In several branches of social science, interest in values and moral evaluations has increased in recent years, with group values taking centre-stage, yet a satisfactory, theoretical account of the concept of values and their role in social life remains lacking. Engaging with theories of value formation and the role of values in everyday life found in ethics, classical sociology and contemporary social theory and their implications for empirical work, Researching Values with Qualitative Methods argues for a pragmatist approach both to understanding values and the manner in which they are formed, as well as exploring the ways in which they can be studied empirically, using qualitative research methods. In this way, this book promises to resolve many of the practical problems involved in fieldwork with political groups, including the prominent question of how to account for the researcher's own values. Illustrated with examples from published as well as new research, this book provides the foundation for the theoretical understanding of values and their empirical investigation, thus strengthening the connection between social theory and the development of research methods. As such, it will be of interest to sociologists, anthropologists and geographers with interests in values, social theory and research methodology.
Antje Bednarek-Gilland is Research Fellow at The Social Sciences Institute of the Evangelical Church in Germany.
Contents: Introduction; Values in the social sciences; Empathy, Verstehen and values; Moral values and qualitative research; The political values of the research community; Conclusion: how to do value-sensitive fieldwork; Bibliography; Index.