Thinking With Theory In Qualitative Research shows how by using various epistemological frameworks in practices of inquiry, researchers can open up the production of meaning in qualitative data analysis.
In this book the authors use a common data set and then use various epistemological perspectives to interrogate, interpret and produce a variety of meanings through the application ofa ]
By presenting detailed examples of how one can think about research and data differently given these various frames the book demonstrates how researchers can open up meaning from their work. It challenges qualitative researchers to use their data to accomplish a rigorous, analytic reading of the data.
The authors argue that qualitative data analysis does not happen via mechanistic coding, reducing data to themes, and writing up transparent narratives that do little to critique the complexities of social life; such simplistic approaches preclude dense and multi-layered treatment of data. They believe and demonstrate clearly here that conventional qualitative data analysis, involving technical coding and thematic extraction is actually data organization rather than robust analysis. The production of meaning is not a technical process but one that has infinite possibilities: they show that meaning-making is an act that can open up rather than stabilize knowledge.
This vital tool to help researchers understand and fully utilize their powers of data interpretation will prove invaluable to both student and experienced researchers across all of the social sciences.
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