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Vague waste of time.
on 14 September 2016
Says little of any substance and what it does say of substance is plain wrong. The author's skill in padding it out to 470 pages is to be admired though. If you are looking for a informative discussion on how to undertake qualitative methods you will be somewhat disappointed, it is more of a study guide. The first 120 pages are an exposition on how you should "feel" before taking on qualitative methods and whether or not you should use quantitative research which really fails to give a justification for any decision at all (this is returned to in an equally vague way in Chapter 8) . The next few pages give examples of qualitative research without describing its methods. Only in Chapter 7 is there an attempt to describe what qualitative research actually is by some descriptions of theoretical approaches to it. In Chapter 8, qualitative methods are actually described (well sort of). It is at this point that anyone with a modicum of common sense and any statistical training at all begins to suspect the Emperor has no clothes. Finally on page 147, we have an actual proposed method (given as an example) that allows a conclusion to be made. What does one do? Take the most extreme case of A and not A and seeing if they are different (presumably a non-quantitative manner). The justification being that these that are the most extreme cases (presence or absence of A rather than the partial presence of A) so this offers the best chance of seeing an A effect and the theory is falsified if no effect of A is found. Such methods would actually be laughed at if presented to an audience of scientists or statisticians (essentially inference on the difference between populations with a sample size of 2). Whilst it is true as Prof Silverman says a number of times in the the book that "no method is right and no method is wrong but some methods may be more or less appropriate", some methods are so inappropriate as to be worthless if not thoroughly misleading.
I am unclear if the vagueness of the book is the fault of the author or the material, maybe there are clearer discussions of these methods out there but if this is the best description there is, the methods are not worth a candle.