Professor Nigel Fielding

Emeritus Professor
Wednesday mornings and Thursdays

Academic and research departments

Department of Sociology.



Research interests



Felix Knappertsbusch, Margrit Schreier, Nicole Burzan, Nigel Fielding (2023)Innovative Applications and Future Directions in Mixed Methods and Multimethod Social Research, In: Forum, qualitative social research24(1)22 Freie Universität Berlin

In this editorial, we introduce the FQS special issue "Mixed Methods and Multimethod Social Research—Current Applications and Future Directions" by firstly considering changes and continuities in the field since the publication of FQS 2(1) on "Qualitative and Quantitative Research: Conjunctions and Divergences" (SCHREIER & FIELDING, 2001). We then provide a brief overview of the historical development of mixed research approaches over the past 20 years so as to arrive at a concise description of the status quo. We highlight some of the advances made by researchers applying integrative designs in multiple research areas, as well as methodologists analyzing the conceptual groundwork of mixed methods and multimethod research (MMMR). However, we also point out some of the critical issues remaining to be resolved, including the increasing internal fragmentation of the MMMR discourse and a seemingly growing gap between MMMR methodology and empirical research practice. We conclude by introducing the 13 contributions assembled in this volume.

Nigel Fielding (2023)71Ethnography and the evidence-informed police practitioner, In: Jenny Fleming, Sarah Charman (eds.), Routledge International Handbook of Police Ethnographypp. 71-87 Routledge

The central theme of the chapter is the similarities between ethnography and policework. Several similarities are highlighted. The core similarity concerns ethnographic fieldwork and police investigation, casting the latter inclusively so that it includes not only the work of the detective but police practice more generally. Similarities between the two fields emerge along the way, including matters of competence and craft, knowledge, and experience. Acknowledging that policing seems poised on the brink of substantial change in Western societies, not least to meet the changing expectations of the public, the chapter also directs its analysis to where we may find ourselves in a near future where contemporary efforts to bring about 'evidence-based policing' have matured.

This paper demonstrates the use of mixed methods discovery techniques to explore public perceptions of community safety and risk, using computational techniques that combine and integrate layers of information to reveal connections between community and place. Perceived vulnerability to crime is conceptualised using an etic/emic framework. The etic “outsider” viewpoint imposes its categorisation of vulnerability not only on areas (“crime hot spots” or “deprived neighbourhoods”) but also on socially constructed groupings of individuals (the “sick” or the “poor”) based on particular qualities considered relevant by the analyst. The range of qualities is often both narrow and shallow.Thealternative, emic, “insider” perspective explores vulnerability based on the meanings held by the individuals informed by their lived experience. Using recorded crime data and Census-derived area classifications, we categorise an area in Southern England from an etic viewpoint. Mobile interviews with local residents and police community support officers and researcher-led environmental audits provide qualitative emic data. GIS software provides spatial context to analytically link both quantitative and qualitative data. We demonstrate how this approach reveals hidden sources of community resilience and produces findings that explicate low level social disorder and vandalism as turns in a “dialogue” of resistance against urbanisation and property development.

Nigel G. Fielding (2023)Police communications and social media, In: European journal of criminology20(1)1477370821998969pp. 316-334 Sage

This article considers the affordances of Web 2.0 social media tools for public communications by the police and illustrates their use, presenting data from exploratory fieldwork with officers and staff in five UK police forces. Future lines of development are noted that may merit ongoing research.

Nigel G. Fielding (2020)Critical Qualitative Research and Impact in the Public Sphere, In: Qualitative inquiry26(2)142pp. 142-152 Sage

Critical qualitative research is at a troubled juncture. Web 2.0 has stimulated an appetite for Big Data across the policy community that maps to quantitative research, less to qualitative work. Evidence-based policy places qualitative research at the bottom of the scientific credibility scale. A lurch to the hard Right in the political world marginalizes critical research and sets back the indigenous and alienated, with whom many qualitative researchers most naturally ally. Qualitative research has a long tradition of impact in the policy world. Current trends are set against that tradition to take stock of where we are now.

NG Fielding (2013)Lay people in court: the experience of defendants, eyewitnesses and victims, In: British Journal of Sociology64(2)pp. 287-307 Wiley-Blackwell

The article considers the effect of criminal trial procedures on the experience at court of victims, witnesses and defendants. Trials for offences involving physical violence were observed, and interviews conducted with those involved. The article highlights communication problems lay people encountered relating to courtroom conventions, discusses alternative procedures granting more room for narrative testimony, and draws parallels between such an approach and principles of research methods directed to securing valid, reliable data.

