Reviews

Stretching exercises for qualitative researchers

The title of this text relates to the metaphor of art — specifically, dance and yoga. This is significant because it is a metaphor which is used throughout to emphasise the artistry of qualitative research. The author argues that qualitative researchers need to develop and refine observational, interview and journal techniques much as a dancer or yoga practitioner has to ‘train the mind, eye and soul together’.

The book offers an interesting mixture of philosophy and practical exercises that would help lecturers in research and novice researchers alike. The content is presented in the format of exercises that range from the basic, for example, ‘to observe and describe an assortment of objects on a table’ to the more complex, for example, ‘observing an animal at home, the zoo or at a pet shop’.

Some of the exercises and student examples focus on education, and teachers (and therefore nurses) would have to translate them to the healthcare context; in most cases this should not pose too much a problem. Each exercise is presented with a purpose, problem, time, activity, discussion, evaluation and rationale and most of them require group work.

The section on reflective journal writing is excellent. For example, she covers the history, traditions, functions, and practicalities of writing and sharing journals. New items to this edition,

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The book offers an interesting mixture of philosophy and practical exercises that would help lecturers in research and novice researchers alike. The content is presented in the format of exercises that range from the basic, for example, ‘to observe and describe an assortment of objects on a table’ to the more complex, for example, ‘observing an animal at home, the zoo or at a pet shop’.

Some of the exercises and student examples focus on education, and teachers (and therefore nurses) would have to translate them to the healthcare context; in most cases this should not pose too much a problem. Each exercise is presented with a purpose, problem, time, activity, discussion, evaluation and rationale and most of them require group work.

The section on reflective journal writing is excellent. For example, she covers the history, traditions, functions, and practicalities of writing and sharing journals. New items to this edition, include: narrative techniques, role of the researcher, analysis of data and internet resources. Her belief in her method and her view that qualitative research is a way of life come across forcefully and may be off-putting to some in the UK. However, there is a great deal of merit in this text especially in the detail.

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