David Silverman

David Silverman
University of Leeds

BSc Econ LSE; MA Sociology UCLA, PhD LSE
I teach interactive workshops in qualitative research for universities in UK, Europe and Australia

About

78
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Introduction
David Silverman currently is a Visiting Professor at KIng's College London, UTS Sydney and Leeds University Business Schools. University of Technology Sydney. David does research in Qualitative Social Research and offers workshops in that subject to research students.

Publications

Publications (78)
Article
Full-text available
This article seeks to develop our understanding of the agency of vulnerable groups who at first sight may not seem to have much agency in their lives. It explores the co‐constructed nature of agency in three Danish homeless shelters. Unlike earlier interview‐based studies, our research is based on naturalistic data drawn from 23 video‐recorded plac...
Article
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Atkinson and Silverman’s (1997) depiction of the Interview Society analysed the dominance of interview studies that seek to elicit respondents ‘experiences’ and ‘perceptions’. Their article showed that this vocabulary is deeply problematic, assuming an over-rationalistic account of behaviour and a direct link between the language of people’s accoun...
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Commentary Taking theory too far? A commentary on Avison and Malaurent David Silverman1,2,3 1Goldsmiths’ College, London, UK; 2King’s College, London, UK; 3Business School, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia E-mail: d.silverman@gold.ac.uk Journal of Information Technology advance online publication, 16 September 2014; doi:10.1057/jit.2014....
Article
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Many PhD students begin as unconscious Naturalists or Emotionalists using interview studies to report people's "experience" of an unquestioned social "problem." An analysis of articles in one journal shows that this naïve use of interview data has become the common currency of qualitative research. In a critique of one such article, I show how inte...
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In this response, I examine the ambiguity about the status of Membership Categorization Device Analysis (MCDA) in the work of Harvey Sacks. The ‘five guiding principles’ of MCDA that Stokoe enunciates serve as a crucial guide to future research. In what follows, I give some further examples of data analysis which, I believe, supports both her stron...
Book
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This is the perfect book for any student new to qualitative research. In this exciting and major updating of his bestselling, benchmark text, David Silverman walks the reader through the basics of gathering and analysing qualitative data. David Silverman offers beginners unrivalled hands-on guidance necessary to get the best out of a research metho...
Book
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This is a study of the execution of a particular medical and surgical policy. It concerns the special treatment accorded to children with Down's Syndrome (once called 'Mongolism') in just one pediatric cardiology clinic. As with all of medicine, different clinics have different policies. In the clinic, this policy was one of non-intervention. Where...
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Numbers apparently talk. With few numbers, qualitative researchers appear to rely on examples or instances to support their analysis. Hence research reports routinely display data extracts which serve as telling instances of some claimed phenomenon. However, the use of such an evidential base rightly provokes the charge of (possible) anecdotalism,...
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Counseling is a pervasive activity in contemporary institutional life. This article focuses on the ways in which troubles—as socially constructed realities—are talked into being in two counseling settings: a British hemophilia center that counsels individuals who have become HIV-positive through the transfusion of infected blood products and a fami...
Chapter
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what abstract and (wrongly in our view) irrelevant.The chapters in this book, therefore, are written by leading ,research practitioners who ,recount and reflect on their ,own research experience as well as that of others from whom,they have learned. If we privilege practice over principles – or at least link them together as principles-in- practice...
Article
This paper describes an approach to this problem based on a tool called an interactive classifier. An interactive classifier uses the contents of the existing KB and knowledge about its representation to assist the person who is maintaining the KB in describing new KB objects. The interactive classifier will identify the appropriate taxonomic locat...
Article
With information systems (IS), as in other social sciences, the critique of quantitative research can lead to an oversimplified opposition between ‘positivism’ and ‘interpretivism’. This is one reason why qualitative IS research sometimes unnecessarily limits itself to the study of participants' meanings. A simple tabulation of published qualitativ...
Article
Contemporary social science is acutely aware of what happens when we mark or police boundaries. Cross-cultural research highlights such issues. Face-to-face interviews and e-mail exchanges with Asian businessmen appeared to suggest clear boundaries between Tanzanian African and Asian “culture.” However, such ready understanding raises two further i...
Article
This collection aims to offer, in the words of its editor, “a first introduction” to the study of discourse. While its companion vol. 1, Discourse as structure and process, is mainly concerned with cognitive issues, the contributors to vol. 2 focus on social organization and social processes.
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This book assembles a team of internationally-renowned researchers who share a commitment to rigorous, analytically-derived but non-polarized, qualitative research. The contributors reflect on the analysis of each of the kinds of data discussed in this book's observations, texts, talk and interviews—using particular examples of data-analysis to adv...
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A review of the collected lectures of Harvey Sacks edited by Emmanuel Schegloff. It argues that Sacks should be classed as one of the most significant sociologists of the twentieth century. These ideas are taken up in my book Harvey Sacks: Social Science and Conversation Analysis (Polity Press 1998).
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The issues of reliability and validity in qualitative research are not as readily codified as has been the case for quantitative research. However, a variety of methods do exist and are reviewed here. This general review is followed by a detailed illustration of selected techniques, including the use of counting in qualitative research, the develop...