JL Fielding, NG Fielding (2011)User satisfaction and user experiences with Access Grid as a medium for social science research: a research note, In: International Journal of Social Research Methodology14(TBC)pp. 1-13 Taylor & Francis

Access Grid (AG) is a state-of-the-art video conferencing system that operates over computer networks such as the Internet. In the research sphere it has principally been used to conduct meetings of natural scientists in large international collaborations, such as physicists collaborating over the Large Hadron Collider. Social scientists have recently begun exploring the use of AG to conduct ‘virtual fieldwork’ where researchers carry out interviews or moderate group discussions involving participants at remote sites. There have also been experiments in using AG to deliver social research methods training and to facilitate meetings between social researchers and government researchers who are collaborating on research projects. This article provides a quantitative analysis of the experiences of a sample of participants in such AG sessions. It finds a high degree of satisfaction with the technical affordances of the medium, and identifies differences in perspective according to whether a session is research-oriented or has a ‘real world’ purpose.

NG Fielding (2010)Elephants, gold standards and applied qualitative research, In: Qualitative Research10(1)pp. 123-127 Sage Publications Ltd

In a recent article in Qualitative Research, Norman Denzin discussed a variety of threats to qualitative research posed by institutional and professional organizational actors who would elevate Randomized Control Trials and associated practices as the gold standard indexing the quality of all social research. Informed by his long established contributions to the constantly changing field of research methodology, Denzin brought passion, and a rich variety of arguments, to the debate. I argue that this also brought some lapses of rigour that require attention if qualitative methodologists are to put their best case against the narrow and intolerant vision offered by the proponents of gold standards.

NG Fielding (2014)Qualitative Research and Our Digital Futures, In: Qualitative Inquiry20(9)pp. 1064-1073 Sage Publications

Those who lived through the 1960s recall a time of rapid social change and political turmoil. Commentators discern parallels with present times, citing the Arab Spring, the West’s fiscal crisis, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Social science saw its own upheavals in the 1960s—the emergence of Grounded Theory, postmodernism, and perspectives based on the counter-culture, feminism, and minorities. This article sees contemporary equivalents in the growth of “citizen research” and indigenous methods, and consequent struggles over what research is for. We should not see these developments as a crisis in the hegemony of social science but as its coming of age, and qualitative research as its principal arena.

NG Fielding, CA Cisneros-Puebla (2009)CAQDAS-GIS Convergence Toward a New Integrated Mixed Method Research Practice?, In: Journal of Mixed Methods Research3(4)pp. 349-370 Sage Publications Ltd

The article explores qualitative geography and qualitative social science as sites of mixed methods research practice. The authors argue that there is an emergent convergence of methodologies and analytical purposes between qualitative geography and qualitative social science. The authors show how methodological and analytical convergence has been enabled by technological convergence between geographical information systems (GIS) and qualitative software (CAQDAS). The argument is illustrated by examples of convergent geo-referenced mixed methods studies, including a main example from research on reproductive health in Paraguay.

NG Fielding (2010)Virtual Fieldwork Using Access Grid, In: Field Methods22(3)pp. 195-216 SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC

This article discusses the use of Access Grid (AG)-a form of video teleconferencing delivered over computer networks-to perform fieldwork. Interviews and group discussions were conducted with students and criminal court judges at sites remote from the fieldworker. A concept of "engagement'' was used to identify distinctive interactional features and provide a first insight into the AG as a fieldwork medium.

Nigel Fielding, Karen Bullock, Jane Fielding, Graham Hieke (2017)Patterns of Injury on Duty and Perceptions of Support amongst Serving Police Personnel in England and Wales, In: Policing and Society28(9)pp. 1005-1024 Taylor & Francis

This article reports the findings of a large scale survey (N=10,897) which sought to reveal patterns of injury on duty (IoD) and perceptions of organisational and other support amongst serving police personnel in England and Wales. We found that IoD is a multi-faceted issue incorporating wide-ranging physical and psychological injuries and illnesses. We also found that, by their own testimony, IoD is not experienced equally amongst police personnel. Reported experiences of IoD together with satisfaction with, and priorities for, support in the aftermath of injury were shaped by injury type, the role played in the police organisation and the individual characteristics of police personnel, notably, gender. Conceptual and practical implications are discussed.

NG Fielding (2011)Judges and their work, In: Social and Legal Studies20(1)pp. 97-115 Sage Publications

The article discusses judicial activism in the light of research into the attitudes of English judges, and a comparator group of US judges, towards judicial selection, judicial training and sentencing practice. Noting commonalities and shared perspectives, it is argued that the findings indicate enduring features of occupational culture that originate in relations within the legal workgroup and the practical craft of judging. Against the context of highly conventional attitudes, a conservative form of judicial activism is found in respect of resistance to legislative and policy innovation.

