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Qualitative Methods in Social Work Research
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Qualitative Methods in Social Work Research

Third Edition


August 2016 | 352 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Qualitative Methods in Social Work Research provides accessible, how-to instruction for carrying out rigorous qualitative research. The thoroughly revised Third Edition offers a comprehensive introduction to qualitative methods based on six major approaches: ethnography, grounded theory, case study, narrative, phenomenological, and participatory action research. Readers will appreciate the book’s ease of use, friendly writing style, and helpful cases/examples that combine attention to methodological rigor with pragmatic concerns for real-world relevance. 
 
Chapter 1: Qualitative Methods in Context
Differences From and Similarities With Quantitative Methods

 
The Intellectual Life Course of Qualitative Methods

 
The Formative Years

 
The Rise of Quantification and Operationalism

 
Epistemological Differences Among Qualitative Researchers

 
The Pragmatic Middle Ground

 
Evidence-Based Practice and Implementation Science

 
Theoretical and Conceptual Frameworks in Qualitative Inquiry

 
Some Are a Better Fit Than Others

 
Analytic Induction and Abduction: Nondeductive Thinking

 
The Importance of Concepts

 
The Place and Timing of Theories in Qualitative Studies

 
Reasons for Doing Qualitative Research

 
Desirable Qualities and Skills in the Qualitative Researcher-as-Instrument

 
Studying the Familiar Versus the Unfamiliar

 
Values and Social Responsibility in Qualitative Research

 
Introducing the New York Services Study (NYSS) and the New York Recovery Study (NYRS)

 
 
Chapter 2: Choosing the Right Qualitative Approach(es)
Six Primary Approaches in Qualitative Research

 
Ethnography

 
Grounded Theory

 
Case Study Analysis

 
Narrative Approaches

 
Phenomenological Analysis

 
Action and Community-Engaged Research

 
The Six Approaches Revisited: Change over Time

 
Mixing and Matching Qualitative Approaches: Risks and Benefits

 
Introducing Strategies for Rigor and Trustworthiness

 
Qualitative Methods in Program Evaluation and Implementation Research

 
 
Chapter 3: Designing the Study and Getting Started
Prologue: Addressing Ethical Considerations Early On

 
Flexible and Iterative Designs

 
Choosing the Topic and Making the Argument

 
Reviewing the Literature

 
Developing a Conceptual Framework

 
Formulating Research Questions

 
Designing the Study

 
Questions Posed (and Needing Answers) by Qualitative Research Designs

 
The Element of Time

 
Specific Aspects of Qualitative Designs

 
Using Multiple Qualitative Methods at Different Levels

 
Sampling and Selection Strategies

 
Sample Size Considerations

 
Recruiting and Retaining Study Participants

 
How Many Interviews? Issues of Quantity and Quality

 
Getting Permission(s) and Obtaining Rapport

 
Presentation of Self

 
Issues of Identity: Gender, Age, Race/Ethnicity, and Social Class

 
 
Chapter 4: Ethical and Emotional Issues in Qualitative Research
Deception and Disclosure

 
Informed Consent

 
Coercion and “Deformed” Consent

 
Confidentiality and Privacy

 
Distress and Emotional Harm

 
Incentives, Payback, and Maintaining Goodwill

 
Institutional Review Boards and Qualitative Research

 
Dealing With Moral Ambiguity and Risk

 
Ethical Issues in Community-Engaged Research

 
Ethical Issues in Cross-National Research

 
Taking it Personally: Emotions in Qualitative Research

 
Socially Responsible Research as Ethical Research

 
 
Chapter 5: Data Collection: Observation, Interviewing and Use of Documents
Observation in Qualitative Studies

 
“Doing” Observation: The Best (and Only True) Way to Learn

 
Recording Observational Data

 
In-Depth Interviewing

 
Critiques of Interviewing: Realism and Authenticity

 
Informal Field Interviews

 
Focus Group Interviews

 
Individual Interviews

 
Linked Interviews

 
Interviewing Children and Other Vulnerable Populations

 
Key Informant, Elite, and Expert Interviews

 
Developing the Interview Guide

 
Elicitation Techniques in Qualitative Interviews

 
Interview Guides for Second (and Third) Interviews

 
A Few Guidelines for Starting Out

 
Conducting the Interview: The Importance of Probes

 
After the Interview

 
Matching Interviewers to Respondents: The Effects of Age, Gender, Race, and Other Characteristics

 
Common Problems and Errors in Qualitative Interviewing

 
Emotional Issues in Interviewing

 
Interviewing in a Non-English Language

 
Interviewing Across the Digital Landscape

 
Use of Audio and Video Recorders

 
Using Documents and Other Archival Materials

 
Ending Data Collection

 
 
Chapter 6: Data Analysis
Data Management: Dealing With Volume Early On

 
Using Qualitative Data Analysis (QDA) Software

 
Teams, Multiple Users, and Cross-Site Databases

 
Transcribing Interviews

 
Translating and Transcribing in a Non-English Language

 
Qualitative Data Analysis: Beginning The Search for Meaning

 
Case Summaries

 
Theories and Concepts in Qualitative Data Analysis

 
Data Analysis in Diverse Qualitative Approaches

 
Content Analysis

 
Ethnography and Data Analysis

 
Case Study Analysis

 
Data Analysis in Narrative Approaches

 
Phenomenological Analyses

 
Action and Community-Based Participatory Research

 
Analysis in Longitudinal Designs

 
Analyzing Visual Data

 
Coding

 
Varied Approaches to Coding and Co-Coding

 
Starting Out: Identifying Code-Worthy Material

 
Labeling Coded Material and Developing a Codebook

 
Documenting Coding Procedures

 
Comparing and Contrasting: Memo Writing as Forward Motion

 
Secondary Analyses of Qualitative Data

 
Hybrid and Mixed Qualitative Approaches

 
 
