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Internet Communication and Qualitative Research

Internet Communication and Qualitative Research
A Handbook for Researching Online

First Edition
  • Chris Mann - University of Cambridge, UK
  • Fiona Stewart - Real World Research and Communications Pty Ltd, Australia

September 2000 | 272 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

"The internet is exploding with possibilities for conducting social research. Mann and Stewart offer the first in-depth consideration of the prospects and potentials for doing qualitative research on-line. This wide ranging, clearly-written book is essential reading for researchers working at the cutting edge of qualitative methodology." —James Holstein, Marquette University

"Opens to view a whole new avenue for social research. Internet communication is the wave of the future. Mann and Stewart capture its potential with insight, caution, and consummate procedural skill. Pathbreaking in its area of research methodology! Students and researchers will be very pleased with its clarity and usefulness." —Jaber Gubrium, University of Florida Internet

Communication and Qualitative Research is the first textbook to examine the impact of Internet technology on qualitative research methods. Drawing on many pioneering studies using computer-mediated communication (CMC), the authors show how online researchers can employ Internet-based qualitative methods to collect rich, descriptive, contextually-situated data. They discuss the methodological, practical and theoretical considerations associated with such methods as in-depth online interviewing, virtual focus groups, and participant observation in virtual communities. This is a comprehensive and practical guide that:

  • Reviews online research practice and basic Internet technology
  • Looks in detail at the skills required by the online researcher
  • Examines the ethical, confidentiality, security, and legal issues involved in online research
  • Considers the theoretical challenges surrounding data collected in a "virtual venue"
  • Addresses the social and cultural impact of researching online through a discussion of power, gender, and identity issues in the virtual world

Internet Communication and Qualitative Research will be an indispensable guide for all students and researchers working in the digital age.

Practicalities of Using CMC
An Ethical Framework
Introducing Online Methods
Online Focus Groups
The Online Interviewer
Power Issues in Internet Research
Language Mode and Analysis
Virtuality and Data
Future Directions

Although slightly old now, this text provides researchers with a clear understanding of qualitative researching online. From designing research to execution, this text acts as a guide for the qualitative researcher.

Mr Paul Matthews
School of Hospitality, Tourism & Events, University College Birmingham
January 28, 2016

This is a good introduction for students to online research methods and qualitative research. I shall recommend it to students in the reading list for the qualitative research module. However, with the introduction of the BPS guidelines for internet-mediated research, sections of this book are now out of date.

Miss Sophie Williams
Dept of Psychology (Kedleston Cps), Derby University
April 15, 2015

This book gives an easy to follow approach to online research, a must have copy for any student planning to conduct research online

Mr Shelton Giwa
Dpt of Strategic Management & Marketin, De Montfort University
September 7, 2015

The level of intertnet and digital research is on the increase - this is a helpful handbook for those students and researchers alike to undetstand how to use digital media to undertake qualitative research online

Mrs Lyz Howard
Department of Health, Health and Social Care Teaching Team
June 30, 2014

Detailed and accessible text outlining how the internet can be used for conducting research. It explores the benefits of using the internet to collect data; ethics; methods including focus groups and interviews. It will have wide appeal among researchers who are seeking to recruit participants who are widely dispersed geographically and hard to reach. But it does not steer clear of the challenges and ethical issues associated with this method.

Dr Jillian Pooler
School of Dentistry , Peninsula College of Medicine & Dentis
June 16, 2014

Very useful!Good for all levels.

Dr Spyros Themelis
Sch of Education & Lifelong Learning, University of East Anglia
February 5, 2014

Really useful to students who are considering this type of research. The book contains, skills for online research, benefits and limitations Chapter 2 p17 plus guidance on how to act ethically when researching online.

Ms Michelle Evans
Faculty of Health and Social Care, London South Bank University
September 4, 2013

This book is perhaps a bit too specialised for our undergraduate students. However, I do feel it may be more relevant at postraguate level.

Ms Di Douglas
School of Hea, University of the West of Scotland
December 11, 2012

This book will add to depth to the Internet Communications course that I currently teach; it moves the student beyond the software issues and encourages them to add researched depth to their project. This is essential if we are to teach them that merely creating an online project because one knows how to via the software is not enough, there has to be a reason if digital material is to serve a real purpose.

Mr Ian Bennett
Department of English & Media, Anglia Ruskin University
November 8, 2011

Excellent coverage

Ms Kristan Burke
Dept of Social Sciences, Nottingham Trent University
October 16, 2009

For instructors

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