Advanced Qualitative Methods

Suggested Readings

This is not intended as an exhaustive list. Just a collection of relevant sources you may want to consider when choosing or writing about your qualitative data collection methods.


Becker, H.S., 1993. How I learned what a crock was. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 22(1), pp.28-35.

Hammersley, Martyn and Paul Atkinson. 1995. Ethnography: Principles in Practice. Routledge, New York. Second Edition.

Vindrola-Padros C, Vindrola-Padros B. Quick and dirty? A systematic review of the use of rapid ethnographies in healthcare organisation and delivery BMJ Quality & Safety 2018;27:321-330 

Vindrola-Padros, C. (2020). Rapid Ethnographies: A Practical Guide. Cambridge University Press.


Gubrium, J.F. and Holstein, J.A., 2002. From the individual interview to the interview society. Handbook of interview research: Context and method, pp.3-32.

Irani, E. 2019. The use of videoconferencing for qualitative interviewing: opportunities, challenges, and considerations. Clinical Nursing Research 28(1) 3-8. 

Manzano, A. 2016. The craft of interviewing in realist evaluation. Evaluation, 22(3): 342-360.

Oakley, A. 1981. interviewing women: a contradiction in terms? in Roberts, Helen, ed. Doing Feminist Research. London: Routledge, 30–61.

Oakley, A. 2015. Interviewing women again: power, time and the gift. Sociology. 50, 195–213. doi:10.1177/0038038515580253

Pawson, R. 1996. Theorizing the interview. British Journal of Sociology, 47(2): 295-314.

Rapley, T., 2013. Interviews. In: Seale, C., et al. Qualitative Research Practice. London: Sage. Pp. 15-32.

Online, E-mail, Telephone Interviews

“Doing fieldwork in a pandemic” is a crowdsourced document with many useful references on many remote qualitative methods:

Bampton, R., Cowton, C., & Downs, Y. 2013. The e-interview in qualitative research. In Advancing research methods with new technologies (pp. 329-343): IGI Global.

Burns, E. 2010. Developing Email Interview Practices in Qualitative Research. Sociological Research Online, 15(4), 24–35.

Gray, L.M., Wong-Wylie, G., Rempel, G.R. and Cook, K., 2020. Expanding qualitative research interviewing strategies: Zoom video communications. The Qualitative Report, 25(5), pp.1292-1301.

Hinchcliffe, V., Gavin H. 2009. Social and virtual networks: evaluating synchronous online interviewing using instant messenger. The Qualitative Report, vol. 14, no. 2, 2009, p. 318

Janghorban, R., Latifnejad Roudsari, R., & Taghipour, A. 2014. Skype interviewing: the new generation of online synchronous interview in qualitative research. International Journal Of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being, 9, 24152.

Irvine, A. 2011. Duration, Dominance and Depth in Telephone and Face-to-Face Interviews: A Comparative Exploration. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 202–220.

Focus Groups

Barbour, R. 2008. Doing Focus Groups. London, UK: Sage. 

Cunningham-Burley, S., Kerr, A. & Pavis, S..1999. Theorizing subjects and subject matter in focus group research. Developing Focus Group Research: Politics, Theory and Practice,186-199.

Cyr, J. 2016.  The pitfalls and promise of focus groups as a data collection method. Sociological Methods & Research 45( 2): 231-259.

Greenbaum, T. L. 1998. The Handbook for Focus Group Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Kidd, P. S. & M. B. Parshall. 2000. Getting the focus and the group: enhancing analytical rigor in focus group research. Qualitative Health Research, 10(3): 293-308

Kitzinger, J. 1994. The methodology of focus groups: the importance of interaction between research participants. Sociology of Health and Illness, 16(1): 103-121.

Kitzinger, J. & Barbour, R. eds., 1999. Developing Focus Group Research: Politics, Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage.

Krueger, R. A., & Casey, M. A. (2015). Focus groups: A practical guide for applied research (5th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc

Liamputtong, P. 2011. Focus Group Methodology: Principles and Practice. London, UK: Sage.

Madriz, E. 2000. Focus groups in feminist research. In Denzin Norman K. and Yvonna S. Lincoln. 2000. Handbook of Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Morgan, D. L. 2002. Focus Group Interviewing. Handbook of Interview Research: Context and Method, 141-159. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Parker, A and J Tritter. 2006. Focus group method and methodology: current practice and recent debate. International Journal of Research and Method in Education, 29(1): 23-37.