NG Fielding (2009)Of Bridges and Limbs A Response to Pascale and Healy, In: Current Sociology57(3)pp. 462-465 Sage Publications Ltd
N Fielding (2010)Mixed methods research in the real world, In: International Journal of Social Research Methodology13(2)pp. 127-138 Routledge, Taylor & Francis Ltd

The article discusses the increasing use of mixed methods designs in applied research, particularly work commissioned by government. The roots of this trend are discussed in the UK and US context, drawing out particularly the implications for qualitative methods, the role of benchmarks and quality standards, and the implications for critical research. Examples from socio‐legal research and research on social aspects of health and illness illustrate the argument.

NG Fielding (2009)Going out on a Limb Postmodernism and Multiple Method Research, In: Current Sociology57(3)pp. 427-447 Sage Publications Ltd

The article argues that `moderate postmodernism' can in certain respects be reconciled with a methodological practice, triangulation, that is based on mainstream methodological foundations. A connection is made between moderate postmodernism and triangulation's orientation to multiple methods. The evolution of social science approaches to triangulation towards a position less concerned with convergent validation and more concerned with using multiple methods to create greater analytic density and conceptual richness facilitates a conciliation between postmodernism and triangulation. The argument is illustrated by contemporary empirical examples.

NG Fielding (2008)Grid computing and qualitative social science, In: Social Science Computer Review26(3)pp. 301-316 Sage Publications review

Qualitative research is increasingly important in policy-related and applied work, as well as in academic work. Grid and high-performance computing (HPC) technologies promise significant potential returns for qualitative researchers. Tagged cyber-research in the United States and e-social science in the United Kingdom (and e-research in general), the application of HPC technologies can enhance the scope, depth, and rigor of qualitative inquiry by enabling new data-handling capacities and analytic procedures; new support for work with colleagues based elsewhere; and new facilities to archive, curate, and exploit the many kinds of data that qualitative researchers use. From these resources flow new challenges to conventions of privacy and research ethics, data integrity and data protection, and the relations between scientific communities and society. Based on a survey, individual interviews, and group discussions, involving qualitative researchers and computer scientists, this article scans existing applications of grid and HPC technologies to qualitative research; indicates potential applications; and identifies associated ethical, practical, and technological challenges.

NG Fielding (2012)Triangulation and Mixed Methods Designs: Data Integration With New Research Technologies, In: Journal of Mixed Methods Researchpp. ?-? Sage Publications

Data integration is a crucial element in mixed methods analysis and conceptualization. It has three principal purposes: illustration, convergent validation (triangulation), and the development of analytic density or ‘‘richness.’’ This article discusses such applications in relation to new technologies for social research, looking at three innovative forms of data integration that rely on computational support: (a) the integration of geo-referencing technologies with qualitative software, (b) the integration of multistream visual data in mixed methods research, and (c) the integration of data from qualitative and quantitative methods.

J Fielding, N Fielding, G Hughes (2013)Opening up open-ended survey data using qualitative software, In: Quality & Quantity47(6)pp. 3261-3276 Springer Netherlands

This article considers the contribution that qualitative software can make to ‘opening up’ Open-Ended Question (‘OEQ’) data from surveys. While integrating OEQ data with the analysis of fixed response items is a challenge, it is also an endeavour for which qualitative software offers considerable support. For survey researchers who wish to derive more analytic value from OEQ data, qualitative software can be a useful resource. We profile the systematic use of qualitative software for such purposes, and the procedures and practical considerations involved. The discussion is illustrated by examples derived from a survey dataset relating to environmental risk in the UK.

NG Fielding, RM Lee (2008)Qualitative e-Social Science/Cyber-Research, In: NG Fielding, RM Lee, G Blank (eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Online Research Methods(26)pp. 491-506 Sage

New computational technologies are finding increasing application in qualitative social research. Prominent amongst these are Grid and High Performance Computing technologies. This chapter considers the potential that such technologies have to benefit the scope, depth and rigour of qualitative research. We argue that it is more than simply a matter of new computational resources. Emergent technologies enable new modes of research, new approaches to analysis, and new relationships between social research and society. Moreover, the emergence of a pervasive computational environment offers a new subject for social science inquiry, raising issues relating to the social shaping of technologies and the role that technology has in shaping society and social relations. Innovative computational developments must not be regarded uncritically.

