2nd Edition

Essentials of Qualitative Inquiry

By Maria J. Mayan Copyright 2023
    328 Pages 8 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    328 Pages 8 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The second edition of Maria J. Mayan’s Essentials of Qualitative Inquiry is written for newcomers interested in applied research, regardless of discipline. It provides what the reader needs to begin to explore, appreciate, and deeply understand our social world. The new edition maintains the straightforward, conversational style and passionate support for qualitative work of the first edition while addressing numerous changes in the field.

    Mayan avoids paint-by-number formulas while helping novices learn many of the approaches, methodologies, and techniques used by experienced researchers. She helps readers confront the ambiguities and ethical issues in doing a field project and addresses some of the main debates in the field. After nearly three decades of teaching this subject herself, Mayan can anticipate and address the most common questions students will raise.

    Features of the new edition include:

    • More emphasis on theoretical orientations
    • Added sections on arts-based research, mixed methods, systematic reviews, and participatory research
    • A unique approach to conducting qualitative analysis
    • Advice on self-care for the researcher
    • Summary tables, appendices with useful tools and templates, and practical exercises at the end of each chapter make this the perfect vehicle to introduce students to the complex world of qualitative inquiry

    1. Introduction to Qualitative Inquiry  2. Foundations of Qualitative Inquiry  3. Methodology  4. Arts-Based Research  5. Other Approaches  6. Research Questions, Sampling, and Saturation  7. Data Collection  8. Data Analysis  9. Ethics: Protecting Participants, Protecting Self  10. Rigor  11. Representation and Writing


    Maria J. Mayan is a senior qualitative methodologist, a professor at the School of Public Health, and an associate director with the Community-University Partnership, University of Alberta, Canada. She has taught qualitative inquiry to government, not-for-profits, the private sector, and the academic community worldwide for three decades and conducted qualitative work in a host of diverse settings.

    "Maria Mayan has been intimately engaged in the qualitative research methodology community for most of her career. In this introductory text, she opens up a window into the diverse terminology, positioning and theoretical orientations to inquiry based on qualitative approaches. This will be an excellent resource for scholars of all disciplines entering into the world of what it is to discover the world qualitatively.

    In this delightful introductory text, Dr. Mayan exposes newer scholars to the kaleidoscope of terminology and positioning that underpins qualitative inquiry, allowing them to make informed choices as to the ideal options that will meet their own disciplinary and substantive research aspirations.

    The world of qualitative inquiry involves a complex array of traditions, positionings and methodological approaches. In this introductory text, Maria Mayan guides neophyte scholars and those new to qualitative inquiry through the complex array of possibilities. 

    The choice of methodological approach to guide a qualitative study can position a newer scholar for success or for failure. In this introductory text, Dr. Mayan supports the reader on a journey through possibilities and toward informed methodological decisions." -- Sally Thorne, University of British Columbia, Canada; author of Interpretive Description (Routledge)

    "Essentials of Qualitative Inquiry is both a highly informative introductory text and a comprehensive reference work for newcomers to qualitative research. Mayan documents and clearly explains the myriad approaches, terms, and understandings of the method through engaging narrative and exemplary summary tables." -- Johnny Saldaña, Professor Emeritus, Arizona State University, USA

    "It is rare to find one book, especially one great book, that captures the nuances and key components of qualitative research—the various theoretical paradigms, methodological considerations, and ways to collect, analyze, and represent qualitative data accurately and ethically. Yet here is one of those great books—an accessible, practical, and inviting work that will indeed serve as an invaluable guide for doing great qualitative research." -- Tony Adams, Caterpillar Professor of Communication, Bradley University, USA

    "This practical, real-world introduction to qualitative research distills Mayan’s experience in learning, conducting, and teaching qualitative methods across three decades, four continents, and numerous disciplines. Though written for the novice, it never avoids the complexities of doing research: the uncertainties of conducting rigorous research in a messy world, the struggle for methodological coherence, the leap from recording daily experience to meaningful theory, the need to respect and care for both study participants and the researcher, the power of research to enhance social justice. With Mayan’s guidance, your students will become knowledgeable and passionate practitioners of qualitative inquiry." -- Mitchell Allen, Scholarly Roadside Service and UC Berkeley, USA