This text offers a brief, but comprehensive overview of qualitative research that balances the practicalities of conducting research and the theory and debates that keep qualitative inquiry vibrant. As faculty and students increasingly turn to qualitative inquiry, they need a text that will not only provide them with an understanding of qualitative research methods, but also open them to the diverse possibilities within this inquiry approach. This text covers the range of possibilities along with numerous exercises that offer beginning students the opportunity to practice and refine the skills of being a qualitative researcher. The wealth of examples in the text is exceptional, as is the accessible writing style.
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A qualitative research methodologist and educational anthropologist, Corrine Glesne has done ethnographic research in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Costa Rica, and Mexico. She is currently researching campus art museums for the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. For seventeen years she was a professor at the University of Vermont (UVM). While at UVM, Corrine began taking groups of students to Oaxaca, Mexico for intensive two-week courses. Corinne's trips grew into a semester program, and she began teaching courses for it as well as directing the program in 2008. Corrine also worked with IHP, an international educational program affiliated with World Learning. As a traveling anthropology professor, she taught and accompanied undergraduate students to India, the Philippines, Mexico, New Zealand, and England. She also coordinated the Washington DC portion of an IHP program for several years. Corrine did her doctoral work at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign. Her home is now in Asheville, North Carolina.Review:
Comments by graduate students at the University of Vermont, summer 2009, on a qualitative research course taught by Professor Corrine Glesne.
My first reaction to experimental writing was.....this is for people with a background in the arts...I am not a creative person. Taking (Glesne's) Qualitative Analysis and Writing course opened my very closed view of qualitative research into one with endless possibilities. Thank you for exposing me to new ways to view and present my research data. Anyone who has a desire to express their research creatively should take this course.
-- Leslye Kornegay
Dr. Glesne encourages qualitative researchers to approach their data in fresh, dynamic ways, including poetic transcription and dramatic representation. These creative methods challenged me to examine my data using new perspectives, and allowed me to represent the voices of my participants more authentically. It was such a pleasure working with Dr. Glesne and learning from all of her experiences.
-- Bethany Rice
I have often kept my “structured” self apart from my “creative” self. From a young age we are taught that to be an academic requires being structured. We are taught that being an academic means following the rules. Therefore, creativity becomes a frill on the sidelines of true scholarship. I have struggled over the years to place my creative side in a box in order to be recognized as “intelligent” or “legit.” I have felt this as both a student of art and a teacher of it. Although there have certainly been times when I see these “selves” overlap and influence one another, they have always remained separate yet equally important elements of who I am. (Glesne's) class, (and) book, (have) challenged me to bring together, once and for all, my structured self and my creative self. I know I have a long way to go, but I feel inspired and supported to take risks in order to truly and fully express myself in my work. Thank you.
-- Ellen Montgomery
I am heartened to know that I can frame knowledge in a way that’s most intuitive for me, in the way I think, process, make meaning, and communicate. And an added plus that I could possibly write and share my findings in these creative ways, as well. What resonates most with me is that qual research is a way of adding to the conversation, or turning the light on a different part of the crystal. The work, the data, and the stories feel much richer, more alive, and more authentic for me. I learned I can be a writer. Sifting through the data in these many ways, combining these perspectives through autoethnography/ourstory/etc feels like an epiphany as well as a validation of how I move in the world. I'm intensely excited about future study and work.
(Glesne is) an excellent teacher. I felt encouraged and challenged, and it was absolutely wonderful to explore these new concepts in the company of classmates who were deeply engaged in their own work. It was the highlight of my summer.
-- Marie Vea-Fagnant
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