NG Fielding, R Warnes (2008)Computer Based Qualitative Methods in Case Study Research, In: D Byrne, C Ragin (eds.), Handbook of Case-Based Methods(15) Sage

In recent years the practice of qualitative data analysis has been substantially influenced by the emergence of CAQDAS computer-assisted qualitative data analysis. Qualitative software has enabled more formal and systematic approaches to qualitative data analysis, facilitated closer integration of findings from qualitative and quantitative research and stimulated engagement with multimedia data sources. However, both the methodological literature and developers of qualitative software have largely confined their attention to code-based rather than casebased approaches to qualitative data analysis, and software developed to support the analysis of case study data in the pursuit of causal analysis has been neglected outside that field. The case study field may benefit from a closer engagement with qualitative software, and users of qualitative software may benefit from widening their horizons to include software developed with case study analysis in mind.

NG Fielding (2008)Analytic density, postmodernism, and applied multiple method research, In: M Bergman (eds.), Advances in mixed method research: theories and applications(3)pp. 37-52 SAGE Publications Ltd

The developmental trajectory of multiple method research is a somewhat curious one. Combining methods is at least as old as Thucydides’ account of the Peloponnesian wars, in which the speeches constituting a quarter of the History offer insight into the Greek political mind, the motives of contemporaries, and the arguments they used, so that, blended with the descriptive chronicle, the work balances detailed documentation of events with insights into what they meant to those involved. However, the modern origin of methodological combination is commonly dated to Campbell's ‘multi-trait, multi-method matrix’ in psychology (Campbell and Fiske, 1959), which rendered the concept in highly formal terms. Methodological combination was to be systematic and carefully orchestrated. Approaches following Campbell's inspiration were based on ‘triangulation’, an objective aiming to test and prove relationships. The goal was causal explanation with predictive adequacy and the mechanism was ‘convergent validation’.

NG Fielding, RM Lee, G Blank (2008)The Internet as a Research Medium: An Editorial Introduction to The Sage Handbook of Online Research Methods, In: NG Fielding, RM Lee, G Blank (eds.), The Sage Handbook of Online Research Methods Sage

It is hardly an exaggeration to observe that the Internet has had, is having, and will have a major impact on research methods at every stage of the research process, and beyond. As is by now well known, much of the technical foundation for the Internet was laid during the 1960s by research on computer networking carried out under the auspices of the Advanced Research Program Agency of the United States Department of Defense, and at the National Physical Laboratory in the United Kingdom (an engaging historical account can be found in Naughton, 1999). A period of slow and steady growth followed, with the Internet increasingly taking on an international, and heavily academic, character. The introduction of the World Wide Web fostered a period of substantial expansion in use of the Internet, opening the way for a period of commercial and institutional exploitation and utilization that still continues today.

NG Fielding (2008)The Role of Computer-Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis: Impact on Emergent Methods in Qualitative Research, In: S Hesse-Biber, P Leavy (eds.), The Handbook of Emergent Methods(32)pp. 675-696 Guilford Press

It can be somewhat of a shock for those who have been involved with an innovation when the innovation does not just become mainstream but begins to evolve. We might think with some sympathy about the feelings of the developers of the biplane when the monoplane came along, or those of the engineers busily refining the propellor engine when jets suddenly appeared over European skies in the late stages of World War II. For many researchers and methodologists, computer-assisted qualitative data analysis (‘CAQDAS’) is not yet even mainstream, but those involved in its development can now look back on twenty or so years’ experience, and change is fast in the computing world. Standard typologies already list several distinct generations of qualitative software, and there are new possibilities emerging that arise from the capacities of what is now a mature field of social science computing, while others arise from new computational resources that are just beginning to be applied to qualitative research. To see where we are going we have to know where we have been. The task of this chapter is therefore to provide an account of qualitative software and what it can currently do as a basis from which to then profile the new, incoming, and over-the-horizon possibilities being opened up. We will begin with a discussion of the emergence of qualitative software, and then review the different types of qualitative software and the kinds of work that researchers can do with them. We will then look at an emergent technique that has lately arisen from capacities that have been associated with CAQDAS for some time but have been under-exploited, namely methodological integration, the interrelation of qualitative and quantitative dimensions of social phenomena in the pursuit of fuller and more valid analyses. Finally, we will profile some new emergent techniques that can be glimpsed at their formative stage. These techniques relate to new developments in Grid computing and High Performance Computing (HPC).

