Cover of Rocking Qualitative Social Science by Ashley T. Rubin
Rocking Qualitative Social Science
An Irreverent Guide to Rigorous Research
Ashley T. Rubin


304 pages.
from $30.00

Hardcover ISBN: 9781503611399
Paperback ISBN: 9781503628236
Ebook ISBN: 9781503628243

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Excerpts and More

Unlike other athletes, the rock climber tends to disregard established norms of style and technique, doing whatever she needs to do to get to the next foothold. This figure provides an apt analogy for the scholar at the center of this unique book. In Rocking Qualitative Social Science, Ashley Rubin provides an entertaining treatise, corrective vision, and rigorously informative guidebook for qualitative research methods that have long been dismissed in deference to traditional scientific methods. Recognizing the steep challenges facing many, especially junior, social science scholars who struggle to adapt their research models to narrowly defined notions of "right," Rubin argues that properly nourished qualitative research can generate important, creative, and even paradigm-shifting insights. This book is designed to help people conduct good qualitative research, talk about their research, and evaluate other scholars' work. Drawing on her own experiences in research and life, Rubin provides tools for qualitative scholars, synthesizes the best advice, and addresses the ubiquitous problem of anxiety in academia. Ultimately, this book argues that rigorous research can be anything but rigid.

About the author

Ashley T. Rubin is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa.

"In this utterly refreshing account, Rubin makes the research process fun again. By deconstructing the limits we place upon ourselves as qualitative researchers, this book opens up new pathways for rigorous, empirical research that is grounded in thoughtful and reflective processes. Those new to the field and those seeking to build confidence or rethink their strategies will benefit from this readable and inspiring guide."

—Sarah Lageson, author of Give Methods a Chance

"Rocking Qualitative Social Science is Ashley Rubin's love letter to her fellow dirtbaggers—we DIY-minded scholars who ask unconventional questions, find and forge new ways to untangle complex social problems, and obsessively track down leads and explore unusual spaces. Packed with useful advice for every stage of the research process, Rubin's methodological mixtape celebrates the robust community of gritty, dedicated investigators and storytellers pushing social science forward."

—Joshua Page, Associate Professor of Sociology and Law, University of Minnesota