The methods, outcomes and distinct characteristics of qualitative research are presented to establish the relevance of this mode of inquiry for research in social work practice. The phenomenological foundations are outlined and the various methods including ethnograpy, participant-observation and life history are illustrated by the use of an array of qualitative research projects. The same studies also disclose the forms of knowledge generated by qualitative research relative to the importance of values, ethics, culture, spirituality and aesthetics.

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