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A Guide to Qualitative Field Research provides readers with clear, practical, and specific instructions for conducting qualitative research in the field. In the expanded Third Edition, Carol A. Bailey gives increased attention to the early and last stages of field research, often the most difficult: selecting a topic, deciding upon the purpose of your research, and writing the final paper, all in her signature reader-friendly writing style. This edition features research examples from graduate and undergraduate students to make examples meaningful to fellow students; a new “Putting It All Together” feature, with examples of how different parts of the research process interact; and more emphasis on the “nuts and bolts” of research, such as what to include in an informed consent form, a proposal, and the final paper.


 
List of Tables, Figures, and Photographs
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
Chapter 1. Introduction to Qualitative Field Research
Objectives

 
Overview

 
Examples of Field Research

 
Major Features of Field Research

 
Putting It All Together

 
Conclusions

 
Chapter Highlights

 
Exercises

 
Online and Recommended Reading

 
 
Chapter 2. Ethics
Objectives

 
Informed Consent

 
Deception

 
Confidentiality

 
Relationships

 
Ethics in Virtual Field Research

 
Conclusions

 
Chapter Highlights

 
Exercises

 
Online and Recommended Reading

 
 
Chapter 3. Topic, Purpose, and Research Questions
Objectives

 
Research Topic

 
Purpose of Research

 
Research Questions

 
Putting It All Together

 
Conclusions

 
Chapter Highlights

 
Exercises

 
Online and Recommended Reading

 
 
Chapter 4. Theory and Review of Literature
Objectives

 
Concepts

 
Theory

 
Review of Literature

 
Putting It All Together

 
Conclusions

 
Chapter Highlights

 
Exercises

 
Online and Recommended Reading

 
 
Chapter 5. Paradigms, Research Design, and Introduction to Methodology
Objectives

 
Proposal

 
Paradigms

 
Research Design

 
Methodology

 
Conclusions

 
Chapter Highlights

 
Exercises

 
Online and Recommended Reading

 
 
Chapter 6. From Gaining Entrée to Exiting the Field
Objectives

 
Gaining Entrée and Gatekeepers

 
Preparations

 
Arrival in the Field

 
Key Actors

 
Field Relationships

 
Time in the Field

 
Leaving the Field

 
Conclusions

 
Chapter Highlights

 
Exercises

 
Online and Recommended Reading

 
 
Chapter 7. Observations
Objectives

 
Should I Conduct Covert or Overt Observations?

 
Should I Only Observe or Participate Fully When Observing?

 
Where Should I Observe?

 
Should My Observations Be Structured or Unstructured?

 
What Should I Observe?

 
Research Questions

 
Unit of Analysis

 
Ethics

 
Conclusions

 
Chapter Highlights

 
Exercises

 
Online and Recommended Reading

 
 
Chapter 8. Interviews
Objectives

 
Types of Interviews

 
Question Construction

 
Interview Questions and Research Questions

 
Location of the Interview

 
Rapport

 
Ethics

 
Status Characteristics

 
Alternatives to Face-to-Face Interviews

 
After the Interview

 
Sampling

 
Conclusions

 
Chapter Highlights

 
Exercises

 
Online and Recommended Reading

 
 
Chapter 9. Field Notes
Objectives

 
Purposes of Field Notes

 
Taking Field Notes

 
Field Note Content

 
Putting It All Together

 
Conclusions

 
Chapter Highlights

 
Exercises

 
Online and Recommend Reading

 
 
Chapter 10. Procedures for Increasing Validity and Trustworthiness
Objectives

 
Validity and Trustworthiness

 
Strategies for Enhancing Validity and Trustworthiness

 
Conclusions

 
Chapter Highlights

 
Exercises

 
Online and Recommended Reading

 
 
Chapter 11. Introduction to Analysis and Coding
Objectives

 
Analysis

 
Coding

 
Practical Aspects of Coding

 
Coding and Grounded Theory

 
Computer-Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software

 
Putting It All Together

 
Conclusions

 
Chapter Highlights

 
Exercises

 
Online and Recommended Reading

 
 
Chapter 12. Descriptions and Typologies
Objectives

 
Descriptions

 
Typologies

 
Conclusions

 
Chapter Highlights

 
Exercises

 
Online and Recommended Reading

 
 
Chapter 13. Thematic Analysis
Objectives

 
Purposes of a Thematic Analysis

 
What Are Themes?

