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Microcomputer Applications in Qualitative Research

by Bryan Pfaffenberger

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Microcomputer Applications in Qualitative Research is a timely and innovative volume offering a sophisticated examination of one of the many uses of computers in the social sciences. In this insightful volume Pfaffenberger explores the world of personal computing in social science research, providing both a practical/methodological and critical/theoretical perspective. Pfaffenberger surveys the ways microcomputers and microcomputer programs can be used to further the goals of qualitative social research. He critically analyzes the potential liabilities and benefits of using microcomputer technology for research purposes. This book addresses such issues as: the need for computers in qualitative research, the nature of qualitative analysis, word processing software and field notes, automatic indexing, text oriented data base management programs, and automated data analysis. This comprehensive volume is an asset for qualitative researchers, and an excellent supplementary text for courses in research methodology. "Pfaffenberger . . . is a thoughtful and highly knowledgeable advocate of the process. . . . In a sense, this book is also an exercise in the sociology of technology, since Pfaffenberger is highly sensitive to the ways in which computer software is socially constructed. . . . [It] will provide much useful and thought-provoking advice for researchers and students alike." --Contemporary Sociology "Meets the special problems of microcomputers by attempting a theoretical solution....I thought Pfaffenberger's proto-theoretical approach held out the most hope for the future." --Journalism Quarterly… (more)
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Microcomputer Applications in Qualitative Research is a timely and innovative volume offering a sophisticated examination of one of the many uses of computers in the social sciences. In this insightful volume Pfaffenberger explores the world of personal computing in social science research, providing both a practical/methodological and critical/theoretical perspective. Pfaffenberger surveys the ways microcomputers and microcomputer programs can be used to further the goals of qualitative social research. He critically analyzes the potential liabilities and benefits of using microcomputer technology for research purposes. This book addresses such issues as: the need for computers in qualitative research, the nature of qualitative analysis, word processing software and field notes, automatic indexing, text oriented data base management programs, and automated data analysis. This comprehensive volume is an asset for qualitative researchers, and an excellent supplementary text for courses in research methodology. "Pfaffenberger . . . is a thoughtful and highly knowledgeable advocate of the process. . . . In a sense, this book is also an exercise in the sociology of technology, since Pfaffenberger is highly sensitive to the ways in which computer software is socially constructed. . . . [It] will provide much useful and thought-provoking advice for researchers and students alike." --Contemporary Sociology "Meets the special problems of microcomputers by attempting a theoretical solution....I thought Pfaffenberger's proto-theoretical approach held out the most hope for the future." --Journalism Quarterly

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