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Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods

Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods
Integrating Theory and Practice

Fourth Edition
Additional resources:

January 2015 | 832 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Drawing on more than 40 years of experience conducting applied social science research and program evaluation, author Michael Quinn Patton has crafted the most comprehensive and systematic book on qualitative research and evaluation methods, inquiry frameworks, and analysis options available today. Now offering more balance between applied research and evaluation, this Fourth Edition illuminates all aspects of qualitative inquiry through new examples, stories, and cartoons; more than a hundred new summarizing and synthesizing exhibits; and a wide range of new highlight sections/sidebars that elaborate on important and emergent issues. For the first time, full case studies are included to illustrate extended research and evaluation examples. In addition, each chapter features an extended "rumination," written in a voice and style more emphatic and engaging than traditional textbook style, about a core issue of persistent debate and controversy.

Part 1. Framing Qualitative Inquiry: Theory Informs Practice, Practice Informs Theory
Chapter 1. The Nature, Niche, and Value of Qualitative Inquiry
Module 1. How qualitative inquiry contributes to our understanding of the world  
Module 2. What makes qualitative data qualitative  
Module 3. Making methods decisions  
Module 4. The fruit of qualitative methods: Chapter summary and conclusion  
Chapter 2. Strategic Themes in Qualitative Inquiry
Module 5. Strategic design principles for qualitative inquiry  
Module 6. Strategic principles guiding data collection and fieldwork  
Module 7. Strategic principles for qualitative analysis and reporting findings  
Module 8: Integrating the 12 strategic qualitative principles in practice  
Chapter 3. Variety of Qualitative Inquiry Frameworks: Paradigmatic, Philosophical, and Theoretical Orientations
Module 9. Understanding the Paradigms Debate: Quants versus Quals  
Module 10. Introduction to Qualitative Inquiry Frameworks  
Module 11. Ethnography and Autoethnography  
Module 12. Positivism, Postpositivism, Empiricism and Foundationalist Epistemologies  
Module 13. Grounded Theory and Realism  
Module 14 Phenomenology and Heuristic Inquiry  
Module 15 Social Constructionism, Constructivism, Postmodernism, and Narrative Inquiry  
Module 16. Ethnomethodology, Semiotics, and Symbolic Interaction, Hermeneutics and Ecological Psychology  
Module 17 Systems Theory and Complexity Theory  
Module 18. Pragmatism, Generic Qualitative Inquiry, and Utilization-Focused Evaluation  
Module 19 Patterns and themes across inquiry frameworks: Chapter summary and conclusions  
Chapter 4. Practical and Actionable Qualitative Applications
Module 20. Practical purposes, concrete questions, and actionable answers: Illuminating and enhancing quality  
Module 21. Program evaluation applications: Focus on outcomes  
Module 22 Specialized qualitative evaluation applications  
Module 23 Evaluating program models and theories of change, and evaluation models especially aligned with qualitative methods  
Module 24 Interactive and participatory qualitative applications  
Module 25 Democratic evaluation, indigenous research and evaluation, capacity building, and cultural competence  
Module 26 Special methodological applications  
Module 27 A vision of the utility of qualitative methods: Chapter summary and conclusion  
Part 2. Qualitative Designs and Data Collection
Chapter 5. Designing Qualitative Studies
Module 28 Design thinking: Questions derive from purpose, design answers questions  
Module 29 Date Collection Decisions  
Module 30 Purposeful sampling and case selection: Overview of strategies and options  
Module 31 Single-significant-case sampling as a design strategy  
Module 32 Comparison-focused sampling options  
Module 33 Group characteristics sampling strategies and options  
Module 34 Concept and theoretical sampling strategies and options  
Module 35. Instrumental-use multiple-case sampling  
Module 36 Sequential and emergence-driven sampling strategies and options  
Module 37 Analytically focused sampling  
Module 38 Mixed, stratified, and nested purposeful sampling strategies  
Module 39 Information-rich cases  
Module 40 Sample size for qualitative designs  
Module 41 Mixed methods designs  
Module 42 Qualitative design chapter summary and conclusion: Methods choices and decisions  
Chapter 6. Fieldwork Strategies and Observation Methods
Module 43 The Power of direct observation  
Module 44. Variations in observational methods  
Module 45. Variations in duration of observations and site visits: From rapid reconnaissance to longitudinal studies over years  
Module 46. Variations in observational focus and summary of dimensions along which fieldwork varies  
Module 47. What to observe: Sensitizing concepts  
Module 48. Integrating what to observe with how to observe  
Module 49. Unobtrusive observations and indicators, and documents and archival fieldwork  
Module 50. Observing oneself: Reflexivity and Creativity, and Review of Fieldwork Dimensions  
Module 51. Doing Fieldwork: The Data Gathering Process  
Module 52. Stages of fieldwork: Entry into the field  
Module 53. Routinization of fieldwork: The dynamics of the second stage  
Module 54. Bringing fieldwork to a close  
Module 55. The observer and what is observed: Unity, separation, and reactivity  
Module 56. Chapter summary and conclusion: Guidelines for fieldwork  
Chapter 7. Qualitative Interviewing
Module 57 The Interview Society: Diversity of applications  
Module 58 Distinguishing interview approaches and types of interviews  
Module 59 Question options and skilled question formulation  
Module 60 Rapport, neutrality, and the interview relationship  
Module 61 Interviewing groups and cross-cultural interviewing  
Module 62. Creative modes of qualitative inquiry  
Module 63. Ethical issues and challenges in qualitative interviewing  
Module 64. Personal reflections on interviewing, and chapter summary and conclusion  
Part 3. Analysis, Interpretation, and Reporting
Chapter 8. Qualitative Analysis and Interpretation
Module 65. Setting the Context for Qualitative Analysis: Challenge, Purpose, and Focus  
Module 66. Thick description and case studies: The bedrock of qualitative analysis  
Module 67. Qualitative Analysis Approaches: Identifying Patterns and Themes  
Module 68. The intellectual and operational work of analysis  
Module 69. Logical and matrix analyses, and synthesizing qualitative studies  
Module 70. Interpreting findings, determining substantive significance, phenomenological essence, and hermeneutic interpretation  
Module 71. Causal explanation thorough qualitative analysis  
Module 72. New analysis directions: Contribution analysis, participatory analysis, and qualitative counterfactuals  
Module 73. Writing up and reporting findings, including using visuals  
Module 74. Special analysis and reporting issues: Mixed methods, focused communications, and principles-focused report exemplar.  
Module 75 Chapter summary and conclusion, plus case study exhibits  
Chapter 9. Enhancing the Quality and Credibility of Qualitative Studies
Module 76. Analytical processes for enhancing credibility: systematically engaging and questioning the data  
Module 77. Four triangulation processes for enhancing credibility  
Module 78. Alternative and competing criteria for judging the quality of qualitative inquiries: Part 1, universal criteria, and traditional scientific research versus constructivist criteria  
Module 79. Alternative and competing criteria, Part 2: artistic, participatory, critical change, systems, pragmatic, and mixed criteria  
Module 80 Credibility of the inquirer  
Module 81 Generalizations, Extrapolations, Transferability, Principles, and Lessons learned  
Module 82 Enhancing the credibility and utility of qualitative inquiry by addressing philosophy of science issues  