NG Fielding (2009)Getting the best out of community policing Police Foundation

Neighbourhood or community policing is like democracy – everyone agrees it is a good thing but the consensus extends little further. Its scope and objectives are contested, and its role in policing is as uncertain as the methods by which it should be achieved. Yet the world’s taxpayers have invested billions in it. This Ideas paper assesses the evidence on community policing, examines different versions of it – Problem-Oriented Policing, Reassurance Policing, Neighbourhood Policing – and highlights the lessons for successful community policing.

NG Fielding (2009)Interviewing II.Four-V Sage Publications Ltd

Interviewing has a strong claim to be the most widely-practiced social science research methods. The ubiquity of this basic activity means that this field has one of the most developed bodies of methodological literature having ramifications throughout the social sciences. Nigel Fielding, the acknowledged expert in the field, has again collected a set of contemporary classic readings. Interviewing has been established as the authoritative and balanced research resource in this subject. It is comprehensive and generic; however, its coverage does not entirely reflect the apportionment of intellectual effort and interest in the field. Interviewing II delves further into the subject and concentrates on articles representing topics that have proven controversial and thus attracted many contributions.

Christina Silver, Nigel Fielding (2008)Using Computer Packages in Qualitative Research, In: C Willig, W Stainton-Rogers (eds.), Handbook of Qualitative Research in Psychology Sage

The support that information technology offers for social and behavioural science research does not simply depend on the development of computer science but on the methodological requirements and analytic practices of given disciplines. Increasing interest in computer-assisted qualitative data analysis (CAQDAS) in psychology relates in part to changes in the professional standing of qualitative research methods. Regardless of debates over the status of qualitative methods in psychology, there are sufficient generic features in the analysis of qualitative data in the human sciences that the IT tools currently available will offer psychologists useful support for their work. While the disciplinary context in which CAQDAS originally developed was skewed somewhat to sociology, psychologists contributed to the development of these tools. This software field is somewhat distinctive in that, from the outset, development has generally been driven by academic social scientists, aided by programmers.

NG Fielding, RM Lee, G Blank (2008)The Sage handbook of online research methods Sage

This handbook is the first to provide comprehensive, up-to-the-minute coverage of contemporary and developing Internet and online social research methods, spanning both quantitative and qualitative research applications. The editors have brought together leading names in the field of online research to give a thoroughly up to date, practical coverage, richly illustrated with examples. The chapters cover both methodological and procedural themes, offering readers a sophisticated treatment of the practice and uses of Internet and online research that is grounded in the principles of research methodology. Beginning with an examination of the significance of the Internet as a research medium, the book goes on to cover research design, data capture, online surveys, virtual ethnography, and the internet as an archival resource, and concludes by looking at potential directions for the future of Internet and online research. The SAGE Handbook of Online Research Methods will be welcomed by anyone interested in the contemporary practice of computer-mediated research and scholarship. Postgraduates, researchers and methodologists from disciplines across the social sciences will find this an invaluable source of reference.

NG Fielding (1995)Community policing Oxford University Press

Community policing seems always in vogue, yet its essential qualities remain elusive. There has been a rush to evaluate community policing before commentators have got to grips with what community police officers do which is distinctive. This book demonstrates, in detail, how community police officers go about such matters as gathering crime-relevant information from people in the local community, how they apply informal social control to public disorder situations, and how they 'play' the police organization itself in order to obtain resources they need and to secure their own advancement. However, such a brief is not sufficient in itself. The point is to use such a discussion of working practices to assess the conceptual apparatus which has been developed to understand community policing, and to evaluate the potential of community policing to achieve the objectives which policy-makers have set for it. That is the agenda of this book.

R Witt, A Clarke, N Fielding (1996)Are Higher Long-Term Unemployment Rates Associated with Higher Crime?, In: University of Surrey School of Economics Discussion Paper DP 7/96
NG Fielding (1988)Actions and structure Sage
NG Fielding (1990)Qualitative knowledge and computing, In: Qualitative Sociology(Summer)
NG Fielding, RM Lee (1997)Applications of computer software in the sociological analysis of qualitative data, In: Bulletin de Methodologie Sociologique57pp. 3-24
NG Fielding (1996)Bias in criminological research, In: Journal of Forensic Psychiatry: a multidisciplinary journal7(1)pp. 5-14
NG Fielding, M Innes (2006)Reassurance Policing, Community Policing and Measuring Police Performance, In: Policing and Society16(2)pp. 127-145

