This distinctive, nuanced book addresses the more complex theoretical issues embedded in the qualitative research paradigm. Adopting a reflective stance that emphasises the role of the researcher it carefully avoids a standardised ‘tick box’ approach to methods. Throughout each chapter, theory is powerfully and persuasively interwoven as its impact on practical topics such as data management and safety in the field is discussed. O’Reilly and Kiyimba bring an authority and clarity to the debate, taking us beyond the mechanical notions of qualitative methods and standardised approaches to research. Instead, they focus on subjects like methodological integrity, perspective driven data collection and theoretically-led analysis. This will be an important resource for anyone looking to practically engage with advanced qualitative research methods.

Issues of quality

Introduction

In this chapter we present debates about how to assess the quality of qualitative research. Typically the literature on quality relates to the conduct and reporting of qualitative research (Spencer et al., 2003), and yet there is no consensus in relation to how to critically appraise qualitative work. The chapter opens by exploring a history of the use of quality checklists in quantitative fields and explores the relevance of the core quality concepts of reliability, validity and generalisability. We develop this discussion in terms of how these issues have translated to a qualitative context and take a critical position on attempts to construct universal checklists in the qualitative approach. We acknowledge that any research compromises its utility where defensible rigour is ...

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