Wilkinson, S. 1998. Focus group methodology: A Review. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 1(3) :181-203, DOI: 10.1080/13645579.1998.10846874

Online Focus Groups

Daniels, N., Gillen, P., Casson, K., & Wilson, I. 2019. STEER: Factors to Consider When Designing Online Focus Groups Using Audiovisual Technology in Health Research. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 18, International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 14 November 2019, Vol.18.

Flynn, R., Albrecht, L., & Scott, S. 2018. Two Approaches to Focus Group Data Collection for Qualitative Health Research: Maximizing Resources and Data Quality. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 17(1), International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 13 January 2018, Vol.17(1).

Forrestal, S. G., D’Angelo, A. V., & Vogel, L. K. 2015. Considerations for and lessons learned from online, synchronous focus groups. Survey Practice, 8(2), 1-8.

Kite, J., & Phongsavan, P. 2017. Insights for conducting real-time focus groups online using a web conferencing service. F1000Research, 6, 122. 2020. Focus groups: moving to the online face-to-face mode. Retrieved from

Photovoice and photo-elicitation

Leonard, M. and McKnight, M., 2015. Look and tell: Using photo-elicitation methods with teenagers. Children’s Geographies13(6), pp.629-642.

Tarrant, A, and Hughes, K. 2020. The ethics of technology choice: photovoice methodology with men living in low-income contexts, Sociological Research Online, 25 (2): 289–306.


Bryman, A. 2006. Integrating quantitative and qualitative research: how is it done?, Qualitative Research, 6: 97-113

Bryman, A. 2007. The research question in social research: what is its role?, International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 10, 5-20;

Bryman et al. 2008. Quality criteria for quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research: a view from social policy, International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 11: 1-16.

Charters, E., 2003. The use of think-aloud methods in qualitative research an introduction to think-aloud methods. Brock Education: A Journal of Educational Research and Practice, 12(2).

Coast, J., AlJanabi, H., Sutton, E.J., Horrocks, S.A., Vosper, A.J., Swancutt, D.R. and Flynn, T.N., 2012. Using qualitative methods for attribute development for discrete choice experiments: issues and recommendations. Health Economics, 21(6), pp.730-741.

Creswell, J.W., Shope, R., Plano Clark, V.L. and Green, D.O., 2006. How interpretive qualitative research extends mixed methods research. Research in the Schools, 13(1), pp.1-11.  

Creswell, J.W., Plano Clark, V.L., Gutmann, M.L. and Hanson, W.E., 2003. Advanced mixed methods research designs. Handbook of mixed methods in social and behavioral research, 209, p.240.

Creswell, J.W., Klassen, A.C., Plano Clark, V.L. and Smith, K.C., 2011. Best practices for mixed methods research in the health sciences. Bethesda (Maryland): National Institutes of Health, 2013, pp.541-545.  

Denzin, N.K. 2009. Qualitative inquiry under fire: Toward a new paradigm dialogue. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press

Denzin, N. K. , & Giardina, M. D. (Eds.). 2006. Qualitative inquiry and the conservative challenge: Contesting methodological fundamentalism . Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press 

Fielding, J. & Fielding, N. 2008. Chapter 33: Synergy and synthesis: integrating qualitative and quantitative data in Alasuutari, P. Bickman L. & Brannen  J. (eds) The SAGE Handbook of Social Research Methods, available online via the library catalogue at:

Greene, J. C. 2008. Is mixed methods social inquiry a distinctive methodology?. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 2(1), 7-22.

Greene, J. C. 2007. Mixed methods in social inquiry (Vol. 9). John Wiley & Sons

Johnson, R. B., Onwuegbuzie, A. J., & Turner, L. A. (2007). Toward a Definition of Mixed Methods Research. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 1(2), 112–133.

Maxwell, J.A. and Loomis, D.M., 2003. Mixed methods design: An alternative approach. Handbook of mixed methods in social and behavioral research, 1, pp.241-272.

Maxwell, J.A., 2010. Using numbers in qualitative research. Qualitative inquiry, 16(6), pp.475-482.

Onwuegbuzie, A.J. and Collins, K.M., 2007. A typology of mixed methods sampling designs in social science research. The qualitative report, 12(2), pp.281-316.

