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An Introduction to Qualitative Research

Reviews and round-up

Qualitative research is rapidly becoming an established research paradigm, particularly in the fields of psychology and the social sciences. However, few textbooks on the subject would be described by students as being easily readable, and, as a result, research itself is often associated with boredom and frustration. For this reason, students require access to sensibly written texts which do not rely on a heavy academic style.

This book begins by examining the relevance of qualitative research and the drawbacks of quantitative methods, before going on the explore the historical aspects of qualitative research. Although the latter section is based around developments in Germany and the United States, it nevertheless gives the reader an insight into where the method has originated.

The remainder of the text examines how to ‘do’ qualitative research: from exploring theories, through setting research questions and finally how to

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An Introduction to Qualitative Research

Reviews and round-up

Qualitative research is rapidly becoming an established research paradigm, particularly in the fields of psychology and the social sciences. However, few textbooks on the subject would be described by students as being easily readable, and, as a result, research itself is often associated with boredom and frustration. For this reason, students require access to sensibly written texts which do not rely on a heavy academic style.

This book begins by examining the relevance of qualitative research and the drawbacks of quantitative methods, before going on the explore the historical aspects of qualitative research. Although the latter section is based around developments in Germany and the United States, it nevertheless gives the reader an insight into where the method has originated.

The remainder of the text examines how to ‘do’ qualitative research: from exploring theories, through setting research questions and finally how to present the report. The sections on coding, categorising and grounding qualitative research are particularly interesting and offer new information for the reader which is often overlooked in other texts. The discussion surrounding qualitative versus quantitative data is left until near the end, thus not over shadowing the body of the text.

This book by Flick examines the use of qualitative methods in an extremely user-friendly manner. Although there are, by nature, a lot of German references there are plenty of others which readers in the United Kingdom have access to. The inclusion of examples, summary points and further reading is to be commended and adds to the clarity of an already clear and easy to understand text. The strength of this book lies not only in the clarity with which it is written but in the use of examples and tables. For instance, Table 11. I compares the methods for collecting verbal data and was clear and concise in nature.

I would have no problem in recommending this text equally to both pre and post-registration students of nursing, and also to students studying for higher degrees as a useable text which is easy to read and contains a vast amount of information which is logically presented.

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