First readings in Qualitative Research

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As a newbie to qualitative research, I really liked part 1 of the book. I was looking for quick intro to coding and found chapter 4 to be a great intro. Besides that, it provides a good high-level overview of aspects to considered in qualitative research. As for part 2 and 3, they are structured more like catalogs — come back to them when you are looking for a solution that meets your requirements.

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I was looking for a good introduction to approaches to qualitative research and this book did a great job of providing it. It talks about philosophical assumptions and interpretative framework before getting into the approaches. It provides context for the approaches and when and where they should be applied. The book uses a comparative presentation style — always comparing the five approaches. This really helps appreciate the similarities and differences of approaches. In fact, it helps appreciate the subtle differences between the approaches.

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After reading the above two books, I picked this one to learn more about the techniques used to conduct qualitative research; specifically, analyzing data. I was glad with the choice as it covered quite a few analysis techniques. Unlike the second book above, this one focused on techniques (analysis) used to analyze qualitative data; independent of the research approaches. The exposition is introductory and uses running examples with lots of references to get more details. Even so, it is not a book to grok in one cover-to-cover read. Something to come back to depending on the problem one is tackling.

This book is more in line with the first book — methods sourcebook. It catalogs a set of coding profiles for first and second cycle of coding. While catalog is interesting and useful as a reference, the postscript about how to use the coding profiles and how to manage the coding process in each cycle is most useful. For me, it kind of reaffirmed the certain beliefs about qualitative research and the involved techniques. The exposition about the relations between coding profiles is also useful but a bit lacking; specifically, more comparative description of profiles would have helped to understand seemingly similar coding profiles, e.g., holistic coding vs concept coding vs themeing of data.

Written by

Programming, experimenting, writing | Past: SWE, Researcher, Professor | Present: SWE

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