When technology has been applied in business environments, its justification has usually been cast in terms of saving time or saving money. In the social sciences, the justification must be different; the viability of sociology as a profession, for example, will not be enhanced by cost reductions. The focus in this volume is on a different bottom line: the quality and content of work.
Sponsored by the Communication, Information Technologies, and Media Sociology section of the American Sociological Association (CITAMS), this volume celebrates the section's thirtieth anniversary. It looks at the history of the section, reviews some of its most important themes, and sets the agenda for future discussion.
The latest edition of this best-selling textbook by Miles and Huberman not only is considerably expanded in content, but is now available in paperback. Bringing the art of qualitative analysis up-to-date, this edition adds hundreds of new techniques, ideas and references developed in the past decade. The increase in the use of computers in qualitative analysis is also reflected in this volume. There is an extensive appendix on criteria to choose from among the currently available analysis packages. Through examples from a host of social science and professional disciplines, Qualitative Data Analysis remains the most comprehensive and complete treatment of this topic currently available to scholars and applied researchers.
`This excellent text will introduce advanced students - and remind senior researchers - of the availability of a broad range of techniques available for the systematic analysis of social data that is not numeric. It makes the key point that neither quantitative nor qualitative methods are interpretive and at the same time demonstrates once and for all that neither a constructivist perspective nor a qualitative approach needs to imply abandonment of rigor. That the chapters are written by different authors makes possible a depth of expertise within each that is unusually strong' - Susanna Hornig Priest, Texas A&M University; Author of `Doing Media Research' Qualitative Researching with Text, Image and Sound off
The collection, management, and analysis of data are all increasingly mediated through electronic management, offering evaluators new ways of knowing, along with new responsibilities and challenges. This issue of New Directions for Evaluation provides an introduction to various data collection technologies and tools, identifying both their benefits and their shortcomings. Chapters address the practical challenges of conducting e-mail questionnaires, web-based surveys, and web-based focus groups; explore the use of technology to evaluate technology, discussing methods for observing users and gathering feedback; and show how multimedia applications can foster mixed-method research designs. This is 84th issue of the quarterly journal New Directions for Evaluation.
Social researchers often collect "self-report" data based on interviews and surveys. There are major problems associated with the "reactive" nature of these data, for example, people are not always honest when asked to supply information on "sensitive issues". Unobtrusive methods produce data that are not elicited in this way. Instead data are "found" in the word, captured from various forms of observation or are retrieved from data repositories of various kinds. The production of unobtrusive methods requires considerable ingenuity on the part of the researcher and this book explores the methods involved and how they are produced. There are also ethical problems associated with unobtrusive methods which are discussed in the book. The Internet promises to be a major source of unobtrusive data and so is discussed in some detail.
The use of computers in qualitative research has dramatically changed the way social researchers handle qualitative data and computer-assisted qualitative data analysis (CAQDAS) has become an indispensable element in the researcherÆs tool kit. Authors Nigel G. Fielding and Raymond M. Lee, leading researchers in the field, provide a lucid and accessible text on the nature of this change and profile potential new approaches to qualitative data analysis. They report on findings from the first systematic field research on the impact of CAQDAS. They analyze the rapidly growing popularity and legitimacy of qualitative research methods, looking at usersÆ experiences of CAQDAS and the advantages and disadvantages of computers use, research resources, and the status of qualitative research. Fielding and Lee also cover the principal approaches in qualitative research and show how leading computer programs are actually used. They provide a framework for developing the craft and practice of CAQDAS and conclude by examining new techniques and the evolution of qualitative research to meet new challenges. Computer Analysis and Qualitative Research will be essential reading for anyone using qualitative research methods.