Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods: Integrating Theory and Practice, Edition 4

SAGE Publications
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Drawing on more than 40 years of experience conducting applied social science research and program evaluation, author Michael Quinn Patton has crafted the most comprehensive and systematic book on qualitative research and evaluation methods, inquiry frameworks, and analysis options available today. Now offering more balance between applied research and evaluation, this Fourth Edition of Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods illuminates all aspects of qualitative inquiry through new examples, stories, and cartoons; more than a hundred new summarizing and synthesizing exhibits; and a wide range of new highlight sections/sidebars that elaborate on important and emergent issues. For the first time, full case studies are included to illustrate extended research and evaluation examples. In addition, each chapter features an extended "rumination," written in a voice and style more emphatic and engaging than traditional textbook style, about a core issue of persistent debate and controversy.
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About the author

Michael Quinn Patton is an independent consultant with more than 40 years’ experience conducting applied research and program evaluations. He lives in Minnesota, where, according to the state’s poet laureate, Garrison Keillor, “all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.” It was this interesting lack of statistical variation in Minnesota that led him to qualitative inquiry despite the strong quantitative orientation of his doctoral studies in sociology at the University of Wisconsin. He was on the faculty of the University of Minnesota for 18 years, including 5 years as director of the Minnesota Center for Social Research, where he was awarded the Morse-Amoco Award for innovative teaching. Readers of this book will not be surprised to learn that he has also won the University of Minnesota storytelling competition.

He has authored six other SAGE books: Utilization-Focused Evaluation, Creative Evaluation, Practical Evaluation, How to Use Qualitative Methods for Evaluation, Essentials of Utilization-Focused Evaluation, and Family Sexual Abuse: Frontline Research and Evaluation. He has edited or contributed articles to numerous books and journals, including several volumes of New Directions in Program Evaluation, on subjects as diverse as culture and evaluation, how and why language matters, HIV/AIDS research and evaluation systems, extension methods, feminist evaluation, teaching using the case method, evaluating strategy, utilization of evaluation, and valuing. He is the author of Developmental Evaluation: Applying Complexity Concepts to Enhance Innovation and Use and coauthor of Getting to Maybe: How the World Is Changed, a book that applies complexity science to social innovation. His creative nonfiction book, Grand Canyon Celebration: A Father–Son Journey of Discovery, was a finalist for Minnesota Book of the Year.

He is a former president of the American Evaluation Association and recipient of both the Alva and Gunnar Myrdal Award for Outstanding Contributions to Useful and Practical Evaluation and the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Award for Lifelong Contributions to Evaluation Theory from the American Evaluation Association. The Society for Applied Sociology presented him the Lester F. Ward Award for Outstanding Contributions to Applied Sociology.

He is on the faculty of The Evaluators’ Institute and teaches workshops for the American Evaluation Association’s professional development courses and Claremont University’s Summer Institute. He is a founding trainer for the International Program for Development Evaluation Training, sponsored by The World Bank and other international development agencies each summer in Ottawa, Ontario.

He has conducted applied research and evaluation on a broad range of issues, including antipoverty initiatives, leadership development, education at all levels, human services, the environment, public health, medical education, employment training, agricultural extension, arts, criminal justice, mental health, transportation, diversity initiatives, international development, community development, systems change, policy effectiveness, managing for results, performance indicators, and effective governance. He has worked with organizations and programs at the international, national, state, provincial, and local levels and with philanthropic, not-for-profit, private sector, international agency, and government programs. He has worked with people from many different cultures and perspectives.

He has three children—a musician, an engineer, and a nonprofit organization development and evaluation specialist—and one granddaughter. When not evaluating, he enjoys exploring the woods and rivers of Minnesota with his partner, Jean—kayaking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing—and occasionally hiking in the Grand Canyon. He enjoys watching the seasons change from his office overlooking the Mississippi River in Saint

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SAGE Publications
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Published on
Oct 29, 2014
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Social Science / Research
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"Cathy Riessman is the leading figure in narrative research and her new book is a delight. Covering basic issues of transcription and research credibility as well as visual data and engagingly written, it is a goldmine for students and researchers alike. If we want to make narrative research serious and revealing, it is to this book that we should turn."
—David Silverman, Professor Emeritus, Goldsmiths' College, University of London

"Narrative Methods for the Human Sciences provides an accessible framework for researchers — to analyse narrative texts with confidence, empathy, and humility.

"This is a terrific book. Cathy Riessman has an encyclopedic knowledge of this field and of the participants in it. This breadth and depth of knowledge is abundantly clear throughout the book."
—Susan Bell, Bowdoin College

"This book has been a great source of inspiration to me and my students, not only for its methodological clarity, but also for the spirit of social activism it engenders."
—Ian Baptiste, The Pennsylvania State University

"Narrative Methods for the Human Sciences is an essential starting point for both students and experienced researchers interested in using narrative analysis in applied or other contexts. Written with admirable clarity, an engaging style, and supported by detailed examples of analysis, the book outlines the main methodological issues and approaches within the exciting and fast-developing field of narrative research. Even researchers already familiar with narrative methods should find the presentation of thematic, structural, dialogic/performance, and visual forms of analysis a fruitful stimulus to new research endeavours."
—Brian Roberts, University of Central Lancashire, U.K.

"I just had to thank you for paving the path for us new and 'hopeful' narrative researchers. I have been a student of both your books on narrative analysis, and want to thank you for your guidance from your work, and also your latest book Narrative Methods for the Human Sciences. This work and the references you have chosen for us have helped me immensely during this time in my doctoral program, especially as I enter into the analysis phase."
—Maria T. Yelle, nursing doctoral candidate, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Narrative Methods for the Human Sciences provides a lively overview of research based on constructing and interpreting narrative. Designed to improve research practice, it gives a detailed discussion of four analytic methods that students can adapt. Author Catherine Kohler Riessman explains how to conduct the four kinds of narrative analysis using model studies from sociology, anthropology, psychology, education and nursing. Throughout the book, she compares different approaches including thematic analysis, structural analysis, dialogic/performance analysis, and visual narrative analysis. The book helps students confront specific issues in their research practice, including how to construct a transcript in an interview study; complexities of working with materials translated from another language; defining narrative segments; relating text and context; locating oneself as the researcher in a responsible way in an inquiry; and arguing for the credibility of the case-based approach.

Broad in scope, Narrative Methods for the Human Sciences also offers concrete guidance in individual chapters for students and established scholars wanting to join the "narrative turn" in social research.

Key Features

Focuses on four particular methods of narrative analysis: This text provides specific diverse exemplars of good narrative research, as practiced in several social science and human service disciplines.

Offers guidance for narrative interviewing: The author discusses the complexities between spoken language and any written transcript. In the process, she encourages students to be mindful of the texts they construct from dialogues among speakers.

Presents arguments about validation in case-based research: Riessman presents several ways to think about credibility in narrative studies, contextualizing validity in relation to epistemology and theoretical orientation of a study.

Explores the differences between grounded theory methods and narrative analysis: The author clarifies distinctions between inductive thematic coding in grounded theory, and other interpretive approaches, and narrative analysis.

Presents social linguistic methods for analyzing oral narrative: This text makes the approach accessible to readers not trained in social linguistics in part by providing rich examples from a number of different disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences.

Employs visual methods of analysis: Riessman takes narrative research beyond the spoken or written texts by showing how exemplary researchers have connected participants' words and images made during the research process. She also discusses other research that incorporates "found" images (in archives) in a narrative inquiry.

This text is designed as a supplement to the qualitative research course taught in graduate departments across the social and behavioral sciences, and as a core book in the narrative course.

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