This textbook presents an engaging introduction to the theory and methods of qualitative research in the social sciences. The authors employ a `holistic' approach to research by tightly linking research questions with the appropriate set of qualiative methods. They cover all the key mainstream qualitative methods, as well as a number of more unconventional ones such as oral history, visual and unobtrusive methods, and present an overview of mixed-methods approaches. As part of their discussion of the ethical issues underpinning all social research, the authors raise important issues concerning the problems and prospects novice researchers confront in researching human subjects. Key Features: - `Behind-the-Scenes' boxes provide valuable insights written by well-known qualitative researchers on problems and issues they have encountered in their research - Discussion questions, created and tested by undergraduate students, aimed at generating further thinking, group debates and practice work with the various methods and methodologies reviewed - In-depth examples carried through each chapter, so that students can see how different approaches to a particular topic allows a researcher to ask certain questions and gain particular kinds of insights - A thoroughly up-to-date analysis of the range of computer software programs available - Lists of suggested websites so that students can continue to research topics of interest, exploring recent work in the field. The Practice of Qualitative Research will be an invaluable textbook for students at upper undergraduate and graduate level across the social sciences. Examples are drawn from a range of disciplines including sociology, education, commnication, and psychology. The candid wisdom and tips from leading researchers will help students with the day-to-day process of completing a successful research project.