The 50 officers interviewed included trainees and main and senior grade probation officers (PO's) working in 3 probation and aftercare areas. The study also involved 6 months' observation in a number of probation offices, several prisons, a remand center, a detention center, a probation hostel, several intermediate treatment groups, a day treatment center, and a community service unit. Analytic themes were developed from the empirical data. The study concluded that the inherent aspects of probation work as it is formally defined and operated within the occupational culture account for the PO's general commitment to varying measures of social control. However, probation is viewed by the officers as a career in social work in its training, its selection, and the motivation of those who enter it. Control is seen as a necessary part of the work but unlikely to yield much job satisfaction in isolation from the caring and rehabilitative function. An obvious solution to the dichotomy of care and control is commitment to the belief that the control of behavior is an aspect of positive client development, but the study found that officers' approaches to their work are affected by the coexistence of two different approaches to deviants, one emphasizing free will and the other determinism. Officers working under a free will model aim at maximizing reform opportunities for the client, while officers embracing a determinist conception of deviance and social problems find the exercise of control more amenable. Officers express the view that recent developments in criminal justice under the 'justice model' have fostered an emphasis on the control aspects of probation. Chapter notes and a subject index are provided.

JL Fielding, NG Fielding (2015)Emergent Technologies in Mixed- and Multi-Method Research: Incorporating GIS and CAQDAS, In: S Hesse-Biber, RB Johnson (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Multimethod and Mixed Methods Research Inquiry(31)pp. 561-582 Oxford University Press
NG Fielding, JL Fielding (1992)A comparative minority: female recruits to a British constabulary force, In: Policing and Society2(4)pp. 205-218
NG Fielding (1983)Ideology and social psychology, In: Reviewing sociology3(1)pp. 13-15
JL Fielding, NG Fielding (2008)Synergy and synthesis: integrating qualitative and quantitative data, In: P Alasuutari, J Brannen, L Bickman (eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Social Research Methods(33)pp. 555-571 Sage
NG Fielding (1982)Fielding and "Fascism": a reply to Miles, In: Ethnic and Racial Studies5(2)pp. 239-?
NG Fielding (1990)Mediating the message: the co-production of field research, In: American Behavioral Scientist33(5)pp. 608-620
NG Fielding (1982)Legal education for social workers, In: Journal of Social Work Education
N Fielding, RM Lee (1991)Using computers in qualitative research Sage Publications Ltd

This work brings the communication scholar up-to-date on where qualitative methods are in current sociological and educational discourse.

NG Fielding (1986)The politics of the police: a review symposium, In: British Journal of Criminology26(1)pp. 94-105
NG Fielding, C Norris, C Kemp, JL Fielding (1992)Black and blue: an analysis of the influence of race on being stopped by the police, In: British Journal of Sociology43(2)pp. 207-224
NG Fielding (2005)Qualitative research: resurgence, institutionalisation and application, In: Qualitative research: resurgence, institutionalisation and application University of Surrey

The way that the social sciences developed in respect of methodological preferences, and differences between European and North American approaches, helps us to understand why secondary analysis has until recently been a limited practice in qualitative research. To unravel the developments that explain the differing circumstances of secondary analysis in quantitative and qualitative research, we will initially consider the early days of qualitative method, and comment on its location in the foundational social science curriculum, represented by the Chicago School, a key centre of social science during the early twentieth century. As the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago matured, it established a long rivalry with departments of sociology in universities on the Eastern seaboard of the US, and it began to change emphasis to more closely resemble the approach that was dominant in institutions such as Harvard and Columbia. Qualitative methodology became a methodology in retreat during the long years when structural/functionalism and quantitative analysis were dominant. Recent scholarship shows that Chicago=s methodological orientation long had a closer relation to mainstream sociology practices than is often suggested. The period when qualitative methodology was a core part of the Chicago methodological curriculum was relatively brief, and even then, these methods received little more emphasis than conventional statistical methods. Methodological trends generally take some considerable time to ripple out from their origin, though, and national communities of social scientists have their own distinct characteristics. For these reasons we will compare trends in European social science with those in North America during the period that qualitative methodology began its slow re-legitimation. The present period is one in which qualitative methodology has secured enhanced legitimation, but the position is not universal. Methods journals with generic titles, such as Sociological Methods and Research, still seldom publish anything but statistical work grounded in a positivist position, and as one moves away from the Western-centric academic circuit, the methodological picture is generally more conservative, as early US-influenced positivism has taken a long time to recede in countries whose academic system is modelled on the US and whose academics were largely trained in US graduate schools. But in North America and Western Europe, qualitative methodology has achieved a new measure of institutionalisation and it is increasingly applied in work not only within the academic sphere but in research supported by government and the business sector. Applications outside the academic sphere form a focus for the closing discussion, which considers the role of programme evaluation research in promoting qualitative methods, and the role of technology in making qualitative research more acceptable to research sponsors. Throughout the discussion, comment will be made on the implications for secondary analysis.

