Review: David Silverman (2001). Interpreting Qualitative Data: Methods for Analysing Talk, Text and Interaction

  • Devorah Kalekin-Fishman University of Haifa
Keywords: analyzing texts, academic integrity, comprehensiveness, exemplars, novices' needs, theory and research


The second edition of SILVERMAN's volume on Interpreting Qualitative Data is a fascinating book and will be invaluable to lecturers and advisers of graduate students. It includes enlightening discussions of ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis, of Discourse Analysis and ordinary talk, as well as of what can be learned from visual (non-linguistic) materials. As a textbook, however, it suffers from overload. Apart from methods of analysis there is extensive treatment of how to begin research, data collection, as well as models and ethics in research. Every chapter begins and ends with a summary of key points, includes student activities, and provides profuse examples of the points raised (many from the personal experience of the author). The very comprehensiveness of the book is likely to undermine its usefulness for potential researchers—students, who are looking for plain guidance. For advanced researchers, it provides a provocative encounter with a distinguished researcher, theoretician, and pedagogue. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs010363


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Author Biography

Devorah Kalekin-Fishman, University of Haifa
Devorah KALEKIN-FISHMAN, Dr. Rer. Soc., is a sociologist who initiated the study of qualitative research methods in the Faculty of Education at the University of Haifa. Her research interests include the shaping of time and sound in kindergarten socialization, biographical research in sociology, the study of alienation, and the construal and the construction of multi-cultural and inter-cultural education. Recent publications include Biography and the Division of Europe (2000, edited by Roswitha BRECKNER, Devorah KALEKIN-FISHMAN, and Ingrid MIETHE; Opladen: Leske + Budrich), Dappled and Irrepressible: The Kaleidoscope of Multicultural Education (2000, Bob MOON, Sally BROWN & Miriam BEN-PERETZ, Eds., Routledge International Companion to Education, London: Routledge, pp.441-455), Unraveling Alienation: From an Omen of Doom to a Celebration of Diversity (2000, Stella R. QUAH & Arnaud SALES, Eds., The International Handbook of Sociology, London: Sage, pp.387-419), and The Hidden Injuries of a "Slight Limp" (2001, Mark PRIESTLEY, Ed. Disability and the Life Course, Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press, pp.136-148).