The Renaissance of Qualitative Methods

  • Giampietro Gobo Università degli Studi di Milano
Keywords: qualitative methods, qualitative re­search, new trends of qualitative research


Even though qualitative research was first done more than a century ago, the first texts that tried to define its methodology appeared only eighty years later, in the late sixties. This article explores the reasons why there was such a long delay and why many sociologists who worked using qualitative methods and techniques for a long time did not care about the need for methodological training. After having seen how qualitative methods and their use in contemporary social science developed, the author outlines the future prospects for qualitative research. With the freedom usually given to those that construct scenarios, we can identify at least five directions: (a) the major formalization of the methods; (b) the development of data analysis; (c) the marriage between computers and qualitative research; (d) the necessity of qualitative methods in a multicultural society; and (e) the implications for applied research. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0503420


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Author Biography

Giampietro Gobo, Università degli Studi di Milano
Giampietro GOBO, associate professor of Methodology of Social Research, has specialized in qualitative and quantitative methods publishing two Italian textbooks: the former about cognitive and communicative aspects of survey interview (Milan: Angeli, 1997); the latter on the ethnographic methodology (Rome: Carocci, 2001). His current research interests concern in organizational studies, mainly on cooperative work in workplace and management. Former chair of the Research Network on Qualitative Methods of ESA (European Sociological Association), he has recently co-edited (with C. SEALE, J.F. GUBRIUM and D. SILVERMAN) Qualitative Research Practice, Sage (2004).
How to Cite
Gobo, G. (2005). The Renaissance of Qualitative Methods. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 6(3).
General Methodological Trends in Qualitative Research