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Joseph A. Maxwell

In: The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Data Collection

Chapter 2: Collecting Qualitative Data: A Realist Approach

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Collecting Qualitative Data: A Realist Approach
Collecting Qualitative Data: A Realist Approach
Joseph A. Maxwell
Introduction

This chapter considers qualitative data collection from the perspective of realism, a philosophical position that has gained significant attention in discussions of research and evaluation methods (e.g. Clark, 2008; Hammersley, 1992, 1998, 2008, 2009; Maxwell, 1990a, 1990b, 1992, 2012a, 2012b; Madill, 2008; Pawson, 2006; Pawson and Tilley, 1997; Sayer, 1992). I argue that this position has important implications for qualitative research, including qualitative data collection. In this chapter, I provide a brief introduction to realism, and then discuss how this approach can inform the theory and practice of qualitative data collection.

What is realism?

There are many varieties of realism across the philosophical landscape. In this chapter, I focus on what is often ...

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