NG Fielding, A Clarke, R Witt (2000)The economic dimensions of crime Macmillan
NG Fielding, W Mangabeira, R Lee (2004)Computers and Qualitative Research: adoption, use and representation, In: Social Science Computer Review (USA)22(2)pp. 167-178
NG Fielding (1994)Varieties of research interviews, In: Nurse Researcher1(3)pp. 4-12
NG Fielding, S Conroy (1990)Investigating child sexual abuse Police Foundation/Policy
NG Fielding, H Thomas (2008)Qualitative interviewing, In: Researching Social Life(8)pp. 123-144 Sage

Sociologists have always been interested in the attitudes and beliefs of social groups, and much methodological refinement has come about by engaging with the problems posed by trying to get at other people’s feelings. A key method of attitude research is the interview, and, as we will see, it has a central role in a diversity of research designs.

NG Fielding (1981)The credibility of police accountability, In: Polytechnic Law Review6(2)pp. 89-93
N Fielding (1981)The National Front Routledge & Kegan Paul
NG Fielding, M Innes, N Cope (2004)The appliance of science: the theory and practice of crime intelligence analysis, In: British Journal of Criminology45(1)pp. 39-57
NG Fielding, R Witt, A Clarke (1998)Crime, earnings inequality and unemployment in England and Wales, In: Applied Economics Letters5pp. 265-267
NG Fielding (2010)Making, Untangling, and Forecasting the Future of Symbolic Interactionism, In: D Downes, D Hobbs, T Newburn (eds.), The Eternal Recurrence of Crime and Control: Essays in Honour of Paul Rock Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses Paul Rock's contribution to the theoretical development of symbolic interactionism and to the methods associated with empirical investigations informed by symbolic interactionism's analytic framework. It revolves around Rock's landmark book The Making of Symbolic Interactionism. Drawing on this text, the chapter considers Rock's account of the formative period in the original statements of symbolic interactionism and of subsequent debates informed by the critics and critical friends of symbolic interactionism. It focuses on the problematic intersection between symbolic interactionism and the social phenomenologies. It also identifies Rock's contribution to our understanding of fieldwork and, especially, to what he called the ‘pivotal strategy’ of participant observation. It also includes a discussion of the trajectory of symbolic interactionism's later and future development.

NG Fielding (2012)The Diverse Worlds and Research Practices of Qualitative Software, In: Forum: Qualitative Social Research13(2)12 FQS: Forum Qualitative Social Research

The article considers the way that digital research technologies and online environments increasingly support new forms of qualitative research that have emerged as a result of new user groups taking up the practice of social research. New practitioners of qualitative research have entered the field from societies where qualitative research is a newly-established practice, and new cadres of "citizen researchers" have turned to qualitative methods for non-academic purposes. These groups challenge accepted understandings of qualitative methods. The article uses the example of qualitative software as a case study of how qualitative research is enabled by new digital tools that help new user groups extend the application of qualitative research methods.

NG Fielding (1999)The norm and the text: Denzin and Lincoln’s handbooks of qualitative method, In: British Journal of Sociology50(3)pp. 523-532
R Witt, A Clarke, N Fielding (1999)Crime and Economic Activity: A Panel Data Approach, In: British Journal of Criminology39(3)pp. 391-400
NG Fielding (2002)Theorizing community policing, In: British Journal of Criminology42(1)pp. 147-163
J Moran-Ellis, NG Fielding (1996)A national survey of the investigation of child sexual abuse, In: British Journal of Social Work26pp. 337-356
NG Fielding (2006)Identity and intellectual work: biography, theory and research on law enforcement, In: Sociology of Crime, Law and Deviance7pp. 159-181
N Fielding (1991)The police and social conflict Athlone Pr
NG Fielding (2006)Courting violence: Offence against the Person cases in court Oxford University Press
NG Fielding, RM Lee (2002)New patterns in the adoption and use of qualitative software, In: Field Methods14(2)pp. 197-216
N Fielding, M Macintyre (2006)Access grid nodes in field research, In: SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH ONLINE11(2) SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD
NG Fielding (1990)Training the boss: higher police education in Britain, In: Howard Journal of Criminal Justice29(3)pp. 199-205
NG Fielding (1986)Social control and the community, In: Howard Journal of Criminal Justice25(3)pp. 172-189
NG Fielding, R Witt, A Clarke (1998)Common trends and common cycles in regional crime, In: Applied Economics30pp. 1407-1412
NG Fielding, JL Fielding (1991)Police attitudes to crime and punishment: certainties and dilemmas, In: British Journal of Criminology31(1)pp. 39-53
NG Fielding (1999)Policing’s dark secret: the career paths of ethnic minority officers, In: Sociological Research Online4(1)
NG Fielding, S Conroy (1992)Interviewing child victims: police and social work investigations of child sexual abuse, In: Sociology26(1)pp. 103-124
NG Fielding (1981)Ideology, democracy and the National Front, In: Ethnic and Racial Studies4(1)pp. 56-74
NG Fielding (1984)Police socialisation and police competence, In: British Journal of Sociology35(4)pp. 568-590
NG Fielding (1994)The organisational and occupational troubles of community police, In: Policing and Society4(4)pp. 305-322
R Witt, A Clarke, N Fielding (1998)Crime, Earnings, Inequality and Unemployment in England and Wales, In: Applied Economics Letters5(4)pp. 265-267
NG Fielding (1987)Being used by the police, In: British Journal of Criminology27(1)pp. 64-69
NG Fielding (2005)Concepts and theory in community policing, In: Howard Journal of Criminal Justice44(5)pp. 460-472
NG Fielding (1986)Evaluating the role of training in police socialization: a UK example, In: Journal of Community Psychology14(3)pp. 319-330
NG Fielding, R Lee (1998)Computer analysis and qualitative research Sage
NG Fielding (2002)Interviewing4 vols Sage Publications Ltd
N Fielding (2008)Ethnography, In: Researching Social Lifepp. 145-163 Sage

