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.

The Researcher as Learner


Ruth, Marla, and Anthony have begun to grapple with the many facets of learning about qualitative research. They are considering the questions they want to ask, they are thinking about designs (setting, participants, and ways of gathering data), and they are flirting with their perspectives—the ways they think about research in general and their projects specifically. These are all significant topics to ponder and make decisions about. The challenges they face, at this early stage, are to incorporate new information from class, juxtapose this with assumptions they hold about truth and the social world, and think through their perspectives on their research projects.

All this entails reflecting on their own personal epistemologies, the ways in which they understand knowledge and ...

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