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Interpretive Research Design

Book Description

Research design is fundamental to all scientific endeavors, at all levels and in all institutional settings. In many social science disciplines, however, scholars working in an interpretive-qualitative tradition get little guidance on this aspect of research from the positivist-centered training they receive. This book is an authoritative examination of the concepts and processes underlying the design of an interpretive research project. Such an approach to design starts with the recognition that researchers are inevitably embedded in the intersubjective social processes of the worlds they study.

In focusing on researchers’ theoretical, ontological, epistemological, and methods choices in designing research projects, Schwartz-Shea and Yanow set the stage for other volumes in the Routledge Series on Interpretive Methods. They also engage some very practical issues, such as ethics reviews and the structure of research proposals. This concise guide explores where research questions come from, criteria for evaluating research designs, how interpretive researchers engage with "world-making," context, systematicity and flexibility, reflexivity and positionality, and such contemporary issues as data archiving and the researcher’s body in the field.

Table of Contents

  1. Front Cover
  2. INTERPRETIVE RESEARCH DESIGN
  3. Routledge Series on Interpretive Methods
  4. Title Page
  5. Copyright
  6. Dedication
  7. Contents
  8. List of Illustrations
  9. Acknowledgments
  10. Introduction
  11. A Sketch of the Book
  12. 1 Wherefore Research Designs?
    1. Research Design: Why Is It Necessary?
    2. An Outline of a Research Proposal, Including the Research Design
  13. 2 Ways of Knowing: Research Questions and Logics of Inquiry
    1. Where Do Research Questions Come From? The Role of Prior Knowledge
    2. Where Do Research Questions Come From? Abductive Ways of Knowing
    3. Where Do Research Questions Come From? The Role of Theory and the “Literature Review”
    4. Do Concepts “Emerge from the Field”? More on Theory and Theorizing
    5. Where Do Research Questions Come From? Ontological and Epistemological Presuppositions in Interpretive Research
    6. A Short Bibliography of Key Sources in Interpretive Social Science
  14. 3 Starting from Meaning: Contextuality and Its Implications
    1. Contrasting Orientations toward Knowledge
    2. Contextuality and the Character of Concepts and Causality
      1. Concepts: Bottom-up In Situ Development
      2. But What of Hypothesizing? Constitutive Causality
    3. The Centrality of Context
  15. 4 The Rhythms of Interpretive Research I: Getting Going
    1. Access: Choices of Settings, Actors, Events, Archives, and Materials
    2. Power and Research Relationships
    3. Researcher Roles: Six Degrees of Participation
    4. Access, Researcher Roles, and Positionality
    5. Access and Archives
    6. Access versus Case Selection
    7. Design Flexibility: Control and Requisite Researcher Skills
      1. Control and Positivist Research Design
      2. The Logics of Control and Interpretive Research
      3. Interpretive Researcher Competence and Skill
  16. 5 The Rhythms of Interpretive Research II: Understanding and Generating Evidence
    1. The Character of Evidence: (Co-)Generated Data and “Truth”
    2. Forms of Evidence: Word-Data and Beyond
    3. Mapping for Exposure and Intertextuality
    4. Fieldnote Practices
  17. 6 Designing for Trustworthiness: Knowledge Claims and Evaluations of Interpretive Research
    1. Understanding the Limitations of Positivist Standards for Interpretive Research: Validity, Reliability, and Replicability
    2. The Problems of “Bias” and “Researcher Presence”: “Objectivity” and Contrasting Methodological Responses
    3. Researcher Sense-Making in an Abductive Logic of Inquiry: Reflexivity and Other Checks for Designing Trustworthy Research
      1. Checking Researcher Sense-Making through Reflexivity
      2. Checking Researcher Sense-Making during Data Generation and Analysis
      3. Checking Researcher Sense-Making through “Member-Checking”
      4. Doubt, Trustworthiness, and Explanatory Coherence
    4. “Researcher Contamination” and “Bias” Revisited
    5. Summing Up
  18. 7 Design in Context: From the Human Side of Research to Writing Research Manuscripts
    1. The Body in the Field: Emotions, Sexuality, Wheelchairedness, and Other Human Realities
    2. Interpretive Research and Human Subjects Protections Review
    3. Data Archiving and Replicability
    4. Writing Research Designs and Manuscripts
  19. 8 Speaking across Epistemic Communities
    1. Designing for “Mixed Methods” Research
    2. Crossing the Boundaries of Epistemic Communities: Proposal Review and Epistemic Communities' Tacit Knowledge
    3. Practicing Interpretive Research: Concluding Thoughts
  20. Notes
  21. References
  22. Index