Book Review Symposium: Between Reflexivity and Consolidation—Qualitative Research in the Mirror of Handbooks

  • Shalva Weil Hebrew University
  • Thomas S. Eberle Universität St. Gallen
  • Uwe Flick Alice Salomon FH, University of Applied Sciences, Berlin
Keywords: textbooks, handbooks, legitimation, acceptability, research design, national diversity, quality


The increasing number of textbooks and handbooks on qualitative research reflects developments in qualitative research as a field. In this book review symposium—based on a "Meet the Author" Session at the European Sociological Association Conference in Glasgow in 2007—several recent examples of handbooks written or edited by Uwe FLICK are discussed by two commentators. The author of the books then adds his own comments and responses. The discussion covers four main issues. First, tensions between intensifying the reflexivity of qualitative research and consolidating it as a competitor on the market of research, research training and funding are discussed. A second issue is how handbooks contribute to bridging the gaps between different local or language-specific traditions of qualitative research. A third issue is how to integrate more strongly the idea of research design into the methodological discussion (and practice) of qualitative research more strongly. A fourth issue is how to promote and assess the quality of qualitative research and overcome a "legitimation crisis". These issues are discussed by the authors of this book review symposium from different perspectives with a focus on teaching qualitative methodology and on the progress of qualitative research. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0803280


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Author Biographies

Shalva Weil, Hebrew University
Shalva WEIL is Senior Researcher in the Research Institute for Innovation in Education in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Among her research interests are Indian Jewry, Ethiopian Jewry, Diaspora and Immigration. She is immediate past President of the Qualitative Methods Research Network in the European Sociological Association (ESA), a member of the ESA's Executive Committee, and Editor of "European Sociologist". Recent publications include: David Shulman & Shalva Weil (2008). Karmic Passages: Israeli Scholarship on India (New Delhi: Oxford University Press); Shalva Weil (2008). Is There a "Legitimation Crisis" in Qualitative Methods? Conference Essay: ESF Exploratory Workshop on Improving the Quality of Qualitative Research [31 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 9(2), Art. 6,; Shalva Weil (2005). Qualitative Methods in Israel [22 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 6(3), Art. 46,; Shalva Weil (2006). Tadesse Yacob of Cairo and Addis Abeba. International Journal of Ethiopian Studies, 2(1&2), 233-243.
Thomas S. Eberle, Universität St. Gallen
Thomas S. EBERLE is Professor and Co-Director of the Research Institute of Sociology at the University of St Gallen, Switzerland. He is a former chair of the Research Network Qualitative Methods of the European Sociological Association (ESA) and presently the chair of the Research Network Sociology of Culture, a member of the Executive Committee and a Vice President of ESA. His research interests are sociology of culture, social research methodology, phenomenological sociology, and qualitative methods. Recent publications are: Ethnomethodologie. In Renate Buber & Hartmut Holzmüller (Eds.), Qualitative Marktforschung. Konzepte—Methoden—Analysen. Gabler, 2007, pp.93-109.—Ethnomethodologie und Konversationsanalyse. In Rainer Schützeichel (Eds.), Handbuch Wissenssoziologie und Wissenschaftsforschung, Konstanz: UVK, 2007, pp.139-160.—Die Crux mit der Überprüfbarkeit sozialempirischer Forschung. Forschungspragmatik vs. elaborierte methodologische Gütestandards. Erwägen, Wissen, Ethik, 3: Qualitative Sozialforschung—Ansprüche, Prämissen, Probleme. Stuttgart: Lucius & Lucius 2007, pp.217-220.—Unter Aborigines. Reflexionen über eine exotische Fremdheitserfahrung. In Jochen Dreher & Peter Stegmeier (Eds.), Zur Unüberwindbarkeit kultureller Differenz. Grundlagentheoretische Reflexionen. Bielefeld: transcript, 2007, pp. 235-268.—Auf den Spuren von Emil Walter-Busch: Transdisziplinäre Studien zur Sozial- und Formengeschichte der Organisationsforschung. In Thomas S. Eberle, Sabine Hoidn & Katarina Sikavica (Eds.), Fokus Organisation. Sozialwissenschaftliche Perspektiven und Analysen. Konstanz: UVK, 2007, pp.23-39.—Phänomenologie und Ethnomethodologie. In Jürgen Raab, Michaela Pfadenhauer, Peter Stegmeier, Jochen Dreher, Bernt Schnettler: Phänomenologie und Soziologie. Wiesbaden: VS-Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, pp.151-161.
Uwe Flick, Alice Salomon FH, University of Applied Sciences, Berlin
Uwe FLICK is Professor of Qualitative Research at Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences, Berlin, Germany. His main research interests are health concepts and behaviours in different social groups, the theory of social representation and the methodology of qualitative research. Recent publications include: Uwe Flick, An Introduction to Qualitative Research (3rd ed.). London, Thousand Oaks: Sage 2006 (German ed.: 2007—Rowohlt; Spanish ed. 2004—Morata; Portuguese ed.: 2005—Monitor; Brazilian ed.: 2004—Artmed/Longman; Japanese ed. 2002:—Shunju-Sha; Farsi ed: 2004—Samae Ghalam Publisher; Chinese ed: 2006; Korean ed.: 2008). Uwe Flick, Ernst von Kardoff & Ines Steinke (Eds.). A Companion to Qualitative Research. London: Sage. 2004 (German ed.: 2000—Rowohlt). Uwe Flick (Ed.). The SAGE Qualitative Research Kit (8 vol.). London: Sage 2007. Uwe Flick. Managing Quality in Qualitative Research London: Sage 2007. Uwe Flick (Ed.). Health and Homelessness. Special Issue of the Journal of Health Psychology, 11(5). Uwe FLICK Designing Qualitative Research London: Sage 2007. Uwe Flick, Triangulation—eine Einführung (2nd ed. Triangulation—an Introduction). Wiesbaden: VS-Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften 2008. Uwe Flick & Gundula Röhnsch. Gesundheit auf der Straße—Gesundheitsvorstellungen und Umgang mit Krankheit im Kontext von Jugendobdachlosigkeit (Health on the Street—Health Concepts and Practices of Illness in the Context of Juvenile Homelessness) Weinheim: Juventa 2008.
How to Cite
Weil, S., Eberle, T. S., & Flick, U. (2008). Book Review Symposium: Between Reflexivity and Consolidation—Qualitative Research in the Mirror of Handbooks. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 9(3).
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