 
Identifying Versus Emerging Themes

 
Overarching Themes

 
Topical Themes

 
Interpretation

 
Conclusions

 
Chapter Highlights

 
Exercises

 
Online and Recommended Reading

 
 
Chapter 14. Research Stories and Critical Events and Cases
Objectives

 
Elements in a Research Story

 
Critical Events and Cases

 
Conclusions

 
Chapter Highlights

 
Exercises

 
Online and Recommend Reading

 
 
Chapter 15. Writing and the Final Paper
Objectives

 
Writing Process

 
Writing Styles Used in Final Papers

 
Format of a Final Paper

 
Putting It All Together

 
Conclusions

 
Chapter Highlights

 
Exercises

 
Online and Recommended Reading

 
 
References
 
Glossary
 
Index

Supplements

Student Study Site

The open-access Student Study Site includes the following:

  • EXCLUSIVE! Author-selected, full-text SAGE journal articles expand on concepts in the chapters.
  • Additional writings provided by fellow scholars in the field, including sample field notes and an essay on Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA).
Instructor Resource Site

Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following:

  • Editable, chapter-specific Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides offer you complete flexibility in easily creating a multimedia presentation for your course.        
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to certain full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected for each chapter by the author. 

“Methods texts often suffer from dry material and inaccessible definitions. This text makes methods accessible through an inviting, jargon-free tone, and engaging through its many creative suggestions for applying the lessons in hands-on exercises.” 

Andrew Nelson
University of North Texas

“This book offers a very comprehensive examination of fieldwork that includes practical and theoretical guidance for all students–undergraduate and graduate. The inclusion of online participant-observation considerations sets this book apart from all the others.”

Pamela A. Kaylor
Ohio University Lancaster

“So much more than most methods texts, this text actually offers the tools and examples to help students actually plan and do research. Full of practical examples, useful tips, frameworks and tactics, this text is a great primer for students who want to get out into the field”

Raymond Dart
Trent University

A Guide to Qualitative Research is an invaluable handbook for students embarking on qualitative research. Comprehensive, detailed, and engaging, it covers all of the key elements of qualitative research and is an insightful and practical text to inspire and guide future qualitative researchers.”

Katja M. Guenther
University of California, Riverside

“Carol Bailey’s work is of the highest quality. I wholeheartedly consider it to be one of the better qualitative fieldwork texts geared toward neophyte students of qualitative research that I have come across in many years. It is obvious that she put some time into thinking about and conceptually organizing the book. It all flows together quite nicely with an engaging and crisp writing style that will keep readers attention.”   

Michael Birzer
Wichita State University

A Guide to Qualitative Field Research is an accessible introduction to the design and conduct of qualitative research. For students new to this methodology, this text provides insight into key concepts and issues that should be part of their methodological toolkit, so that they know how to begin their studies, what to expect along the way, and strategies to address those “bumps” that are all too common in field research.”

Amira Proweller
DePaul University
Key features

NEW AND KEY FEATURES:

  • This edition includes quotes from literature and famous people to make the narrative more humorous and engaging to the student.
  • Expanded coverage of research in virtual settings ensures that readers get a well-rounded understanding of both in-person and digital research methods.
  • Putting It All Together features contain examples illustrating how different parts of the research process are used in conjunction with each other when conducting research, serving as a useful review of the material and providing instructors with examples for further elaboration and class discussion.
  • New and updated tables contain examples, provide an overview of material in a way that is easily understood, and include checklists that students can use when conducting their own research.
  • Online and recommended reading provides a resource for those who want more in-depth coverage of material than can be provided in introductory texts.

For instructors

Review and Desk copies for this title are available digitally via VitalSource.

Request e-review copy

If you require a print review copy, please call: (800) 818-7243 ext. 6140 or email textsales@sagepub.com.

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