1st Edition

Making Data in Qualitative Research Engagements, Ethics, and Entanglements

By Laura L. Ellingson, Patty Sotirin Copyright 2020
    168 Pages
    by Routledge

    168 Pages
    by Routledge

    Making Data in Qualitative Research offers a generative alternative to outdated approaches to data collection. By reimagining methods through a model of data engagement, qualitative researchers consider what is at stake—ethically, methodologically, and theoretically—when we co-create data and imagine possibilities for doing data differently.

    Ellingson and Sotirin draw on critical, intersectional perspectives, including feminist, poststructuralist, new materialist, and postqualitative theorizing, to refigure methodological practices of data collection for the contemporary moment. Ellingson and Sotirin’s data engagement model offers a vibrant framework through which data are made rather than found; assembled rather than collected or gathered; and becoming or dynamic rather than static. Further, pragmatism, compassion, and joy form a compelling ethical foundation for engaging with qualitative data reflecting the full range of critical, postpositivist, intepretivist, and arts-based research methods. Chapters illuminate creative possibilities for engaging fieldnotes, audio/video recordings and photographs, transcription, digital/online data, participatory data, and self-as-data.

    Making Data in Qualitative Research is a great resource for researchers who want to move past simplistic approaches to qualitative data collection and embrace provocative possibilities for engaging with data. Bridging abstract theorizing and pragmatic strategies for making a wide variety of data, this book will appeal to graduate (and advanced undergraduate) qualitative methods students and early career researchers, as well as to advanced scholars looking to update and expand the scope of their methods.

    Chapter 1: Doing Data Engagement

    Chapter 2: Engaging Fieldnotes

    Chapter 3: Engaging Recordings

    Chapter 4: Engaging Transcripts

    Chapter 5: Engaging Digital Data

    Chapter 6: Engaging Participatory Data

    Chapter 7: Engaging Self-as-data


    Laura L. Ellingson is the Patrick A. Donohoe, S.J. Professor of Communication and Women’s and Gender Studies at Santa Clara University, USA. She is the author of Engaging Crystallization in Qualitative Research (2009, SAGE) and Embodiment in Qualitative Research (2017, Routledge).

    Patty Sotirin is Professor of Communication at Michigan Technological University, USA. She is co-author (with Laura Ellingson) of Aunting: Cultural Practices That Sustain Family and Community Life (2010, Baylor University Press) and Where the Aunts Are: Family, Feminism, and Kinship in Popular Culture (2013, Baylor University Press).

    "In this essential new volume, Ellingson and Sotirin ask: What do data actually do? The authors land on multiple pragmatic potentials for what data can mean, and they present multiple possibilities for the utility of qualitative inquiry. I cannot wait to use this book in my qualitative analysis seminar."Jimmie Manning, Ph.D., Chair and Professor, Communication Studies, School of Social Justice & Research Studies, University of Nevada, Reno

    "Ellingson and Sotorin offer a conceptually rich and action-oriented model of data engagement, a must-read for qualitative researchers in a wide variety of research areas. The authors present a bold understanding of data as made and assembled illustrated with engaging examples, practical advice, and useful strategies. Much more than a "how to" methods text, Making Data in Qualitative Research is a reader-friendly resource that advances qualitative research in creative and critical ways."Lynn M. Harter, Ph.D., Professor, Co-Director, Barbara Geralds Institute for Storytelling and Social Impact

    "In this compelling and thought-provoking book, Ellingson and Sotirin invite us to stand within and alongside data, recognizing its agency and power to become something new every time we engage with it. Instead of asking "What are data?" the authors ask "What do data do?" Unimagined configurations take shape when we discover that fieldnotes have lively careers, recordings remain in flux, enlivened by new meanings across time and space, transcripts are never innocent, alive with political, cultural, and reflexive possibilities, and digital data circulates and transmutates through and across borders. Every chapter offers vivid exemplars of published studies that reveal "data on the move", helping readers to engage with and imagine possibilities for their own research. By disrupting traditional representations of data, this book challenges each of us to become entangled, embodied, and vulnerable in our engagement with data and the imagination and playfulness it evokes." —  Dr. Patricia Geist-Martin, Ph.D., Professor, School of Communication, San Diego State.