SAGE Journal Articles
SAGE journal articles and other additional readings have been carefully selected by the author to accompany each chapter. Click on the following links. Please note these will open in a new window.
Gilgun, J. (2015). Beyond description to interpretation and theory in qualitative social work research. Qualitative Social Work, 14, 741-752.
This article describes analytic procedures that build upon one another and lead toward interpretation and theory construction in qualitative social work research. Using examples from my own research and the research of others, I show relationships between descriptions, analysis, interpretation, and theorizing. Analytic procedures that move researchers beyond description include reflexivity statements, fieldnotes, group analysis of data, creative thinking, and making conscious choices about when and how to add conceptual material in design and analysis. My thesis is that descriptions are the foundation of both interpretation and theory construction and that descriptions themselves are not simple to do.
Keleman, M., Mangan, A., & Moffat, S. (2017). More than a “little act of kindness”? Towards a typology of volunteering as unpaid work. Sociology, 1-18. doi:10.1177/0038038517692512.
Definitions of volunteering are widespread and complex, yet relatively little attention is given to volunteering as unpaid work, even though it intersects with the worlds of paid employment and the domestic sphere, cutting across individual/collective and public/private spaces. This article advances a typology of volunteering work (altruistic, instrumental, militant and forced volunteering/“voluntolding”) that illuminates the complexity and dynamism of volunteering. Using qualitative data from a study of 30 volunteers to explore practices of volunteering as they unfold in daily life, the typology provides much-needed conceptual building blocks for a theory of “volunteering as unpaid work.” This perspective helps transcend the binaries prevalent in the sociology of work and provides a lens to rethink what counts as work in contemporary society. It also invites further research about the effects of ‘voluntolding’ on individuals and society, and on the complex relationship between volunteering work and outcomes at a personal and collective level.
Types, roles, and individuals have collectively held a place in qualitative research alongside and at times within neighborhood and community studies but have not enjoyed systematization. This article examines how “characters” have been, and can be, developed for sociological analysis. Moving from an abridged history of what I will call “character-focused study” – from Simmel, Park, and Hughes to more contemporary work – this article proposes seven common emphases on display throughout 21 qualitative studies drawn from this tradition. The article concludes with a discussion of the potential ramifications ethnographers should consider when making the methodological choice to include characters in the research design and writing of their work.