An 8 page analysis of Pertti Alasuutari's Researching Culture: Qualitative Method and Cultural Studies. This Finnish sociologist, with extensive experience in qualitative research, draws primarily on his own work to illustrate the concepts that he considers important for researchers to consider when embarking on a qualitative research study. This volume is basically designed to be an introduction to the field of qualitative research methodology from the a cultural studies perspective. No additional sources cited.
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important for researchers to consider when embarking on a qualitative research study. This volume is basically designed to be an introduction to the field of qualitative research methodology from the
a cultural studies perspective. While this approach makes the text more focused then most, this focus should also serve to actively engage
the student, particularly due to Alasuutaris writing style, which frequently is very appealing in the way that Alasuutari relates his own emotional responses to doing research. There are a
number of chapters that deal more directly with the theory that is inherent to the application of cultural studies rather then with actual methods.
However, the theories that are explored are always relevant because Alasuutari connects theory with particular research procedures. Throughout the text the student is offered theoretical discussions that both
clear and insightful. These, more then any other feature of the book, draw the student into the disciplines basic epistemological debates. Alasuutari begins his book with a question, "What
is qualitative research" (chapter 2). He proceeds to offer this definition of qualitative research, which says it consists of "studies that include qualitative analysis" and then defines qualitative analysis
as "reasoning and argumentation that is not based on statistical relations between variables, but which certain objects or observation units are described...Instead, riddle-solving provides a good analogy of the type
of reasoning employed" (7-8). This matter-of-fact writing style that Alasuutari employs in defining qualitative research is indicative of his style throughout the book. While this may put off the seasoned-professional,
it will no doubt appeal to the introductory students, who are the target audience. In explaining for the novice exactly what cultural studies consists of, Alasuutari points out