Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 31, 2012 | DOI: 10.4135/9781848607927 | Print ISBN: 9781412907804 | Online ISBN: 9781848607927| Publisher:SAGE Publications LtdAbout this handbook
Chapter 18: Using the Internet for Qualitative Research
Alison Evans & Jonathan Elford & Dick Wiggins
Using the internet for qualitative research Since the emergence of the internet in the mid-1990s, social scientists have sought to capitalize on this multifaceted research resource. It has served as a site for retrieving information and data, as well as a means of generating new data. While qualitative researchers have been somewhat hesitant to incorporate the internet into their data collection strategies, this chapter will illustrate that the internet provides an attractive medium for collecting qualitative data that is well worth considering. One possibility is for qualitative researchers to use the internet as a source of ‘unsolicited narratives’ (Robinson, 2001). In this way, unsolicited data are gathered from one or more online sources which may include web pages and blogs (online journals), newsgroups and bulletin boards, which are used to post and respond to online messages, and chat rooms, where participants interact in real time. Such sources provide ready access ...