Pawson, R., 2004. A measure for measures: a manifesto for empirical sociology. Routledge.

Tashakkori, A., & Teddlie, C. (Eds.). (2010). Sage handbook of mixed methods in social & behavioral research. Sage.

Teddlie, C. and Tashakkori, A. 2009. Foundations of Mixed Methods Research: Integrating Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches in the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Los Angeles: Sage. p. 133

Qualitative methods general handbooks and textbooks

Denzin, Norman K. and Katherine E. Ryan. 2007. “Qualitative Methodology ”. The SAGE Handbook of Social Science Methodology, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 578-594.

Maxwell, Joseph A. 2011. A Realist Approach for Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Silverman, David, ed. 2004. Qualitative Research Theory Method and Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA. Sage. 2nd edition

Smith, L.T., 2013. Decolonizing methodologies: Research and indigenous peoples. Zed Books Ltd..

Qualitative analysis

Madill, A, Jordan, A, Shirley C. 2000. “Objectivity And Reliability In Qualitative Analysis: Realist, Contextualist and Radical Constructionist Epistemologies”. British Journal of Psychology, 91(1): 1-20.

Maxwell, Joseph A. 1992. “Understanding and Validity in Qualitative Research”. Harvard Educational Review, 62(3): 279-301.

Reflexivity, positionality

Emmel, N., Hughes, K., Greenhalgh, J. and Sales, A., 2007. Accessing socially excluded people—Trust and the gatekeeper in the researcher-participant relationship. Sociological Research Online, 12(2), pp.43-55.

Griffith, A.I., 1998. Insider/outsider: Epistemological privilege and mothering work. Human studies, 21(4), pp.361-376.

Hill Collins P.H . 1990. Black feminist epistemology

Hill Collins, P. 1997, Defining Black feminist thought, in Nicholson, L. (ed.), The Second Wave: A Reader in Feminist Theory, New York: Routledge, pp. 241–260, ISBN 978-0-415-91761-2.

Collins, P. Hill. 2009. Black Feminist Thought. New York: Routledge Classics.

Haraway, D., 1988. Situated knowledges: The science question in feminism and the privilege of partial perspective. Feminist studies14(3), pp.575-599.

Haraway, D., 2003. Situated knowledges: The science question in feminism and the privilege of partial perspective. Turning points in qualitative research: Tying knots in a handkerchief, 2003, pp.21-46.

Rose, G., 1997. Situating knowledges: positionality, reflexivities and other tactics. Progress in human geography21(3), pp.305-320.

Secondary qualitative analysis

Hughes, K. and Tarrant, A. 2020. Introduction to Qualitative Secondary Analysis’, in: Hughes, K. and Tarrant, A. (eds.) Qualitative Secondary Analysis, London: Sage.

 Hughes, K., Hughes, J., and Tarrant, A. 2020. Re-approaching interview data though Qualitative Secondary Analysis: Interviews with Internet Gamblers’, In: Themed Section for the International Journal of Social Research Methodologies, K. Hughes, J. Hughes and F. Portier-Le Couq (eds) ‘Making the Case for Qualitative Interviews’

Hughes, K. and Tarrant, A. 2020. Qualitative Secondary Analysis, London: Sage.

James, A. 2012. Seeking the analytic imagination: reflections on the process of interpreting qualitative data, Qualitative Research, 13 (5): 562-577.

Tarrant, A. and Hughes, K. 2020. Collective Qualitative Secondary Analysis and Data-Sharing: Strategies, Insights and Challenges, In: Hughes, K. and Tarrant, A. (2020) Qualitative Secondary Analysis, London: Sage.

Tarrant, A. and Hughes, K. (forthcoming) ‘Qualitative data re-use and secondary analysis: researching in and about a crisis’, In: Kara, H. and Khoo, S-M. (eds) Research Methods in Times of Crisis, Policy Press: Bristol.

Systematic reviews and qualitative data

Dixon-Woods, M. , Bonas, S. , Booth, A. , Jones, D.R. , Miller, T. , Sutton, A.J. , et al. 2006. How can systematic reviews incorporate qualitative research? A critical perspective. Qualitative Research, 6(1), 27-44

Visual methods and qualitative research

Aiello, G. 2006. Theoretical advances in critical visual analysis: perception, ideology, mythologies, and social semiotics. Journal of Visual Literacy. 26(2), pp.89-102.