This chapter concerns ethnography, a form of qualitative research combining several methods, including interviewing and observation. I examine the emergence of ethnography before discussing the practicalities of conducting ethnographic research, including the maintenance of relations in the field, fieldwork roles, and methods for recording field data. Considerable attention is paid to matters of analysis, since the eclecticism of ethnographic methods means that ethnographers often confront problems in converting reams of data into a coherent analysis. The intimacy of field relations prompts a discussion of fieldwork ethics.

R Witt, A Clarke, N Fielding (1998)Common Trends and Common Cycles in Regional Crime, In: Applied Economics30(1)pp. 1407-1412
NG Fielding (1988)Competence and culture in the police, In: Sociology22(1)pp. 45-64
A Clarke, N Fielding, R Witt (2000)Crime, Unemployment and Deprivation, In: N Fielding, A Clarke, R Witt (eds.), The Economics Dimensions of Crimepp. 210-222 Macmillan Press and St. Martin's Press
NG Fielding, JL Fielding (2008)Resistance and Adaptation to Criminal Identity: Using Secondary Analysis to Evaluate Classic Studies of Crime and Deviance, In: Historical Social Research33(3)pp. 75-93 GESIS - Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences, Center for Historical Social Research

Qualitative data offer rich insights into the social world, whether alone or in tandem with statistical analysis. However, qualitative data are costly to collect and analyse. Moreover, it is a commonplace that only a portion of the data so labouriously collected is the subject of final analysis and publication. Secondary analysis is a well-established method in quantitative research and is raising its profile in application to qualitative data. It has a particular part to play when research is on sensitive topics and/or hard-to-reach populations, as in the example considered here. This article contributes to discussion of the potential and constraints of secondary analysis of qualitative data by reporting the outcome of the secondary analysis of a key study in the sociology of prison life, Cohen and Taylor's research on the long-term imprisonment of men in maximum security. The article re-visits Cohen and Taylor's original analysis and demonstrates support for an alternative, if complementary, conceptualisation, using archived data from the original study. Among the methodological issues discussed are the recovery of the context of the original fieldwork and the role of secondary analysis in an incremental approach to knowledge production.

NG Fielding, JH Godsland (1985)Children convicted of grave crimes: Section 53 of the Children and Young Persons Act and childrens' rights, In: Howard Journal of Criminal Justice24(4)pp. 282-297
NG Fielding, JL Fielding (1983)Teaching the sociology of law: an empirical study, In: Journal of Law and Society,10(2)pp. 181-200
NG Fielding, JL Fielding (1987)A study of resignation during British police training, In: Journal of Police Science and15(1)pp. 24-36
NG Fielding, A Clarke, R Witt (1999)Crime and economic activity: a panel data approach, In: British Journal of Criminology39(3)pp. 391-400
NG Fielding (2001)Community policing: fighting crime or fighting colleagues, In: International Journal of Police Science and Management3(4)pp. 289-302
NG Fielding (1999)Research and practice in policing: a view from Europe, In: Police Practice and Research (USA)1(1)pp. 1-29
NG Fielding (2001)On the compatibility between qualitative and quantitative research methods Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung