A Realist Approach for Qualitative Research

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SAGE, 2012 - Social Science - 222 pages
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This ground-breaking book makes the case for adopting a realist philosophical perspective for qualitative research. Joseph Maxwell argues for critically applying a realist ontology to a number of important theoretical and methodological issues. This can provide a stronger justification for what qualitative researchers do, he contends, and significantly contribute to current theories and practices. The book outlines critical realism and considers its implications for how we conceptualize meaning and culture, causation, and diversity. The author applies critical realist ideas and approaches to the design and methods of qualitative research, and presents two in-depth case studies of projects he conducted, describing how realist (and other) perspectives informed the research, the methods, and the conclusions.
 

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Contents

Realism and Qualitative Methods
69
Data Analysis with Barbara Miller
109
Understanding Validity and Evidence
127
Applications ofRealism in Qualitative Research
149
Kinship and Culture
165
Conclusion
181
Author Index
205
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About the author (2012)

Joseph A. Maxwell is a Professor in the Graduate School of Education at George Mason University, where he teaches courses on research design and methods and on writing a dissertation proposal. He has published work on qualitative research and evaluation, mixed method research, sociocultural theory, Native American social organization, and medical education. He has also worked extensively in applied settings. He has presented seminars and workshops on teaching qualitative research methods and on using qualitative methods in various applied fields, and has been an invited speaker at conferences and universities in the United States, Puerto Rico, Europe, and China. He has a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Chicago.

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