Aiello, G. 2007. The appearance of diversity: Visual design and the public communication of EU identity. In: Bain, J. and Holland, M. eds. European Union identity: Perceptions from Asia and Europe.   Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft Mbh & Co., pp.147-181.

Aiello, G. 2012. The ‘other’ Europeans: the semiotic imperative of style in Euro Visions by Magnum Photos. Visual Communication. 11(1), pp.49-77.

Aiello, G. and Thurlow, C. 2006. Symbolic capitals: visual discourse and intercultural exchange in the European Capital of Culture scheme. Language and Intercultural Communication. 6(2), pp.148-162.

Appadurai, A. 1986. The Social life of things: commodities in cultural perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Bahn, S. and Barratt-Pugh, L. 2013. Getting reticent young male participants to talk: Using artefact-mediated interviews to promote discursive interaction. Qualitative Social Work. 12(2), pp.186-199.

Banks, M. and Flick, U. 2007. Using visual data in qualitative research. London: Sage.

Barthes, R. 1977. Image, music, text. London: HarperCollins.

Barthes, R. 2009 [1957]. Mythologies. London: Vintage.

Bates, C. 2013. Video diaries: audio-visual research methods and the elusive body. Visual Studies. 28(1), pp.29-37.

Bignell, J. 2002. Media semiotics: an introduction. 2nd ed. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Collins, R.L. 2011. Content analysis of gender roles in media: Where are we now and where should we go? Sex Roles. 64(3-4), pp.290-298.

Cox, S., Guillemin, M., Drew, S., Howell, C., Warr, D. and Waycott, J. 2014. Picture this: guidelines for ethical visual research methods. International Journal of Qualitative Methods. 13, pp.499-499.

Hall, S. 2005 [1980]. Encoding/decoding. Culture, media, language: working papers in cultural studies, 1972-79.  London: Taylor and Francis e-Library, pp.117-127.

Hill, R.L. 2014. Reconceptualising hard rock and metal fans as a group: imaginary community. International Journal of Community Music. 7(2), pp.173-188.

Hill, R.L., Kennedy, H. and Gerrard, Y. 2016. Visualizing junk: big data visualisations and the need for feminist data studies. Journal of Communication Inquiry. 40(4), pp.331-350.

Holliday, R. 2000. We’ve been framed: visualising methodology. Sociological Review. 48(4), pp.503-521.

Holliday, R. 2004. Filming “the closet”: the role of video diaries in researching sexualities. American Behavioral Scientist. 47(12), pp.1597-1616.

Jewitt, C. 2012. An introduction to using video for research. NCRM Working Paper. [Online]. [Accessed 25/11/2014]. Available from:

Kennedy, H., Hill, R.L., Aiello, G. and Allen, W. 2016. The work that visualisation conventions do. Information, Communication & Society. 19(6), pp.715-735.

Knoblauch, H., Schnettler, B., Raab, J. and Soeffner, H.-G. eds. 2006. Video analysis: methodology and methods: qualitative audiovisual data analysis in sociology. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.

Knowles, J.G. and Cole, A.L. 2008. Handbook of the arts in qualitative research: perspectives, methodologies, examples, and issues. London: Sage Publications.

Kress, G. 1998. Visual and verbal modes of representation in electronically mediated. Page to screen: Taking literacy into the electronic era. p53.

Kress, G. 2000. Design and transformation: New theories of meaning. Multiliteracies: Literacy learning and the design of social futures. pp.153-161.

Kress, G. 2003. Literacy in the new media age.  Psychology Press.

Kress, G. 2009. Multimodality: a social semiotic approach to contemporary communication.  Routledge.

Kress, G. and Leeuwen, T.v. 2001. Multimodal discourse : the modes and media of contemporary communication. London: Arnold.

Kress, G. and Van Leeuwen, T. 2002. Colour as a semiotic mode: notes for a grammar of colour. Visual Communication. 1(3), pp.343-368.

Kress, G.R. and Van Leeuwen, T. 2006. Reading images: the grammar of visual design. 2nd ed. ed. London: Routledge.

Leeuwen, T.v. and Jewitt, C. 2000. The handbook of visual analysis. London: SAGE.

Margolis, E. and Pauwels, L.P. 2011. The SAGE handbook of visual research methods. Los Angeles, Calif;London;: SAGE.

