Reviews

Qualitative Research Practice

This book is jam-packed with a wide range of material related to qualitative research. The editors and contributors are drawn from a wide international background, and thus, say the editors, the book represents ‘the global nature of the qualitative research enterprise’. The aim in producing it was not simply to produce another handbook of qualitative research but rather to write a book about research practice. To this end, the book draws upon actual research studies to embed the text in the real world of qualitative research. It is particularly aimed at the student reader.

Interestingly, and in my view to its credit, the book does not ‘champion’ one particular qualitative approach or method but rather suggests that there are a multiplicity of research positions and that regardless of your own position, what matters is that your work is rigorous, consistent and fruitful.

The text is arranged in six sections or parts: encountering method; analytic frameworks; field relations; context and method; quality and credibility; and audiences, applications and the international context. Each part contains a number of chapters and at the end of each chapter there is a reference list. The style of writing is straightforward and the book is the better for it. Each part and each chapter, although they form a coherent whole, stands on its own and readers can dip in and out as needed.

One chapter that will be of interest to all is the penultimate chapter. Its authors share the

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Interestingly, and in my view to its credit, the book does not ‘champion’ one particular qualitative approach or method but rather suggests that there are a multiplicity of research positions and that regardless of your own position, what matters is that your work is rigorous, consistent and fruitful.

The text is arranged in six sections or parts: encountering method; analytic frameworks; field relations; context and method; quality and credibility; and audiences, applications and the international context. Each part contains a number of chapters and at the end of each chapter there is a reference list. The style of writing is straightforward and the book is the better for it. Each part and each chapter, although they form a coherent whole, stands on its own and readers can dip in and out as needed.

One chapter that will be of interest to all is the penultimate chapter. Its authors share the lessons that they have learned in publishing qualitative manuscripts, including journal papers and books. The chapter considers a number of general points but also gives some helpful, practical guidance.

Although each chapter is adequately referenced it might have been helpful for students to have some suggestions for further reading should they wish to pursue a particular area in some depth. A name index would also have been useful. I am also somewhat surprised at the lack of suggested good quality websites and online resources for student readers.

Overall, this is a quality text and has much to offer the reader, especially the novice researcher. It is certainly a book that should be available in institutional libraries and probably on a supervisor’s bookshelf so that students can be directed to particular sections or chapters. It would also be a useful resource for those less familiar with certain areas of qualitative research or who want to include a qualitative element in their work.

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