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

Upside Down – Reinventing Research Design1

Giampietro Gobo

Introduction

‘Concept', ‘hypothesis', ‘indicator', ‘variable', ‘operationalization', ‘cause', ‘sampling', ‘generalization', ‘model', ‘validation’ seem old-fashioned terms – oddments of quantitative and positivistic approaches which are today already epistemologically outdated. There is some truth in this view.

However, they can acquire different meanings (as frequently happens in the history of ideas) compatible with a more constructivist perspective. These alternative meanings can be detected also in some of the most influential voices of qualitative methods, if we read them carefully:

The freedom and flexibility that we claim for generating theory from quantitative data will lead to new strategies and styles of quantitative analysis, with their own rules yet to be discovered. And these new styles of analysis will bring ...

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