Reviews

Qualitative Research

DAVID SILVERMAN’S latest book builds on previous editions to provide up-to-date development in qualitative research and offers an overview of theoretical and practical considerations. Unlike many other qualitative research methodology books there is an emphasis on the function of qualitative research to articulate meaning.

The book is split into eight parts, each comprising several chapters. Under the heading of observation, for example, ethnography is defined and several different approaches explored. Each chapter provides exercises and internet links to additional resources. I liked the chapters on the analysis of visual data, the use of texts and the guide on qualitative data analysis. Silverman’s book goes beyond what we have come to expect from the usual introductory texts on interviews and focus groups. For example there is a chapter that explains how to analyse focus group data not just how to set up groups and facilitate discussions, and there are two worked examples using content analysis and ethnographic analysis. I will recommend this chapter to postgraduate students struggling to make sense of focus group data.

This book is one to dip into and out of and to extend and challenge researchers as they work with their

...

The book is split into eight parts, each comprising several chapters. Under the heading of observation, for example, ethnography is defined and several different approaches explored. Each chapter provides exercises and internet links to additional resources. I liked the chapters on the analysis of visual data, the use of texts and the guide on qualitative data analysis. Silverman’s book goes beyond what we have come to expect from the usual introductory texts on interviews and focus groups. For example there is a chapter that explains how to analyse focus group data not just how to set up groups and facilitate discussions, and there are two worked examples using content analysis and ethnographic analysis. I will recommend this chapter to postgraduate students struggling to make sense of focus group data.

This book is one to dip into and out of and to extend and challenge researchers as they work with their data. Several of the chapters are thought provoking but leave the reader with more questions. Discussion in the chapters sometimes assumes knowledge of the social scientist literature and there is little in terms of nurse-related empirical evidence. However, for the postgraduate qualitative student who needs to go beyond the mechanics of collecting and analysing data there is plenty to consider. I will be dipping in and out of this book to select and recommend specific parts for my students to read.

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