The updated Fourth Edition of Rossman and Rallis’s popular introductory text leads the new researcher into the field by explaining the core concepts through theory, research, and applied examples. Woven into the chapters are three themes that are the heart of the book: first, research is about learning; second, research can and should be useful; and finally, a researcher should practice the highest ethical standards to ensure that a study is trustworthy. The Fourth Edition includes an elaborate discussion of systematic inquiry as well as a nuanced discussion of developing a conceptual framework.

Gathering Data in the Field


Gathering data is a discovery process. Ruth, Marla, and Anthony talk with people, observe actions and interactions, and pay attention to physical surroundings to learn about aspects of the social world they want to understand better. Interviewing, observing, and studying material culture are the primary ways to discover and learn in the field. Interviewing includes talking with participants both formally (when an interview is set up beforehand) and informally (when the researcher is present in the setting for other activities). Interviewing also can take place on the Internet using Skype or some other application. Observing includes a formal, structured noting of events, activities, and speech (e.g., when the researcher observes a classroom or a meeting) and participant observation ...

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