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Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods Hardcover – 17 Jan 2002

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 688 pages
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications, Inc; 3rd Revised edition edition (17 Jan. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761919716
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761919711
  • Product Dimensions: 25.9 x 18.5 x 4.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 407,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


"Paton has a distinguished career as an evaluation researcher and his experience in applying the tools of qualitative research to address the questions and concerns of those in the world of practice come through clearly… a gem of a discussion of sampling strategies in qualitative research that is useful not only to prospective researchers but also to more seasoned ones. It is the most complete and carefully reasoned consideration of sampling in qualitative research that I have encountered"

(Organizational Research Methods)

About the Author

Michael Quinn Patton is an independent consultant with more than 40 years’ experience conducting applied research and program evaluations. He lives in Minnesota, where, according to the state’s poet laureate, Garrison Keillor, “all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.” It was this interesting lack of statistical variation in Minnesota that led him to qualitative inquiry despite the strong quantitative orientation of his doctoral studies in sociology at the University of Wisconsin. He was on the faculty of the University of Minnesota for 18 years, including 5 years as director of the Minnesota Center for Social Research, where he was awarded the Morse-Amoco Award for innovative teaching. Readers of this book will not be surprised to learn that he has also won the University of Minnesota storytelling competition.

He has authored six other SAGE books: Utilization-Focused Evaluation, Creative Evaluation, Practical Evaluation, How to Use Qualitative Methods for Evaluation, Essentials of Utilization-Focused Evaluation, and Family Sexual Abuse: Frontline Research and Evaluation. He has edited or contributed articles to numerous books and journals, including several volumes of New Directions in Program Evaluation, on subjects as diverse as culture and evaluation, how and why language matters, HIV/AIDS research and evaluation systems, extension methods, feminist evaluation, teaching using the case method, evaluating strategy, utilization of evaluation, and valuing. He is the author of Developmental Evaluation: Applying Complexity Concepts to Enhance Innovation and Use and coauthor of Getting to Maybe: How the World Is Changed, a book that applies complexity science to social innovation. His creative nonfiction book, Grand Canyon Celebration: A Father–Son Journey of Discovery, was a finalist for Minnesota Book of the Year.

He is a former president of the American Evaluation Association and recipient of both the Alva and Gunnar Myrdal Award for Outstanding Contributions to Useful and Practical Evaluation and the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Award for Lifelong Contributions to Evaluation Theory from the American Evaluation Association. The Society for Applied Sociology presented him the Lester F. Ward Award for Outstanding Contributions to Applied Sociology.

He is on the faculty of The Evaluators’ Institute and teaches workshops for the American Evaluation Association’s professional development courses and Claremont University’s Summer Institute. He is a founding trainer for the International Program for Development Evaluation Training, sponsored by The World Bank and other international development agencies each summer in Ottawa, Ontario.

He has conducted applied research and evaluation on a broad range of issues, including antipoverty initiatives, leadership development, education at all levels, human services, the environment, public health, medical education, employment training, agricultural extension, arts, criminal justice, mental health, transportation, diversity initiatives, international development, community development, systems change, policy effectiveness, managing for results, performance indicators, and effective governance. He has worked with organizations and programs at the international, national, state, provincial, and local levels and with philanthropic, not-for-profit, private sector, international agency, and government programs. He has worked with people from many different cultures and perspectives.

He has three children―a musician, an engineer, and a nonprofit organization development and evaluation specialist―and one granddaughter. When not evaluating, he enjoys exploring the woods and rivers of Minnesota with his partner, Jean―kayaking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing―and occasionally hiking in the Grand Canyon. He enjoys watching the seasons change from his office overlooking the Mississippi River in Saint

