- 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)
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Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods Hardcover – 17 Jan 2002
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"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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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.
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.
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