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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

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

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