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Transforming Qualitative Data

Transforming Qualitative Data
Description, Analysis, and Interpretation

April 1994 | 440 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
After the glamour of working in the field is over, you now face the daunting challenge of transforming your field notes and interview tapes into a completed study. But where do you start? In Transforming Qualitative Data, Harry F. Wolcott guides you through the process of completing your research study. Beginning with an introductory chapter that presents his views on ethnography, he explores the transformation process by breaking it down into three related activities: description, analysis, and interpretation. To illustrate each point, he critically examines his own work, using nine of his previous studies as illustrations. Then he shows you how to learnand to teachqualitative research by applying the three principles outlined in the volume.

Written with the usual wit and brilliance shown in Wolcott's work, Transforming Qualitative Data is a major statement on doing research by one of the master ethnographers of our time.
Something Old, Something New
Description, Analysis, and Interpretation in Qualitative Inquiry
Adequate Schools and Inadequate Education
The Life History of a Sneaky Kid

The Elementary School Principal
Notes from a Field Study

Confessions of a `Trained' Observer
A Malay Village That Progress Chose
Sungai Lui and the Institute of Cultural Affairs

Life's Not Working
Cultural Alternatives to Career Alternatives

The Teacher as an Enemy
Afterword, 1989
A Kwakiutl Village and School 25 Years Later

The Acquisition of Culture
Notes on a Working Paper

On Seeking - and Rejecting - Validity in Qualitative Research
Teaching Qualitative Inquiry
Learning Qualitative Inquiry
Some Power of Reasoning, Much Aided

"Wolcott offers a...cornucopia of advice...Wolcott shares suggestions gleaned from his professional life...there is much that is useful to program evaluators and to students of program evaluation...Wolcott offers an important...supplementary reading to a course on evaluation methods."

Linda Mabry
Evaluation and Program Planning

"This book would be an excellent purchase for those either contemplating a qualitative research project, or who are currently sitting on a pile of data with which they don't know what to do."

Journal of Psychology and Christianity

"This book would be useful reading for researchers at various levels of sophistication and various stages in their careers. As an educator, I found the insights relevant to the teaching of qualitative research in general. As a researcher, I felt engaged by the discussions and found them relevant to research-in-process decisions. I would also recommend this book to researchers at the beginning of their careers who could benefit from reflecting on many of the questions raised."

Barbara Bowers
Nursing Research

"The book offers communication researchers some of the best recent work on qualitative inquiry in the human disciplines. . . . Published by Sage, the leading publisher of qualitative research in the social sciences today. . . . Harry F. Wolcott is a master ethnographer, and for over three decades he has charted an interpretive, postpositivist approach to the anthropology of educational practices. In this collection, which rereads a number of his classic articles, he finally breaks from this tradition and openly embraces a fully post-foundational approach to validity and textual authority. . . . This book should be on the shelf of every qualitative researcher. . . . This work brings the communication scholar up-to-date on where qualitative methods are in current sociological and educational discourse."

Norman K. Denzin
Journal of Communication

"When I received Transforming Qualitative Research, I immediately perused the book and was excited and enthusiastic about Wolcott's focus on those aspects of qualitative research that are the most vexing for novices such as doctoral students, as well as experienced individuals. The chapters of the book are so well written and replete with colorful analogies and metaphors that the reader glides through the pages easily and attentively...The final chapters of his new book discussing the teaching of qualitative research and the role of the instructor are extremely valuable. In my opinion, Transforming Qualitative Data will shortly become a classic in our field."

Edith W. King
University of Denver

"Harry F. Wolcott's new book is stunning--a penultimate statement capping a brilliant career. The text weaves between the old and the new, repositioning Wolcott's classic interpretive works, now read against the new postmodern turn in ethnography. A must work for all qualitative scholars."

Norman Denzin
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

"This is more than a 'how-to book.' Wolcott conceptualizes, contextualizes, and qualifies qualitative research in a way that only a humane, mature, and reflective professional could. Educators, social scientists of all persuasions, and even the 'educated lay person' can benefit from a reading of it."

George Spindler
Stanford University

"Wolcott is one of the most refreshing writers in the behavioral sciences today. With his characteristic light touch and whimsical humor, he transforms Transforming Qualitative Data from a book read because you have to, to one read because you can't put it down. The volume belies the widespread academic belief that a book must be very serious to be taken seriously."

Ronald P. Rohner
University of Connecticut

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ISBN: 9780803952812