Qualitative Research Methods for the Social Sciences by Bruce L. BergQualitative Research Methods for the Social Sciences by Bruce L. Berg

Qualitative Research Methods for the Social Sciences

byBruce L. Berg, Howard Lune

Paperback | November 15, 2011

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Qualitative Research Methods - collection, organization, and analysis strategies


This text shows novice researchers how to design, collect, and analyze qualitative data and then present their results to the scientific community.


The book stresses the importance of ethics in research and taking the time to properly design and think through any research endeavor.


Learning Goals

Upon completing this book, readers should be able to:

  • Effectively design, collect, organize, and analyze data and then to present results to the scientific community
  • Use the Internet as both a resource and a means for accessing qualitative data
  • Explore current issues in the world of researchers, which include a serious concern about ethical behavior and protocols in research and a more reflexive and sensitive role for the researcher
  • Recognize the importance of ethical concerns before they actually begin the research collection, organization, and analytic process
  • Understand basic elements associated with researcher reflexivity and research voice
Bruce L. Berg received his PhD from Syracuse University in 1983. His first faculty position as Assistant Professor was at Florida State University, where he also served as Internship Director. In 1986, he took a position at University of Massachusetts-Boston Harbor campus. Then from 1988 to 1996, he moved up the academic ladder at Indi...
Title:Qualitative Research Methods for the Social SciencesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:448 pages, 8.9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:November 15, 2011Publisher:Pearson EducationLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0205809383

ISBN - 13:9780205809387

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Table of Contents


1.)    BRIEF





Chapter 1:   Introduction

Chapter 2:   Designing Qualitative Research

Chapter 3:   Ethical Issues

Chapter 4:   A Dramaturgical Look at Interviewing

Chapter 5:   Focus Group Interviewing

Chapter 6:   Ethnographic Field Strategies

Chapter 7:   Action Research

Chapter 8:   Unobtrusive Measures in Research

Chapter 9:   Social Historical Research and Oral Traditions

Chapter 10: Case Studies

Chapter 11: An Introduction to Content Analysis 

Chapter 12: Writing Research Papers: Sorting the Noodles from the Soup




Chapter 1: Introduction

Quantitative Versus Qualitative Schools of Thought

Use of Triangulation in Research Methodology

Qualitative Strategies: Defining an Orientation

From a Symbolic Interactionist Perspective

Why Use Qualitative Methods?

A Plan of Presentation


Chapter 2: Designing Qualitative Research

Theory and Concepts

Ideas and Theory

Reviewing the Literature

Evaluating Web Sites

Content versus Use

Theory, Reality, and the Social World

Framing Research Problems

Operationalization and Conceptualization

Designing Projects

Data Collection and Organization

Data Storage, Retrieval, and Analysis


Trying It Out


Chapter 3: Ethical Issues

Research Ethics in Historical Perspective

From Guidelines to Law: Regulations on the Research Process

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

Ethical Codes

Some Common Ethical Concerns in Behavioral Research

New Areas for Ethical Concern: Cyberspace

Informed Consent and Implied Consent

Confidentiality and Anonymity

Securing the Data

Objectivity and Careful Research Design

Trying It Out


Chapter 4: A Dramaturgical Look at Interviewing

Dramaturgy and Interviewing

Types of Interviews

The Data Collection Instrument

Guideline Development

Communicating Effectively

A Few Common Problems in Question Formulation

Pretesting the Schedule

Long Versus Short Interviews

Telephone Interviews

Computer Assisted Interviewing

Conducting an Interview: A Natural or an Unnatural Communication?

The Dramaturgical Interview

The Interviewer’s Repertoire

Know Your Audience

Analyzing Data Obtained from the Dramaturgical Interview

Trying It Out


Chapter 5: Focus Group Interviewing

What are Focus Groups?

Working With a Group

The Evolution of Focus Group Interviews

Facilitating Focus Group Dynamics: How Focus Groups Work

The Moderator’s Guide

Basic Ingredients in Focus Groups

Analyzing Focus Group Data

Confidentiality and Focus Group Interviews

Recent Trends in Focus Groups: Online Focus Groups

Trying It Out


Chapter 6: Ethnographic Field Strategies

Accessing a Field Setting: Getting In

Reflectivity and Ethnography

Critical Ethnography

Becoming Invisible

Other Dangers During Ethnographic Research

Watching, Listening, and Learning

How to Learn: What to Watch and Listen For

Computers and Ethnography

OnLine Ethnography

Analyzing Ethnographic Data

Other Analysis Strategies: Typologies, Sociograms, and Metaphors

Disengaging: Getting Out

Trying It Out


Chapter 7: Action Research

The Basics of Action Research

Identifying the Research Question(s)

Gathering the Information to Answer the Question(s)

Analyzing and Interpreting the Information

Sharing the Results with the Participants

When to Use and When Not to Use Action Research

The Action Researcher’s Role

Types of Action Research

Photovoice and Action Research

Action Research: A Reiteration

Trying It Out


Chapter 8: Unobtrusive Measures in Research

Archival Strategies

Physical Erosion and accretion: Human Traces as Data Sources

Trying It Out


Chapter 9: Social Historical Research and Oral Traditions

What Is Historical Research?

Life Histories and Social History

What Are the Sources of Data for Historical Researchers?

Doing Historiography: Tracing Written History as Data

What Are Oral Histories?

Trying It Out


Chapter 10: Case Studies

The Nature of Case Studies

Theory and Case Studies

The Individual Case Study

Intrinsic, Instrumental, and Collective Case Studies

Case Study Design Types

Designing Case Studies

The Scientific Benefit of Case Studies

Case Studies of Organizations

Case Studies of Communities

Trying It Out


Chapter 11: An Introduction to Content Analysis

What is Content Analysis?

Analysis of Qualitative Data

Content Analysis as a Technique

Content Analysis: Quantitative or Qualitative?

Communication Components

What to Count: Levels and Units of Analysis

Category Development: Building Grounded Theory

Discourse Analysis and Content Analysis

Open Coding

Coding Frames

Stages in the Content Analysis Process

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Content Analysis Process

Computers and Qualitative Analysis

Qualitative Research at the Speed of Light

Trying It Out


Chapter 12: Writing Research Papers: Sorting the Noodles from the Soup

Plagiarism: What It Is, Why It’s Bad, and How to Avoid It

Identifying the Purpose of the Writing: Arranging the Noodles

Delineating a Supportive Structure: Visual Signals for the Reader

Terms and Conditions

Presenting Research Material

A Word About the Content of Papers and Articles

Write It, Rewrite It, Then Write It Again!

A Few Writing Hints

A Final Note

Editorial Reviews

Thank you to the following reviewers:   Chris Podeschi                    Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Janelle Wilson                      University of Minnesota Duluth Kimberly Mahaffy                Millersville University Meredith Kneavel Boyd       Chestnut Hill College Paula Fernandez                 William Paterson University Susan Wortmann                Nebraska Wesleyan University   “This is so well written and clear for students who struggle with this type of material.” -Meredith Kneavel Boyd, Chestnut Hill College   “The primary strength of Berg's book is the breadth of data gathering approaches covered. It is also written in a manner that is accessible to undergraduate students.” -Chris Podeschi, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania   Berg’s text is organized nicely, written well, and includes helpful ideas for student projects.” -Janelle Wilson, University of Minnesota, Duluth