The Science of Qualitative Research

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9780521148818: The Science of Qualitative Research
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This book is a unique examination of qualitative research in the social sciences, raising and answering the question of why we do this kind of investigation. Rather than offering advice on how to conduct qualitative research, it explores the multiple roots of qualitative research – including phenomenology, hermeneutics and critical theory – in order to diagnose the current state of play and recommend an alternative. The diagnosis is that much qualitative research today continues to employ the mind-world dualism that is typical of traditional experimental investigation. The recommendation is that we focus on constitution: the relationship of mutual formation between a form of life and its members. The basic tools of qualitative research – interviews, ethnographic fieldwork and analysis of discourse – are re-forged in order to articulate how our way of living makes us who we are, and so empower us to change this form of life.

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The Science of Qualitative Research Explores the roots of qualitative research in the social sciences to diagnose the current state of play and recommend an alternative. Full description

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“The sweep of the material is breathtaking. Few writers will be familiar across the whole range of theorists covered here! The Science of Qualitative Research should be made compulsory reading for students beginning a course in the social sciences, or entering a postgraduate and/or graduate research program in any discipline.”
– Andy Blunden
"In this critical mapping of the history of qualitative inquiry, Martin Packer soars majestically through an expansive epistemological terrain. Dissecting dualist contradictions he challenges us to take up the radical potential of post-modern approaches and revel in the emergent, co-constituted, interpretivist nature of the project. This extraordinary text manages to be both scholarly and accessible while offering a vision of a moral, emancipatory and transformative way of doing research."
– Linda Finlay, the Open University, UK
“This book is badly needed in the behavioral and social sciences. Indeed, it should be required reading for any serious student of methods or methodologies. It is a veritable tour de force of the prominent figures, difficult problems, and imperfect solutions besetting the various modes of inquiry. Qualitative research was intended to cure many of these ills, but, as Packer so cogently argues, the hidden dualism of this investigative approach has prevented it from realizing its full potential, leading us to ignore or misunderstand not only important modes of inquiry but also vital forms of life. With this penetrating analysis as backdrop, Packer then reforges qualitative research as he demonstrates fresh ways of studying life and living, all in elegant, crystal clear, and accessible prose.”
– Brent D. Slife, Brigham Young University
"....interesting, well written, and very informative.... Researchers interested in the science of qualitative research will find this an important read.... Highly recommended...."
– P.J. Venturelli, Valparaiso University, CHOICE
"....The title of the book will draw readers. Qualitative research is a burgeoning field, and closure on its full definition is years away. The book’s array of names and theories is formidable...."
– Thomas F. Cloonani, PsycCRITIQUES

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9780521768870: The Science of Qualitative Research

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ISBN 10:  052176887X ISBN 13:  9780521768870
Publisher: Cambridge University Press, 2010
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