Qualitative Analysis for Planning and Policy

Beyond the Numbers

By John Gaber, AICP, Sharon Gaber

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Hardcover $34.97

Census data, population projections, trip estimates. Planners know numbers. But numbers don't always tell the whole story. Qualitative analysis — which yields data in words and images rather than numbers — is an important tool in any research project.

Planners can use field research, photography, focus groups, and content analysis and meta-analysis to develop compelling data for a variety of uses. This book explains how to use and adapt these techniques and how to integrate these methods with more traditional qualitative research.

Chapters offer step-by-step guidance to setting up various kinds of qualitative research projects, collecting data, organizing data, and analyzing data. Case studies show how a mix of qualitative and quantitative research can help planners build consensus and tackle large, complicated projects.

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Page Count
Date Published
Dec. 15, 2007
APA Planners Press

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction
The Need for Qualitative Planning Research
Research Methodology
Choosing a Qualitative Method
Questions of Validity and Reliability
How This Book Is Organized

Chapter 2. Field Research
What Is Field Research?
Doing Field Research
Nonparticipant Observation
Participant Observation
Full Participation
Questions of Internal and External Validity and Issues of Reliability in Field Research
Integrating Technology with Field Research

Chapter 3. Photographic Research
What Is Photographic Research?
Doing Photographic Research
Questions of Internal and External Validity and Issues of Reliability in Photographic Research
Integrating Technology with Photographic Research

Chapter 4. Focus Group Research
What Is Focus Group Research?
Doing Focus Group Research
How Many Focus Groups Are Enough?
The Size of the Group
Recording the Data
Questions of Validity and Reliability in Focus Group Research
Integrating Technology with Focus Group Research

Chapter 5. Content Analysis and Meta-Analysis
What Is Content Analysis and Meta-Analysis?
Doing Content Analysis and Meta-Analysis
Questions of Internal and External Validity and Issues of Reliability in Content
Analysis and Meta-Analysis
Integrating Technology with Content Analysis and Meta-Analysis

Chapter 6. Getting the Big Picture
The Big Picture
What Is Mixed Method Research?
Doing Mixed Method Research
Questions of Validity and Reliability in Mixed Method Research
The Challenge

Questions for Discussion