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.

Narrative Research

Patrick John Lewis

Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Discuss the philosophical underpinnings of narrative inquiry
  • Outline the key philosophies involved in the development of narrative inquiry
  • Describe the different types of narrative inquiry
  • Reflect on the ethical responsibility of the positioning of the researcher undertaking narrative inquiry
  • Summarize strategies for data generation and analysis in narrative inquiry
  • Critique mechanisms for ensuring rigour and quality in narrative inquiry


The first question when thinking about narrative research is: What is narrative? The term comes draped in many meanings and is used in myriad ways across disciplines. There is no clear and easy definition that satisfies all utilizations. Broadly speaking, narrative is the everyday practice of storytelling, the teller/speaker uses the basic story structure ...

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