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Reflexive methodology : new vistas for qualitative research /

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Reflexivity is an essential part of the research process. It provides the perspective necessary for successful interpretation of field research and the development of insightful conclusions. In their new overview of the problems of reflexivity and interpretation Alvesson and Sk[um]oldberg have provided an invaluable guide to this central aspect of research methodology.The authors review and critically discuss the major intellectual streams, and highlight their problems and possibilities in empirical work - hermeneutics, critical theory, postmodernism and poststructuralism, discourse analysis, geneaology and feminism. Possible implications of different kinds of empirical work are explored. A large part of the book is devoted to the development and exemplification of a reflexive methodology. This draws upon insights of how culture, language, selective perception, subjective forms of cognition, ideology all, in complicated way, permeate scientific activity.The book makes explicit the links between techniques used in empirical research and different research traditions, making possible a theoretically-informed approach to qualitative research. The text helps researchers avoid the pitfall of naivete whilst pointing the way to a more open-minded, creative interaction between theoretical frameworks and empirical research.

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