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Milan Kundera's novel Immortality bears a close relation to contemporary social science debates about the production of the self. Commentators like Kleinman and Mishler seem to have introduced a new version of authenticity based on a reinvention of the Romantic subject with the interview (as the medium) and the narrative (as the content) portrayed...
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Researchers are familiar with claims that, for various reasons, many conceptions of reliability and validity are inappropriate to the analysis of qualitative data. Using transcripts drawn from doctor-patient consultations, the authors examine two methods of assessing the reliability of data and the validity of their interpretations. First, the meth...
Article
A perennial issue of sociological analysis is how to address the details of interaction without acknowledging the structurally broad or the subjectively meaningful contexts within which the details occur. The issue centers on the relation between “how” and “why” questions of social order. This article deals with the issue as it emerges in the metho...
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Sacks (1992) has pointed out that participants as well as sociological analysts skilfully manage their descriptions of events. In particular, speakers fashion their account in a way which attends to its implications. In both ordinary conversations and institutional encounters, this means it may sometimes be functional to proceed 'cautiously Followi...
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Although it is acknowledged that counselling can be an important factor in behaviour change, we lack information on how HIV counselling works in practice. Research is reported based on transcriptions of audio-tapes of counselling drawn from seven hospital centres in England and the USA. It is shown that communication occurs in the context of three...
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Sociologists concerned with describing the organization of interaction have, until recently, been faced with two diverging options. Either they can focus on local cultures or on the sequential order of conversation. Ethnography's emphasis on context underpins the first option; conversation analysis' concern with a context-free structure of turn-tak...
Article
This paper reports an innovative cross-national, comparative study of counselling around the HIV-antibody test based on transcripts of recordings of counselling interviews. It reveals recurrent patterns in the ways in which patients and counsellors name patients' partners. The implications of these patterns for professional practice are discussed i...
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Using conversation analytic methods on data drawn from AIDS counselling sessions, we show how professionals and clients organize their verbal exchanges and body movements when talking about another's inner experiences. When the person being discussed is present, a special problem arises. We show how this problem is constituted and resolved by all t...
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Although the AIDS pandemic has generated considerable social science research, the focus has almost entirely been on epidemiology and on survey research studies of health knowledge and behaviour. In contrast, this paper offers an early report on ongoing work into HIV and AIDS counselling as it occurs in practice in a number of English clinics. An a...
Article
Qualitative sociology too easily succumbs to a ‘Romantic’ impulse. In a sociological context, the Romantic seeks to understand raw ‘experience’, usually by the use of unstructured interviews. Such work can lack analytic rigour, failing to distinguish the sociologist from the journalist. Following Wittgenstein and Garfinkel, the approach adopted her...
Chapter
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One way of describing the qualitative-quantitative distinction in the social sciences is by a fairly conventional sociology of knowledge. Viewed from the eastern edge of the Atlantic Ocean, one may detect two very different fashions in social research. Viewed by the contents of its learned journals, North America looks like the home of quantitative...
Article
Twelve-hundred consultations at a paediatric cardiology outpatient clinic were observed and tape-recorded. A random sample of 102 consultations was selected and an analysis made of the demand for information by parents and the extent to which this was met. Statistically significant differences in numbers of questions asked were found related to sta...
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Following Strong's (1979) model of the `ceremonial order' of the clinic, London oncology consultations drawn from the private sector and the National Health Service (NHS) are compared. Using both qualitative and quantitative measures, it is shown that private consultations offer more `personalized' consultations than are found in the NHS. Furthermo...
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The paper examines the format and some interactional dilemmas of outpatient consultations in a clinic for cleft lip and palate. Three problems are addressed. First, the adolescent patient's status as a 'consumer' is problematic: it is ambiguous whether they can be entrusted with decision-making on their own behalf. Second, there is the problematic...
Article
Recent attempts to develop symbolic interactionist methodologies have sought to treat the interview as an object of sociological enquiry as well as a research instrument. But their accounts in terms of interactional rules and presentation of selves are primarily concerned with reactions to interviews, and the display of the interview setting in tal...
Article
Traducción de: The Theory of Organisations
Article
Much work on the clerk has failed to distinguish systematically the types of social situation which different clerks face. This paper reports a study which is attempting to relate some organizational factors to the ideologies of several groups of clerks.
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The emergence, in the past two decades, of a separate discipline of `Formal Organizations' has been associated with the general acceptance of a Durkheimian view of organizations as `natural systems' integrated by a value consensus and a de-emphasis on the processes through which they are related to the social structure. The similarities, in these r...

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Projects (5)
Project
With contributions from leading scholars, the updated fifth edition of this Sage text will be published in December 2020. Contains exciting new chapters on digital data, multiple methods and applied Qualitative research. See Sage website: https://uk.sagepub.com/en-gb/eur/qualitative-research/book271731#contents
Project
This bestselling edited book with famous authors in a new edition to be published by Sage in November 2020. Exciting new chapters on multiple methods, analysing digital data, researching social problems and narrative analysis.
Archived project