- Ann Phoenix, Institute of Education, University of London
"It’s high time we have a book like this. Brian Alleyne has managed to produce the best, clearest, and most comprehensive overview of narrative theory for social scientists I have yet to see. I wish I’d had access to a book like this when I was a student. It would have made my life so much easier. It will surely become the universally recognised go-to book on the subject."
- David Graeber, London School of Economics & Political Science
Narrative is a fundamental means whereby we make sense of our own lives and of the world around us. The stories we tell, and are being told, shape our identities, relationships and world-views. In a rapidly changing digital society where blogging and social networking have become fundamental communication channels, the platforms for the creation and exchange of all kinds of narratives have greatly expanded.
Illustrated with examples from a range of fields and disciplines as well as the author’s own work on hacking cultures and cultural activism, this title is a must for anyone wanting to learn about narrative approaches in social research and how to conduct successful narrative research in a digital age.
Denzin's argues that no single method, theory, or observer can capture all that is relevant or important in reality. He argues for the use of triangulation and for a view of theory and methods as "concept sensitizers." His approach enables sociologists to acquire specifi c facts about a particular situation while simultaneously elevating these to the level of shared meaning.
The author shows students how to proceed with research, bringing sharply into focus the possibilities and their limitations. Since his view is integrated rather than eclectic, this is much more than a "how to do it" manual. Denzin points out aspects of research that fall outside the scope of a given method yet aff ect results, and emphasizes the need to employ several methods to cross-check each other. The Research Act covers all the content of conventional methods courses. The presentation is exciting and imaginative, and provides a thorough review of major sociological methods, a cogent statement about approaches to sociological inquiry, and a source from which a understanding of the problems of research can be derived.
The book contains thirteen sections dealing with theory and its development; issues of sampling units; problems of developing new measurement techniques; difficulties surrounding the interview (with special emphasis on interviewing deviant, hostile, and silent respondents); the nature of causation; and a review of the major methods of proof available to the sociologist. Actual research studies, focusing in turn on the experiment, the survey, participant observation, life-histories, and unobtrusive analysis, are also included.
Each section is preceded by an introduction, that defines the major issues in each paper, offers a discussion of problems not covered explicitly in the readings, and in general shows how each paper contributes to a view of interactional research processes. Because of its interactional approach, its use of classic articles, its anticipation of problems not yet formulated clearly in the literature, its illustrations of how social organizations may be studied, its inclusion of articles relevant to the social psychology of experiments, and its new statements on the ethics of research, this book will be invaluable in methods courses.
Especially when used in conjunction with its companion text, The Research Act, the book provides perhaps the most original and most useful compendium available to students today.
This volume engages with these emerging debates in qualitative research over new materialism, 'data', public policy, research ethics, public scholarship, and the corporate university in the neoliberal age. World-renowned contributors from the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Norway, Australia, and New Zealand present a global perspective on these issues, framed within a landscape of higher education marked if not marred by efficiency metrics, accountability, external funding, and university rankings.
Qualitative Inquiry in Neoliberal Times is a must-read for faculty and students alike interested in the changing dynamics of their profession, whether theoretically, methodologically, or structurally and materially.
This title is sponsored by the International Association of Qualitative Inquiry, a major new international organization that sponsors an annual congress.