1st Edition

Pulling Back the Curtain on Qualitative Research

By William Thompson, Mica Thompson Copyright 2023
    220 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    220 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In Pulling Back the Curtain on Qualitative Research, the authors maintain that for sociologists the entire world is a laboratory. Seldom do they attend social gatherings without observing people and their interaction in a systematic and intellectually curious way. Regular trips to the grocery store, church services, and engagement with social media all open the door to sociological questioning and encourage forms of empirical observation and data collection.

    Here, in this practical and in-depth guide to conducting qualitative sociological field research, the authors offer step-by-step guidance to the processes of choosing a research question and forming research objectives; gaining entry to research settings; and reporting and analyzing findings. Each chapter features a past research assignment, wherein the authors draw attention to important ethical considerations and extract the many lessons, quirks, and unanticipated findings they experienced along the way that readers should prepare for and apply while conducting their own qualitative fieldwork.   

    Over the span of several field studies, this book offers readers a behind-the-scenes look at some tested and trusted qualitative methodologies. Designed to be a guide for undergraduate and graduate level students, its real-life meditations would make a meaningful addition to anyone serious about conducting sociological research.  



    1. Designing and Conducting Qualitative Research
    2. Striving for Objective and Unbiased Qualitative Research
    3. Visiting the Old Order Amish in Oklahoma and Kansas: Case Studies
      William E. Thompson
    4. Working on a Beef Slaughter Assembly Line
      William E. Thompson
    5. Portraying the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus at a Shopping Mall
      William E. Thompson
    6. Studying Morticians and Funeral Directors
      William E. Thompson
    7. Interviewing Topless Dancers
      William E. Thompson
    8. Riding With Modern American Motorcyclists
      William E. Thompson
    9. Performing a Content Analysis of Motorcyclists and the Media
      William E. Thompson
    10. Studying Kindergarten
      Mica L. Thompson
    11. Pumping Iron in the 1980s and Working Out in the Twenty-First Century
      William E. Thompson and Mica L. Thompson
    12. Conducting Qualitative Research in the Age of Disenlightenment





    William E. Thompson is a professor emeritus of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Texas A&M University-Commerce, USA. He was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and was the first member of his family to receive a high school diploma. He received his bachelor’s degree from Northeastern State University, a master’s degree from Missouri State University, and a Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University. Professor Thompson has authored and co-authored more than 50 articles in professional journals, including several reprinted in sociology textbooks and readers. Thompson also is the author of The Glass House, a nonfiction account of his mother’s two-year battle with cancer and in 2012 authored Hogs, Blogs, Leathers, and Lattes: The Sociology of Modern American Motorcycling.

    Mica L. Thompson is an adjunct instructor at Texas A&M University Commerce, USA. She was born in Emporia, Kansas, and received her bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University and her master’s degree from Texas A&M University-Commerce. She has 16 years of public-school teaching experience and has co-authored several articles in professional journals as well as several major textbooks in sociology.

    Together, Thompson and Thompson have co-authored three major social scientific books: Sociological Wisdom, Society in Focus: An Introduction to Sociology which is in its 9th edition, and Juvenile Delinquency: A Sociological Approach, now in its 11th edition.