Are cultural and material phenomena equally real? How can one study the relationships between cultural constructions, social behaviour and material conditions and draw a valid conclusion from the data?
In contrast to interpretive or constructivist positions, realism supports the insights of critical theory in social and educational research regarding the relationships between actors' perspectives and their actual situations, while avoiding the epistemological objectivism associated with positivism and some forms of post-positivist empiricism.
This book will explain how readers can use realism to conceptualize and conduct their qualitative study to get results with greater validity.
Joseph A. Maxwell is a Professor in the Graduate School of Education at George Mason University, where he teaches courses on research design and methods and on writing a dissertation proposal. He has published work on qualitative research and evaluation, mixed method research, sociocultural theory, Native American social organization, and medical education. He has also worked extensively in applied settings. He has presented seminars and workshops on teaching qualitative research methods and on using qualitative methods in various applied fields, and has been an invited speaker at conferences and universities in the United States, Puerto Rico, Europe, and China. He has a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Chicago.
Preface: The Value of Realism for Qualitative Research Acknowledgments About the Author Part I: A Realist Stance for Qualitative Research Chapter 1: What Is Realism, and Why Should Qualitative Researchers Care? Chapter 2: Meaning and Culture Are Real Chapter 3: Causation Is Real Chapter 4: Diversity Is Real Part II: Realism and Qualitative Methods Chapter 5: The Realities of Research Design Chapter 6: Research Relationships and Data Collection Chapter 7: Real and Virtual Relationships in Qualitative Data Analysis (with Barbara Miller) Chapter 8: Understanding, Validity, and Evidence Part III: Applications of Realism in Qualitative Research Chapter 9: Explaining Plains Indian Social Organization Chapter 10: Meaning and Diversity in Inuit Kinship and Culture Conclusion References Author Index Subject Index