Rosaline Barbour draws on her extensive teaching experience to provide a clear, user-friendly introduction to the craft of doing qualitative research. Each chapter includes examples of real-life qualitative data and a range of exercises to help students get a feel for the process of generating and analysing qualitative data.



  • Taking the most commonly employed of all qualitative research methods, this chapter aims to encourage researchers to take a critical look at the assumptions underpinning its use.
  • It will advise the reader about the appropriate use of interviews – to elicit life stories through narrative and elite interviews, and to illuminate experience and meaning-making through focusing on specific episodes or issues.
  • Detailed guidance will be provided on developing semi-structured interview schedules and using these (together with prompts) in order to generate the desired data – in relation to both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies.
  • Advice will be provided on phrasing and ordering of interview questions.
  • The contribution of stimulus materials – in particular, vignettes – will be explored.
  • Planning and preparation are emphasized as key components of research design.
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