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Challenge & Innovation by Mary Boulton

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Chapter 5

Analysing Naturally-Occurring Data on AIDS Counselling: Some Methodological and Practical Issues

David Silverman

One of the least fruitful questions one can ask a sociologist is: ‘to what school of social science do you belong?’ For instance, although it would be easy to interpret this chapter as a defence of ‘qualitative methodology’, this would be misleading. As I will shortly explain, I reject the fashionable identification of qualitative method with an analysis of how people see things, preferring to focus instead on how people do things. Moreover, there are no principled grounds to be either qualitative or quantitative in approach. It all depends upon what you are trying to do. Indeed, often one will want to combine both approaches. ...

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