Abstract and Keywords
This chapter serves as the introduction to the Oxford Handbook of Qualitative Research. The first half of the chapter responds to two questions. First, the chapter addresses the question: What is qualitative research? In answering the question, the chapter reviews the major elements of research: paradigm, ontology, epistemology (which together form the philosophical basis of research), genre, methods, theory, methodology (which operate at the level of praxis), ethics, values, and reflexivity (which merge the philosophical and praxis dimensions of research). Second, the chapter addresses the question: Who are qualitative researchers? Leavy explains qualitative research as a form of bricolage and qualitative researchers as bricoleurs. The remainder of the chapter reviews the contents of the handbook, providing a chapter by chapter summary.
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