Qualitative Book Award

Report from the 2021 International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry Outstanding Qualitative Book Award Committee

Members of the Qualitative Book Award committee, Ron Pelias, Pat Sikes and Kathy Roulston received 22 nominations for the Qualitative Book award this year. This award recognizes books that make a major contribution to the study and practice of qualitative approaches through success in experimenting with new or traditional writing forms, inclusion of critical reflections on the writing and research process, contributions to living meaningful lives, and insights into creating a socially just world. As in other years, we received many wonderful books for review. 

We awarded an Honorable mention to: 

Faulkner, S. L. (2020). Poetic inquiry: Craft, method and practice (2nd ed.). Routledge. 

Sandra Faulkner’s Poetic Inquiry: Craft, method and practice charts a detailed methodological path for those interested in using poetry as a qualitative research tool. Representing research findings through poetry has a long history. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century Charles Darwin’s grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, wrote epic poems dealing with plant classification, the origins of life, and evolution because he felt that such a form was the best way of communicating his ideas. Richly informed by contemporary poetics, Faulkner provides a primer on poetic construction and demonstrates the variety of poetic strategies that researchers might call upon as they go about their work. This book goes beyond representation to show how poetics can inform the whole research process, including design, data collection, analysis. For all researchers wanting to explore and engage in poetic inquiry, this book is essential reading. And it also inspired one of the award panel members to try writing a research poem…. 

We awarded the winner of the 2021 Qualitative Book Award to:

Edwards, E. B., & Esposito, J. (2020). Intersectional analysis as a method to analyze popular culture: Clarity in the matrix. Routledge. 

Erica Edwards and Jennifer Esposito’s book Intersectional analysis as a method to analyze popular culture: Clarity in the matrix belongs to that rare breed of textbooks that has something for novices and more experienced readers alike. It’s engaging, critical, thoughtful, ethical, grounded, and scholarly and although it deals with the complex and complicated mess that is social life it does so in a way that really does exemplify the ‘bit after the colon’ – that is, it provides a way to come to some clarity in the matrix. In these days when it sometimes seems as if ‘identity politics’ has fracturing and disruptive consequences, it is certainly worth being shown how applying an intersectional lens can help researchers better make sense of and more fairly represent lives. 

Members of the review panel agreed unanimously that we’ve read no discussions of intersectionality that demonstrate greater clarity and insight than Edwards and Esposito’s book. Not only do the authors make a compelling theoretical case for intersectional work, they apply their ideas, coupled with their own positionality, to a variety of cultural artifacts, including television programs, film, music, and social media. As readers, we came away with greater understanding about the power and necessity of intersectional research, and the importance and value of being critical readers of popular culture. We enthusiastically recommend this book to you and your students.