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I agree with the other reviewers, this book is excellent. I have ready many, many qualitative research books and this includes the best explanations of theories and approaches, so you should read it first. Why? The explanations are so well written, they are detailed but easy to understand. It is clear the author has a lot of experience, and uses examples to illustrate the 'theory'. As a result I have understood concepts more, having read this book, more than from using any other books. Patton has a way of explaining the important points with clarity and depth that other books do not full explain, for example his explanation of theoretical traditions (especially phenomenology) is the best I have read, if you are confused about phenomenology and ethnomethodology etc, read this book! It does not include the longest explanations, but the most concise and readable without being superficial. My title suggests this is a 'how-to' book, by this I do not mean it provides a check list to follow explicitly (or quickly!, but rather implicitly due to the depth and content included.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is beautifully written, full of useful examples and very, very useful. It has a wider range of information than any other book I am using, including the concept of emergent research design.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent comprehensive reference book for any social sciences student. Received promptly and in great condition exactly as advertised.
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Format: Hardcover
Any researcher engaged on any thesis can not put this book down extremely relevant to all disciplines engaged in qualitative research methods.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9aaf70d8) out of 5 stars 61 reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ac5a180) out of 5 stars Good starting point for novice interviewers 30 April 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a senior in college who is conducting interviews with high school and college students, I would recommend this book. It provides an excellent jumping off point for both novice student interviewers as well as seasoned teachers. Patton, himself an experienced interviewer, and also an award-winning teacher and storyteller, outlines all the necessary steps involved in the interview process in a very entertaining way. The book reads much like a textbook, complete with original cartoons, historical examples, and vast personal experience. Moreover, inspirational and often amusing quotes kickoff each section. Appearing throughout the book is the fictional sage-like character Halcolm, a philosophical alter ego of Patton, who, "like his name (pronounced slowly)," forces the reader to ask "how come?" (p. A2).
Patton has divided Qualitative Research and Evaluation into three main parts: Conceptual Issues in Qualitative Inquiry, Qualitative Designs and Data Collection, and finally Analysis, Interpretation, and Reporting. Under each section are many subsections, all clearly laid out in a very detailed table of contents. For example, Conceptual Issues is divided into four subcategories: The Nature of Qualitative Inquiry, Strategic Themes in Qualitative Inquiry, Variety in Qualitative Inquiry: Theoretical Orientations, and finally Particularly Appropriate Qualitative Applications. Furthermore, these four subcategories are then broken down in additional detail in the table of contents. The titles of these sections (and chapters) are somewhat typical for the text as a whole in that they rely on sociological terminology that may be unfamiliar to beginners. At first glance, the table of contents appears to be little more than a patchwork of intellectual vocabulary, but the book reads in much simpler terms.
The index to the book is also very useful for finding numerous narrowed down focuses. I found this the most helpful. For example, when I wanted to find out about transcribing interviews, I was able to find all of the relevant chapters and information at once.
Unfortunately, however, Patton's broad scope is also his main weakness. It is very easy to become bogged down by the mass amount of details and by his many examples. Also, for scholars primarily interested in the interview process, only the final section is useful, especially in the field of analysis.
Patton attempts to cover all of the basics of interviewing, and provides an excellent outline, but nothing can compare to actual experience. Nevertheless, it is highly recommended that first-time interviewers consult Patton's book for an introductory guide, and even veteran interviewers can learn something from Patton's vast experience.
Researchers will also find Patton's 36 pages of single-spaced references very helpful, and graduate students will find it invaluable for dissertations.
115 of 136 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ac57834) out of 5 stars Why To Avoid This Book 25 Oct. 2002
By Richard R. Carlton - Published on
Format: Hardcover
No, I'm not a disgruntled grad student who had to take a qualitative eval course with this book as the bible. I'm a very happy grad student who enthusiastically pursues qualitative methods (and in fact teaches them to his undergrad students), but who learned at great expense to avoid this book at all costs.
A large number of professors teaching research have latched onto Patton as the qualitative guru for valid reasons. He has done seminal work in the field, championed the process for decades, and is deservedly well respected for these efforts. The problem is using his book as a classroom textbook.
This book is OK as a reference source, but the man is not a textbook author. The book is extremely difficult to comprehend, has not been revised significantly since the first edition in 1980, wanders off on tangents seldom related to the content (try the start of Chapter 5 if you need an example), fails to provide groundedness with adequate theoretical applications, and so on. ....I do use this book and quote from it when appropriate, but cannot recommend it as a textbook.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ac6cb94) out of 5 stars Superb Text and Reference Book 8 Nov. 2008
By P. Risher - Published on
Format: Hardcover
In all my years of schooling, this is the first text book that I actually read cover-to-cover and most of it twice. Patton has an accessible, human style of writing. He writes with the voice of a mentor and guide. The content is superb. Particularly useful is Patton's use of summarizing tables. These provide for a quick reference and side-by-side comparisons that help simplify, but not dumb down, complex issues such comparitive theory and sampling approaches. Patton's work is also a great jumping off point for more complex research because the book is well indexed and his references broad and authoritative. If I was only going to buy one qualitative research book, this would be it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ac5757c) out of 5 stars Awesome text 22 April 2013
By Marilyn Franks - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This text is pragmatic and user-friendly. The author interjects humor and experience to help readers understand on a classroom level and not from a lofty (translate that to stuffy) viewpoint. I used it for a graduate level Qualitative Analysis course and will keep it to help me with future research. I highly recommend this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ac5a030) out of 5 stars Patton, qualitative research 7 Oct. 2012
By Roger Singh - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Patton writes mainly for the graduate student, yet his book presents the research in a very easy to read format. The book is very informative and provides a great deal of with vital knowledge including questions, quotes, and other formats to give the student subjects to reflect upon.
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