Recently published qualitative studies

One of the bonuses of teaching qualitative research is getting to read examples of  how researchers design and conduct very different studies using different theoretical approaches. This past semester, I used several recently published studies with one of my qualitative research classes. These three qualitative studies demonstrate recent studies that use narrative inquiry, phenomenology, and ethnographic research.  Enjoy! 

Cibils, L. (2017). Immigration, motherhood and parental involvement. New York: Peter Lang.

Lilian Cibils (2017) conducted a study of motherhood and parenting with seven immigrant Latina women in the southwest of the U.S. Cibils used a critical feminist approach to her study and organizes her book in three parts. Part 1 details the context of immigration and marginalization, explains the theoretical perspectives used, and provides portraits of the seven women with whom she worked. The remaining nine chapters are divided into three parts: Part 2, which presents narratives and counter-narratives of the women’s parental involvement with schooling; Part 3, which is examines narratives formal inclusion and informal exclusion; and Part 4, entitled “From vulnerability to communal agency: Finding, developing and becoming resources.” Cibils includes the original Spanish along with English translations throughout the book, and provides detailed descriptions of how she conducted the study and how she applies theory in her interpretation of the women’s narratives.

Goble, E. (2017). Visual phenomenology: Encountering the sublime through images. New York and London: Routledge.

Erika Goble (2017) uses Max van Manen’s phenomenology of practice (Van Manen, 2014) to examine the phenomenon of encounters with the sublime through images. Through artful writing, readers are drawn into people’s encounters with the sublime. Goble describes the contrasting experiences that people described to her when they have encountered the sublime in images (including art work, photos, pictures), include awe and terror, the exquisite and the monstrous, horror and delight, clarity and mystery, and existence and inexistence. In her concluding chapter, Goble provides suggestions for how findings from the study might inform pedagogy. Given that images are very much part of our everyday experience, the book provides lots to think about with how teachers might use images, and the kinds of lived experiences that images can evoke. This book provides a good example of a phenomenological study using van Manen’s approach. (For more on van Manen’s book, see Roulston, 2018).

Parvez, Z. F. (2017). Politicizing Islam: The Islamic revival in France and India. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Z. Fareen Parvez (2017) examined the politicizing of Islam in two countries: Hyderabad, India and Lyon France. She conducted two years of ethnographic fieldwork, traveling back and forth between the global North and global South (p. 27). This is a complex study which aims to examine the “everyday lived experiences of religion and politics of Muslims” in two countries in the post 9/11 era of the global War on Terror (p. 3). Parvez provides a detailed description of her methods, the challenges that the encountered in her fieldwork, and the theory that she bring to the topic. The findings chapters do an excellent job of explaining the four types of political movements that she observed across the two cities among poor and middle class Muslims.


Roulston, K. (2018). Book Review: Mark D Vagle, Crafting Phenomenological Research and Max Van Manen, Phenomenology of Practice: Meaning-Giving Methods in Phenomenological Research and Writing. Qualitative Research, 18(2), 250-253. doi:10.1177/1468794116683994

Van Manen, M. (2014). Phenomenology of practice: Meaning-giving methods in phenomenological research and writing. New York & London: Routledge.

Kathy Roulston 


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