The wide range of approaches to data analysis in qualitative research can seem daunting even for experienced researchers. This handbook is the first to provide a state-of-the art overview of the whole field of QDA; from general analytic strategies used in qualitative research, to approaches specific to particular types of qualitative data, including talk, text, sounds, images and virtual data. The handbook includes chapters on traditional analytic strategies such as grounded theory, content analysis, hermeneutics, phenomenology and narrative analysis, as well as coverage of newer trends like mixed methods, reanalysis and meta-analysis. Practical aspects such as sampling, transcription, working collaboratively, writing and implementation are given close attention, as are theory and theorization, reflexivity, and ethics. Written by a team of experts in qualitative research from around the world, this handbook is an essential compendium for all qualitative researchers and students across the social sciences.
Observation is the foundation of science. Specifically, to the extent that empirical evidence is used to test theories or advance knowledge, observation is the backbone of all scientific research. Observational methods emerged alongside scientific methods; in fact, the two are often used interchangeably. The history of observational methods parallels the history of sciences as a whole. Lorraine Daston and Elizabeth Lunbeck nicely describe the overall importance of observations in the introduction to their edited book Histories of Scientific Observation:
Observation is the most pervasive and fundamental practice of all modern sciences, both natural and human. It is also among the most refined and variegated. Observation educates the senses, calibrates judgment, picks out objects of scientific inquiry, and forges “thought collectives.” ...