Review by Choice Review
Qualitative social science research has developed from a sideline domestic enterprise to a growth industry. Yet there is still a defensive cast among many practitioners. In response, advocates are now moving from the implicit to the explicit use of methods. They attempt to explain how to see the world both creatively as an artist, and systematically as a scientist, a very difficult task. This work is one of the new qualitative methodology how-to books. It concentrates most on how to draft research proposals, whether for planning one's research, applying for funds, or meeting PhD degree guidelines. This is an underdocumented area of qualitative research, and therefore the book is a useful service for students. The authors devote fewer pages to the actual data collection process and even fewer to analysis. They review several approaches to data collection, and describe the wide variety of qualitative techniques that are available. Although they do not advocate or develop any one approach, Marshall and Rossman are clearly sympathetic to the grounded theory school of Anselm Strauss (Qualitative Analysis for Social Scientists, (CH, Mar '88). The authors assume familiarity with the difficult methods of Anselm Strauss, rather than explain these methods. The book, however, is made readable by its very useful tables and charts, many of which are quite thought provoking. The authors also use short vignettes describing the decision-making points of original research to document their thesis. Graduate readership.
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.