Chapter 7: Interpretation: Recognizing Salience
The Role of the Researcher(s)

 
Framing Devices to Assist in Interpretation

 
Using Qualitative Data Analysis (QDA) Software for Interpretation

 
Saturation

 
Bringing Theor(ies) In

 
An Example of a Conceptual Schema

 
Salience Through Absence: What is Not Said (or Seen)

 
Feminist and Other Critiques in Interpretation

 
Rhetorical Devices

 
Negative Case Analysis and Disconfirmation

 
The Six Approaches Revisited

 
Qualitative Meta-Synthesis as Meta-Interpretation

 
In Pursuit of Methodological Transparency

 
 
Chapter 8: Strategies for Rigor and Trustworthiness
Evaluating Qualitative Research: Standards and Strategies

 
Evaluative Criteria and External Standards

 
In the Eye of the Beholder?

 
Attending to Rigor and Trustworthiness

 
The Meaning(s) of Generalizability in Qualitative Methods

 
Threats to the Trustworthiness of Qualitative Studies

 
Strategies for Rigor in Qualitative Research

 
Prolonged Engagement

 
Triangulation of Data

 
Peer Debriefing and Support

 
Member Checking

 
Negative Case Analysis

 
Auditing—Leaving a Decision Trail

 
Strategies for Rigor Applied to the Six Qualitative Approaches

 
Dilemmas of Rigor in Action-Oriented Research

 
Appraising Quality: The Rise of Checklists, Criteria and Guidelines

 
In Search of the Big Tent: Balancing Rigor and Relevance

 
 
Chapter 9: Telling the Story: Writing the Qualitative Study
Preparing to Write: Key Decision Points

 
Identifying the Audience

 
The Researcher’s Role in the Report

 
Using Numbers in the Report

 
Authorship and Coauthorship Decisions

 
Authorship in and From Dissertations: A Negotiation With Few Rules

 
Organizing the Report—Key Components

 
Qualitative Reports Across the Diverse Approaches

 
Balancing Description and Interpretation

 
Writing Stance and Style

 
Rhetorical Devices Suited to Qualitative Studies

 
Writing Style: Rhythm and Grab

 
Use of Metaphors and Other Tropes

 
Challenges and Rewards of Publishing

 
Criteria for Review: The Qualitative Dilemma

 
 
Chapter 10: Mixed Methods
The Epistemology Question in Mixed Methods

 
The Rise of Mixed Methods and Their Rationale(s)

 
Integrating Mixed Methods

 
Types of Mixed Methods Designs

 
Sequential Designs

 
Concurrent Designs

 
Complicated Designs

 
Mixed Methods: Ways of Going About It

 
Structural and Design Decisions: What, When, and How?

 
Incorporating Existing Measures Into Qualitative Interviews

 
Quantifying Qualitative Data

 
Examples of Mixed Methods Studies: Implementation and Action Research

 
Writing the Mixed Methods Report

 
Challenges for Mixed Methods Studies

 
Mixed Method Approaches to Program and Practice Evaluation

 
 
Appendix: Writing a Qualitative Methods Proposal for External Funding
Finding the Right Fit With Funding Priorities

 
Getting Past the Catch–22

 
Setting the Stage

 
Questions From Proposal Reviewers

 
Budgeting Time and Resources

 
Twenty Tips for Writing the Proposal

 
 
References
 
Index
 
About the Author

“Padgett is the ultimate ‘pro’ researcher, methods expert, and communicator. This is the one book you need for master's study, professional practice research, doctoral study, and your continuing research agenda!”

Roberta Iversen
University of Pennsylvania

“Dr. Padgett’s text Qualitative Methods in Social Work Research is informative and easy for students to read and understand. The book offers clear advice to students about how to design and execute qualitative research studies.” 

Bruce Winston, Regent University

“Padgett uses her extensive experience to expertly achieve two seemingly contradictory ends: educate about the conceptual underpinnings of qualitative research methods, and provide the concrete steps needed to carry them out. As a research discipline that is often not fully understood by many, Qualitative Methods in Social Work Research will be appreciated by academics and students alike.”

Jessica Toft
University of St. Thomas and St. Catherine University

“Padgett knows how to make students and even lecturers curious about qualitative methods and she copes in her book very well the gap between an overview and a deeper understanding of research methods.”

Armin Schneider
University of Applied Sciences Koblenz

The book offers a good overview of qualitative methods that can be used within and beyond the field of social work- I think students struggling with the aims and methods of qualitative research can find it very helpful

Dr Mei Trueba
Health , Brighton and Sussex Medical School
October 12, 2016

A very informative and accessible resource for research and teaching!

Dr Gianina-Ioana Postavaru
Psychology, Bishop Grosseteste University
October 4, 2016

Received too late for current class. However, I would strongly recommend this text for any social research methods class. The book is filled with excellent examples and wonderful suggested readings at the end of each chapter. This is one of the most comprehensive approaches to qualitative research methods I have ever read. I believe this text would serve upper-division undergraduates and grasduate stduents very well.

Mr Billy Brocato
Sociology Dept, Texas A & M Univ-Clg Station
September 28, 2016

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 2

Chapter 6


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ISBN: 9781452256702
£77.00