Friday, April 20, 2007

Reading :: Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design, 2ed

Qualitative Inquiry & Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches
by John W. Creswell (Author)

I really liked the first edition of John Creswell's Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design, particularly the comparative approach he took. In fact, I've used it for a couple of qualitative research courses now. But the book had some flaws, so I was glad to see that Creswell has come out with a second edition.

As in most second editions, this one doesn't change in terms of the book's basic framework and thrust, but it undergoes some beneficial refinements. The first is in the subtitle: Creswell no longer calls these traditions, he calls them approaches -- an important distinction in that Creswell is highlighting the coherent, designed nature of these competing ways of conducting qualitative inquiry. Creswell reframes his discussion of biography -- one of the "traditions" from the first edition -- as a subset of the narrative approach. He gives more emphasis to the interpretive qualitative approach, frankly confessing that he has a methods orientation but still treating less methods-oriented approaches with respect. He also outlines some of the approaches he doesn't take up (participatory action research, conversation and discourse analysis).

Most of the book is not substantially impacted, but parts are selectively enhanced throughout, particularly in his reframing of biography as a subset of narrative inquiry.

Overall, it's a worthwhile revision. I'll almost certainly use it the next time I teach qualitative research at the graduate level.

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