Marion, J.S. and Crowder, J.W. 2013. Visual research: a concise introduction to thinking visually. London: Bloomsbury.

Messaris, P. 1994. Visual “literacy”: image, mind, and reality.  Westview Press.

Messaris, P. 2012. Visual “literacy” in the digital age. Review of Communication. 12(2), pp.101-117.

Noyes, A. 2004. Video diary: a method for exploring learning dispositions. Cambridge Journal of Education. 34(2), pp.193-209.

Pink, S. 2012. Advances in visual methodology. London: Sage Publications.

Pink, S. and Pink, S. 2013. Doing visual ethnography. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Prosser, J. 1998. Image-based research: a sourcebook for qualitative researchers. London: Falmer Press.

Rose, G. 2014. On the relation between ‘visual research methods’ and contemporary visual culture. The Sociological Review. 62(1), pp.24-46.

Rose, G. 2016. Visual methodologies: an introduction to researching with visual materials. 4th ed. London: Sage.

Sontag, S. 2002. On photography. London: Penguin.

Stanczak, G.C. 2007. Visual research methods: image, society, and representation. Thousand Oaks, [Calif.]: Sage Publications.

Van Leeuwen, T. 2001. Semiotics and iconography. In: van Leeuwen, T. and Jewitt, C. eds. Handbook of visual analysis.   London, pp.92-118.

Van Leeuwen, T. 2005. Introducing social semiotics. London: Routledge.

Van Leeuwen, T. 2006. Towards a semiotics of typography. Information Design Journal (IDJ). 14(2).

Van Leeuwen, T., Djonov, E. and O’Halloran, K.L. 2013. “David Byrne really does love PowerPoint”: art as research on semiotics and semiotic technology. Social Semiotics. 23(3), pp.409-423.

Weber, S. 2008. Visual images in research. Handbook of the arts in qualitative research: perspectives, methodologies, examples, and issues.  London: Sage, pp.41-53.

Williams, A., Ylänne, V. and Wadleigh, P.M. 2007. Selling the ‘elixir of life’: images of the elderly in an Olivio advertising campaign. Journal of Aging Studies. 21(1), pp.1-21.

Williamson, J. 1978. Decoding advertisements : ideology and meaning in advertising. London: Boyars : Distributed by Calder and Boyars.

Zettl, H. 1998. Contextual media aesthetics as the basis for media literacy. Journal of Communication. 48(1), pp.81-95.

Ziemkiewicz, C. and Kosara, R. 2009. Preconceptions and individual differences in understanding visual metaphors. In: Computer Graphics Forum: Wiley Online Library, pp.911-918.

Key general readings on methodology in the social sciences

Although posted in the Advanced Qualitative Methods listing of the VIRE these readings are not specifically about qualitative research methods. These papers consider methodological debates in the social sciences more generally. By methodology we mean the bridge from the ways we think it legitimate to investigate the social world (epistemology) and the way we believe the world to be (ontology) to the instruments, tools and techniques (methods) we use to investigate the social world. These papers are chosen because they challenge the ways in which we think we ought to do social science research.

Brown, J., L,N. Sokal, A, D. Friedman, H,L. 2013. The complex dynamics of wishful thinking: the critical positivity ratio. American Psychologist, 68(9).

Byrne, D. and G. Callaghan. 2013. Complexity theory and the social sciences. London: Routledge. Chapter 1 Understanding the complex

Gould, S., J. 1998. The Upwardly mobile fossils of Leonardo’s living earth (Chapter 1 in) Leonardo’s mountain of clams and the diet of worms. London: Vintage.

Hammersley, M. and R. Gomm. 1997. Bias in social research. Sociological Research Online, 2(1).

Mahoney, J. and Goertz, G. 2006. A tale of two cultures: contrasting quantitative and qualitative research. Political Analysis. 14, p22.

March, J., Sproull, l., Tamuz, M. 2003. Learning from samples of one or fewer. Quality and Safety in Health Care. 12, pp.465-472.

Pawson, R., L. Owen and G. Wong. 2010. The Today Programme’s contribution to evidence-based policy. Evaluation, 16(2), pp.211-213.

Rojec, C. and B. Turner. 2000. Decorative sociology: towards a critique of the cultural turn. The Sociological Review, 48(4), p629.

Rota, G.-C. 1991. The pernicious influence of mathematics upon philosophy. Synthese, 88, pp.165-178.