come. The research approaches presented in this guidebook and the paradigms out of which they have grown are geared to naturalistic study of people in their own social and cultural environments. This work is a complementary guide to laboratory and experimental research techniques. Most of the approaches presented could be applied to EHEs in general or specific types of EHEs. The historical and cultural background of qualitative research in presented in Part I (4 chapters). Part II consists of 6 chapters on the "major paradigms and perspectives" of qualitative research. Perhaps the most relevant to EHE research would be "Constructivist, Interpretivist Approaches to Human Inquiry" by Thomas A. Schwandt. Part III consists of 10 chapters, each describing a specific method. This is the most practical section. All the chapters are relevant except possibly the one on clinical research. The first is on qualitative research design and the second on designing funded qualitative research. Then there are chapters on case studies, ethnography, and participant observation; phenomenology, ethnomethodology, and interpretive practice; grounded theory methodology; biographical method; methodologies based in historical social science, and three approaches to participative inquiry. There are 8 chapters in Part IV, "Method of Collecting and Analyzing Empirical Materials." Here all chapters are important. Interviewing, observational techniques, interpretation of documents and material culture, visual methods, personal experience methods (probably the best chapter to start with), data management and analysis methods, use of computers in qualitative research, and narrative, content, and semiotic analysis (another important one). Part V, "The Art of Interpretation, Evaluation, and Presentation," consists of 5 chapters. The last part, "The Future of Qualitative Research," consists of two chapters: "What Comes (Just) After "Post"? The Case of Ethnography" and "The Fifth Moment." The latter is by the compilers, and is about competing paradigms and approaches in qualitative research. This is an essential volume. It is quite expensive, but not unreasonably so, and it is worth every cent.
Publisher Information:Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1994. 633p. Chap. bibl; Name Ind: 587-607; Subject Ind: 608-633
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