Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods

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Michael Quinn Patton

A bible on the topic of qualitative inquiry, this book introduces the principles and methods of qualitative research and evaluation. Chapters cover conceptual issues in qualitative inquiry (including strategic themes and variety), the design of qualitative studies, fieldwork strategies and observation methods, interviewing, analysis, interpretation, and reporting. Important controversies are outlined, and key points are illustrated with examples. This text is a resource and training tool for applied researchers, evaluators, and graduate students. Patton offers the most comprehensive, systematic, and up-to-date review of qualitative methods available. He uses examples from his own work and that of others to clarify and deepen understanding of qualitative research topics and processes. Discussions of many current issues and debates in qualitative scholarship (autoethnography, ethical issues of informed consent and confidentiality, focus group/group interviews, computer-assisted analysis, the complexity of creating criteria for judging the quality of qualitative research, etc.) will bring readers up-to-date with the variety in perspectives about (and the variety within) qualitative inquiry. This text is a review of the field of qualitative research, in terms of the theoretical, conceptual, methodological, and normative dimensions/foundations of qualitative research. It brings together theory and practice/methods without overburdening one or the other. It is extremely useful for both the professional researcher and the "non-professional" as well. Patton provides a number of "exhibits," or sidebars, within the book to assist the reader. Note in particular "Principles of Fully Participatory and Genuinely Collaborative Inquiry" (Exhibit 4.6) as having relevant applications to the field of arts and civic engagement. [Summary adapted from Sage Publication's website.]

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