Five Ways of Doing Qualitative Analysis : Phenomenological Psychology, Grounded Theory, Discourse Analysis, Narrative Research, and Intuitive Inquiry book cover
1st Edition

Five Ways of Doing Qualitative Analysis
Phenomenological Psychology, Grounded Theory, Discourse Analysis, Narrative Research, and Intuitive Inquiry

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ISBN 9781609181420
Published May 24, 2011 by Guilford Press
434 Pages

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Book Description

This unique text provides a broad introduction to qualitative analysis together with concrete demonstrations and comparisons of five major approaches. Leading scholars apply their respective analytic lenses to a narrative account and interview featuring "Teresa," a young opera singer who experienced a career-changing illness. The resulting analyses vividly exemplify what each approach looks like in action. The researchers then probe the similarities and differences among their approaches; their distinctive purposes and strengths; the role, style, and subjectivity of the individual researcher; and the scientific and ethical complexities of conducting qualitative research. Also included are the research participant's responses to each analysis of her experience. A narrative account from another research participant, "Gail," can be used by readers to practice the kinds of analysis explored in the book.

Table of Contents

I. A Story of Qualitative Research in Psychology
1. From Innovative Practices to the Call for Methodology
2. The Establishment of Methodological Traditions
3. Contemporary Movement, Methodological Pluralism, and Challenges
II. Five Approaches to Qualitative Data Analysis
4. The Teresa Texts: Thick Description of Living through Misfortune
5. A Phenomenological Psychological Approach to Trauma and Resilience, Frederick J. Wertz
6. A Constructivist Grounded Theory Analysis of Losing and Regaining a Valued Self, Kathy Charmaz
7. A Discursive Analysis of Teresa’s Protocol: Enhancing Oneself, Diminishing Others, Linda M. McMullen
8. Narrative Research: Constructing, Deconstructing, and Reconstructing Story, Ruthellen Josselson
9. Intuitive Inquiry: Exploring the Mirroring Discourse of Disease, Rosemarie Anderson
III. Pluralism, Participation, and Unity in Qualitative Research
10. Comparisons through Five Lenses
11. The Participant’s Response
12. Ethics, Participant Involvement, and Analytic Methodology
Appendix: Gail’s Texts


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Frederick J. Wertz is Professor of Psychology at Fordham University, where he served as department chair, received the Distinguished Teaching Award in the Sciences, and is a member of the Institutional Review Board. His scholarship focuses on the philosophy, methodology, theory, and cultural context of psychology.

Kathy Charmaz is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Faculty Writing Program at Sonoma State University. Much of her scholarship has either used or developed grounded theory methods. She has received mentoring and lifetime achievement awards from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction.

Linda M. McMullen is Professor of Psychology at the University of Saskatchewan, where she served as department head and elected faculty member on the Board of Governors. Her research, which is qualitative and discursive in form, focuses on how people use language to do things and on how language shapes, and is shaped by, social and cultural contexts. She has received the Jillings Award from the Saskatchewan Psychological Association and the University of Saskatchewan Faculty Association Academic Freedom Award.

Ruthellen Josselson is Professor of Psychology at the Fielding Graduate University. Her work uses narrative approaches to investigate a variety of topics. She is a recipient of the American Psychological Association’s Henry A. Murray Award and Theodore R. Sarbin Award, and is a cofounder of the Society for Qualitative Inquiry.

Rosemarie Anderson is Professor of Transpersonal Psychology at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and an Episcopal priest. In addition to intuitive inquiry, Dr. Anderson has developed the Body Intelligence Scale, which measures three types of body awareness; embodied writing; and a model of human development that describes development from the perspective of the body. Her website is

Emalinda McSpadden is a PhD candidate in the Applied Developmental Psychology program at Fordham University. She is a psychology instructor at Hunter College and Bronx Community College, and works as a group therapy moderator for cancer patients. Her current academic work focuses on employing mixed methodologies in developmental and lifespan research.


"An extraordinary achievement. This is the book I will recommend to my quantitative colleagues when they ask, 'Just what is qualitative research?' Unlike other books that give steps for doing a qualitative study, Five Ways takes the reader into the thoughts and feelings involved in conducting research. The exciting, informative interactive discussions among the researchers and the participant provide unique insights. I will use Five Ways as the basic text in my qualitative courses."--Donald E. Polkinghorne, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Department of Counseling Psychology, University of Southern California

"Not only do the authors look at a common data set in five different ways, but they also reflect on how all five analyses look to each of them, and these explorations are 'looked back at' by the participant from whom the data set was derived. This book provides an engaging and intimate view of the many selves it takes to bring qualitative analyses into being and the reflexive practices that contribute to the scientific and ethical integrity of research."--Margarete Sandelowski, PhD, RN, FAAN, School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"This unique work is a wholly absorbing adventure in comparative methodology. For the student, it will serve as an effective and informative introduction to a range of central qualitative methodologies. For the seasoned scholar, it provides a wonderfully nuanced view of the complex processes of decision making in qualitative inquiry. The book challenges us to grapple with major issues: the goals of our work, its functions in the social world, and its ethical implications. This is a landmark work in the development of qualitative inquiry."--Kenneth J. Gergen, PhD, Department of Psychology, Swarthmore College

"The logic of the book is transparent: it presents a narrative, multiple interpretations, and a comparison of the varied interpretations. The experience of walking through the various interpretations and then seeing how experts unpack the differences and similarities among them is remarkable. Although many books are written for introductory courses on qualitative methods, very few authors attend to how the structure of a text--not just its content--might be pedagogically significant. I applaud Wertz et al. for thinking explicitly and intentionally about how to conceptualize and organize their text in a way that facilitates learning."--Suzanne M. Wilson, PhD, Department of Teacher Education and Director, Center for the Scholarship of Teaching, Michigan State University

"This text addresses one of the most frequently asked questions in qualitative analysis: what is the difference between phenomenology, grounded theory, discourse analysis, narrative research, and intuitive inquiry? The authors explain the theory that underlies each approach and illustrate its application and the resultant findings, making the book a worthy text for a qualitative methods course. As an added bonus, the authors present the participant's reaction to the results of the five different analyses and discuss the ethical implications in terms of letting the participant speak for herself, issues of confidentiality, and tensions around interpretation of data. I would definitely use this book in my advanced qualitative research course."--Donna M. Mertens, PhD, Department of Educational Foundations and Research, Gallaudet University

"A powerful, richly nuanced, brilliantly innovative pedagogical intervention into the field of qualitative inquiry. This book is clearly written, grounded in case materials, and very accessible to students. The narrative is driven by the voices and insights of preeminent scholars, each an expert in one of five ways of doing qualitative analysis. This book represents the most innovative approach to date for teaching qualitative analysis. It will provide a starting place for the next generation of students who want to learn how to be well-grounded qualitative inquirers."--Norman K. Denzin, PhD, College of Communications Scholar, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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