Harvard Educational Review
  1. Handbook of Qualitative Research

    Edited by Norman K. Denzin and Yvonna S. Lincoln.

    Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1994. 656 pp. $95.00.

    This book is a must for anyone teaching, or wishing to better understand, qualitative research. Norman Denzin and Yvonna Lincoln do an excellent job of presenting the disparate theories, histories, and techniques included under the rubric of "qualitative research," thus fulfilling their publisher's mandate: The handbook "should ideally represent the distillation of knowledge of a field; it should be a benchmark volume that synthesizes an existing literature, helping to define and shape the present and future of that discipline" (p. ix).

    Readers can open this book to any page and find something that excites them or adds to their knowledge of the field. Some of the chapters that I found helpful were those that address phenomenology, biographical method, and visual and personal methods. In fact, the introduction to this volume can stand alone as an excellent overview of the histories, methods, theories, and terminology of qualitative research — a stunning feat given the breadth of the field.

    Denzin and Lincoln bring together some of the best theorists and practitioners in the field: A. Michael Huberman and Matthew B. Miles on data management and analysis; Paul Atkinson and Martyn Hammersley on ethnography and participant observation; Anselm Strauss and Juliet Corbin on grounded theory methodology. Other chapters address case studies; designing funded qualitative research; interpretation of documents; narrative, content, and semiotic analysis; and using computers in qualitative research.

    In sum, this handbook is destined to be a classic text in the field of qualitative research that belongs on every student's and researcher's bookshelf.

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