Student Study Site
EXCLUSIVE! Access to certain full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected for each chapter. Each article supports and expands on the concepts presented in the chapter. This feature also provides questions to focus and guide your interpretation. 

"Very thoughtful and thorough coverage of qualitative design and study."

Kari O'Grady Ph.D, Loyola University Maryland

 “The content itself, based in years of thinking, reading, doing, conversing, is a huge strength. Reading the chapters is like sitting at the feet of one of the masters.” 

Kathleen A. Bolland, The University of Alabama

“I can’t emphasize enough the quality, detail, and depth of the presentation of research design and methods… Students and experienced researchers will appreciate the depth of presentation of potential qualitative paradigms, theoretical orientations and frameworks as well as special methodological applications that are often not covered in other qualitative texts.”

Susan S. Manning, University of Denver

“It is refreshing to see a text that engages the multiple philosophical and historical trajectories within a qualitative research tradition while integrating this discussion so well with the practice of research design, fieldwork strategies, and data analysis.”

Michael P. O’Malley, Texas State University

Great book - not currently teaching a course in evaluation - will definitely consider this text when I do next teach such a course.

Dr John Donohue
Psychology, University Of Ottawa
October 27, 2015

Mae’r llyfr yma yn wych, yn enwedig y bennod ar fframweithiau damcaniaethol ac athroniaeth. Rwyf wedi ei argymell i nifer o fyfyrwyr ôl-radd sydd wrthi’n cynllunio traethodau hir - trwy gwrs ‘Yr ymchwilydd ansoddol’ y Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol (CCC) a hefyd myfyrwyr Bangor (Cymraeg a Saesneg ei hiaith). Rwyf hefyd wedi gofyn i’r llyfrgellydd gwyddorau cymdeithasol archebu un neu ddau o gopïau i’r llyfrgell.

Dr Sara Louise Wheeler
School Of Social Sciences, Bangor University
July 20, 2015

Adopted Creswell 3rd ed (Sage)

Dr Peter Sayer
Bicultural Bilingual Stds Div, University Of Texas
May 29, 2015

Good resource for students looking to develop their qualitative research skills.

Saran Donahoo
Educational Admin Dept, Southern Illinois University
May 12, 2015

Will use as a secondary text in the Qualitative Research Methods course I teach

Dr Carolyn Graff
College Of Nursing, Univ Of Tenn-Hlth Sci Ctr
May 3, 2015

Excellent resource

Dr Sharon Henderson Callahan
School of Theology and Ministry, Seattle University
April 23, 2015

Sample Materials & Chapters

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 9

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ISBN: 9781412972123