It is always a challenge to decide what books to use when I teach. There are so many to choose from! This is a good problem to have though, and I’m grateful to all those researchers out there who are providing examples of diverse approaches to qualitative inquiry that I can share with my students. Here, I’ll give a brief snapshot of four recently published qualitative studies that I’m using in teaching this semester.
Jerry Rosiek and Kathy Kinslow (2016) synthesize their findings from a 10-year study of the redistricting that occurred in one school district in the American South. Having interviewed numerous students, parents, teachers, administrators, and examined documents related to the redistricting of the schools, the authors use both Critical Race Theory and New Materialist perspectives to examine how the resegregation occurred, and what students learned from the resulting “curriculum” of resegregation.
Anne Harris (2017) examined the experiences and perceptions of young people in Melbourne, Australia through a participatory project that involved video, photos, and arts-based inquiry. The young people with whom she worked over multiple years included Samoan youth and young people from South Sudan who had migrated to Australia, sometimes via other countries (e.g, New Zealand for the Samoan youth, and Egypt for the South Sudanese youth). This book explores the complexities of creativity, culture and religion in these young people’s lives, and draws on the work of the anthropologist Arjun Appadurai, among others.
Kim Park Nelson (2016) takes a critical approach to examine the adoption of children by Americans from Korea. Nelson uses both oral history interviews, in addition to analysis of documents to explore the development of policies used in transnational adoption, as well as participants’ experiences. Nelson herself was adopted, and as an adult became involved in Korean Adoptees’ associations. As someone who occupies the roles of both insider and outsider in the research study, Nelson clarifies her role and relationships, while all the while exploring the complexities of identity described by the participants of the study.
Kakali Bhattacharya and Norman K. Gillen (2016) present a parallel narrative in the form of autoethnographic writing that uses performance scripts, in which they explore their relationship with one another – a South Asian woman with a white man in the process of examining the life of a Latina woman for his dissertation research. This study explores the concepts of race and power in the relationships between a doctoral advisor and doctoral student, as Gillen, in turn, examines his relationship with a participant of his research.
These introductions represent mere snapshots to pique your interest in reading further. And of course, if you have new qualitative studies to recommend, add those to the comment box below.
Bhattacharya, K., & Gillen, N. K. (2016). Power, race, and higher education: A cross-cultural parallel narrative. Rotterdam, Boston & Taipei: Sense Publishers.
Harris, A. M. (2017). Creativity, religion and youth cultures. New York & London: Routledge.
Nelson, K. P. (2016). Invisible Asians: Korean American adoptees, Asian American experiences, and racial exceptionalism. New Brunswick, New Jersey & London: Rutgers University Press.
Rosiek, J., & Kinslow, K. (2016). Resegregation as curriculum: The meaning of the new racial segregation in U.S. public schools. New York & London: Routledge.