a book review by SAM LADNER
Qualitative Literacy: A Guide to Evaluating Ethnographic and Interview Research
by Mario Luis Small and Jessica McCrory Calarco
August 2022, 230 pp, University of California Press
This book is a must-read for any researcher, even those who specialize in quantitative methods.
It aims to be a textbook but achieves much more than that because it focuses on what it takes to be “literate” in qualitative data – the very thing that our stakeholders need to be more sophisticated customers of our work. Qual researchers know all too well that basic qual familiarity is lacking in most contexts, but we don’t always have the language to explain to our stakeholders how to best leverage qual data. This book helps us do that.
Imagine being a writer in a world where no one was literate. Imagine the constant struggle to train up, support, and explain your work to people who cannot read, while at the same time being told the reason they cannot understand your writing is because it isn’t good enough....