Fresh, insightful and clear, this exciting textbook provides an engaging introduction to the application of qualitative methodology in the real world. Expert researchers then trace the history and philosophical underpinnings of different methodologies, explore the specific demands each places upon the researcher and robustly set out relevant issues surrounding quality and rigor. Featured methodologies include action research, discourse analysis, ethnography, grounded theory, case studies and narrative inquiry. This practical book provides a helpful guide to the research process - it introduces the relevant methods of generating, collecting and analysing data for each discrete methodology and then looks at best practice for presenting findings. This enables new researchers to compare qualitative methods and to confidently select the approach most appropriate for their own research projects. Key features include: • Summary table for each chapter - allowing quick checks to test knowledge • ‘Window into’ sections - real world examples showing each methodology in action • Student activities • Learning objectives • Full glossary • Annotated suggestions for further reading • Links to downloadable SAGE articles • Links to relevant websites and organizations This is an invaluable resource for students and researchers across the social sciences and a must-have guide for those embarking on a research project. Visit the accompanying companion website for a range of free additional resources.

A New Generation of Qualitative Research

Jane Mills

Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Identify the key debates in qualitative research from both a global and generational perspective
  • Discuss the place of mixed methods in the future of qualitative research
  • Outline the impact of generational difference on qualitative researchers’ perceptions of key debates
  • Define realist causality and its relationship to qualitative research
  • Construct qualitative research findings to increase their impact


In this final chapter, key debates in qualitative research are discussed using generational theory as an analytical heuristic. The predominance of an ethnocentric North American generational unit on qualitative research is identified, and its focus on the politics of evidence as the most important issue facing researchers worldwide is explored. An alternative view ...

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