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Engaging Crystallization in Qualitative Research: An Introduction

by Laura L Ellingson SAGE Publications, Inc
Pub Date:
Hbk 240 pages
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Drawing upon her multi-award-winning research and book using crystalliSation, author Laura Ellingson presents the first-ever step-by-step guide to employing this cutting-edge methodology. Exploring Crystallization provides: thorough grounding in the field of qualitative research; answers to the relevant epistemological questions that arise when crossing inscribed methodological boundaries; detailed steps for design and planning; explication of the process of creating a multi-genre text and/or series of texts; suggestions for improving both social science and creative analytic writing; and strategies for targeting publication outlets. While other books have explained how to write the new ethnography and autoethnography, and still others have described how to conduct grounded theory in more traditional, social constructionist, and postmodern, frameworks, this is the first work to date that has bridged these worlds in a how to book that celebrates each on its own terms, acknowledges inherent limitations of any genre, and explains how to integrate them through crystallization.

1. Introduction to Crystallization
Constructing Crystallization
Considering Genres
Resisting Dichotomies: A Continuum of Qualitative Methods
Principles of Crystallization
Facets of the Crystal: Types of Crystallization
Strengths of Crystallization
Limitations of Crystallization
Ethnographic Exemplars
Organization of This Book
Conclusion: Frequently Asked Questions About Crystallization
Interlude: Introducing the Author
2. Ethics and Epistemology: Assumptions Underlying Crystallization
What Is Epistemology and Why Does It Matter in Crystallization?
Making Knowledge: An Epistemological Basis for Crystallization
Voicing Other and Self: Ethics of Representation
First Do No Harm: Some Ethical Cautions
Strategies for Ethical Decision Making in Crystallization
Interlude: The Limits of Genre--An Exercise About Ethics and the Construction of Claims
3. Illuminating Options for Analysis and Representation Across the Continuum
Traditional Forms of Analysis
Same Old, Same Old: The Value of Traditional Qualitative Writing
Aesthetics and Analysis: Hybrids of Art and Science
Aesthetic Possibilities: Creative Analytic Practices
Interlude: Resisting Dichotomy, Embracing Continuum
4. Strategies for Design: Putting Crystallization Into Practice
Weighing Your Options
Re/considering the Role of Theory
Decide on a Design
Interlude: Beware the Law of the Hammer
5. Bringing It All Together: Integrated Crystallization
Creating a Coherent Multigenre Text
Blending Genres and Blurring Boundaries: Woven Crystallization
Woven Crystallization Exemplars
Sharpening Edges and Separating Spaces: Patched Crystallization
Patched Crystallization Exemplars
Issues in Constructing Integrated Crystallization
Interlude: Quilting as Activism
6. All Apart: Dendritic Crystallization
Dendritic Practices
Benefits of Dendritic Crystallization
Dispersing Crystallized Findings
A Dendritic Exemplar
But Is This Really Crystallization?
Interlude: Coincidence, Synchronicity, and Putting It Out to the Universe
7. Writing Across the Continuum
Evaluating Writing and Representation
Improving your Process
Writing Well
Bag of Tricks
Interlude: Representing Difference
Writing Resources
8. Publishing and Promoting Crystallization
Lessons of Crystallization
Call to Action: Employing Crystallization to Promote Social Justice
Getting the World Out: Pursuing Publication
Justifying Your Work
Enclosing Wild Power: A Conclusion/Invitation
Interlude: When Your Work Is Rejected

' book emphasizes effective communication and how to articulate complex information to an audience. Although the book is intended primarily for qualitative researchers, I believe it may be an equally important work for quantitative researchers. In reading this book, I have gained a deeper appreciation for qualitative research in general and a better understanding of how different methods can be applied toward understanding truth.' Karl N. Kelley PsycCRITIQUES
Laura L. Ellingson, Ph.D, is Associate Professor of Communication at Santa Clara University. Her research focuses on feminist theory and gender studies, qualitative methodology, and communication in health care organizations, including interdisciplinary communication, teamwork, and provider-patient communication. She is the author ofCommunicating in the Clinic: Negotiating Frontstage and Backstage Teamwork (Hampton Press) and has published articles inHealth Communication,Journal of Aging Studies,Journal of Applied Communication Research, Qualitative Health Research, Womens Studies in Communication, and`s Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Currently, she is conducting an ethnography of communication in a dialysis clinic and a qualitative study of communication between aunts and their nieces/nephews.