Advanced Qualitative Research for Nursing

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DatePublished - 2003
PublisherBlackwell Scientific
Original languageEnglish
ISBN (Print)ISBN 0-632-05946-X

Abstract

Advanced Qualitative Research offers essays on qualitative methodologies developed to research nursing practice and health care in ways which reflect their complexity. The work represented here is international and interdisciplinary. The approaches discussed produce research which is both theoreti- cally informed and relevant. At the same time, the ideas offered help rewrite what can be counted as relevant not just to nurses and patients, but also to the organisation of health care more generally.
I was once a nurse, and am now a practising social scientist. My work, like that of colleagues writing in this book, has been at pains to make visible the socio-political conditions under which nurses practise and which nurses' practices help to (re)produce. But the authors here have each attempted to go further than that.
Nursing research has been accused by one of the most highly respected of methodological writers of being overly romantic. This means that naivete over methodology in nursing research can detractfromitsvalidity.Somenursingresearchiscertainlyseento be driven by a professionalising agenda. In contrast, critical nursing research, as methodologically and theoretically sound as it may be, is at risk of leaving out some of the story about what nurses accomplish. This challenge requires different kinds of approaches which go beyond the critical.
For most of the authors, nursing and health care are about keeping the other, and their otherness, in mind. In many ways, health care practices engage people in relations where what is at stake is otherness. This is to stress the uniqueness of any illness for the person and their loved ones, and acknowledge the invisible and the inexpressible. The methodologies in this volume reflect this:
they are designed to make visible what is so easily marginalised or left implicit.
While to recognise our debt to social phenomena is not to lessen the authenticity of people as persons, selves emerge in our meth- odologies as socially located subjects. Rather than individual isolates, they remain experiencing and sentient beings. Conse- quently, as methodologically rigorous and epistemologically com- plex as the following articles are, they all keep sight of a key issue foranyresearchonnursingandhealthcare:anengagementas,and with, persons.
We would like to thank our editors for the opportunity to publish this collection, and the book's reviewers for their support and insightful comments.
JL

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