Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Analyzing Social Settings: A Guide to Qualitative Observation and Analysis, 4th Edition

  • John Lofland
  • David A. Snow
  • Leon Anderson
  • Lyn Lofland
  • ISBN-10: 0534528619
  • ISBN-13: 9780534528614
  • 304 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 1995, 1984, 1971
  • COPYRIGHT: 2006 Published
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About the Product

This comprehensive guide takes a ''how-to'' approach to qualitative data collection and analysis. Drawing from a wealth of illustrative research examples and applications, the authors introduce techniques of collecting, focusing, and analyzing data in a step-by-step manner. First published in 1971, this book has become the field manual for any student doing social science fieldwork.

Table of Contents

1. Starting Where You Are.
2. Evaluating Data Sites.
3. Getting In.
4. Getting Along.
5. Logging Data.
6. Thinking Topics.
7. Asking Questions.
8. Arousing Interest.
9. Developing Analysis.
10. Writing Analysis.
11. Women in Cities.
Appendix: Exemplary Fieldstudies.

New to this edition

  • John and Lyn Lofland of University of California-Davis are joined in this edition by co-authors David A. Snow of University of California-Irvine and Leon Anderson of Ohio University.
  • Updated examples with more recent studies and methodological commentaries. Technological advances are illustrated by the prominent roles of hardware and software programs for qualitative analysis. More information on the rise and institutionalization of Internal Review Boards (IRBs) across campuses.
  • A number of recent qualitative studies are featured prominently for greater illustrative continuity across chapters and to provide students with a more intimate familiarity of new studies: Kathy Blee's Inside Organized Racism: Women in the Hate Movement (2002); Jennnifer Lois's Heroic Efforts: The Emotional Culture of Search and rescue Volunteers (2003); Calvin Morrill's The Executive Way: Conflict Management in Corporations (1995); David Snow's and Leon Anderson's Down on Their Luck: A Study of Homeless People (1995).
  • In Chapter 4 a detailed treatment of strategies for developing and maintaining field relations while managing rational closeness is presented.
  • In Chapter 5 an expanded discussion of problems of error and bias in fieldwork is added with a set of strategies used to minimize such problems. Chapter 5 also provides specific writing strategies for maximizing the descriptive and analytic richness of field notes.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

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