How we understand and define qualitative data is changing, with implications not only for the techniques of data analysis, but also how data are collected. New devices, technologies and online spaces open up new ways for researchers to approach and collect images, moving images, text and talk. The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Data Collection systematically explores the approaches, techniques, debates and new frontiers for creating, collecting and producing qualitative data. Bringing together contributions from internationally leading scholars in the field, the handbook offers a state-of-the-art look at key themes across six thematic parts: Part I Charting the Routes Part II Concepts, Contexts, Basics Part III Types of Data and How to Collect Them Part IV Digital and Internet Data Part V Triangulation and Mixed Methods Part VI Collecting Data in Specific Populations

The Virtues of Naturalistic Data

Jonathan Potter Chloe Shaw


This chapter focuses on the reasons for working with naturalistic data. That is, it starts with an interest in life as it happens as far as possible independent of the researcher's constructions, practices, and interventions. Naturalistic data is in contrast to elicited data in qualitative social science; naturalistic rather than natural, to flag epistemic cautions that will be developed below. The chapter (a) suggests examples from the history of the use of naturalistic materials across the sciences and notes the limited presence of naturalistic materials in social sciences; (b) describes the test through which the two kinds of data can be distinguished and offers reasons for working ...

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