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.

Discourse Analysis

Marianne LeGreco

Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Navigate the multi-disciplinary and sometimes fragmented history of analysing discourse
  • Distinguish between the technical and situated sides of discourse analysis
  • Develop research questions and protocols for analysing discourses and discursive practices
  • Identify different techniques of gathering discursive data for micro, meso and/or macro levels of analysis
  • Select appropriate venues for sharing and distributing the results of research studies that use discourse analysis


Discourse analysis as a qualitative methodology has a complex history that owes much to a wide range of disciplinary areas. This chapter examines the various forms of discourse analysis and discusses the implications of engaging in either macro-level or micro-level discourse analysis. The process of discourse tracing is introduced and worked ...

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