Until the 1980s, it was still common for humanistic and other qualitative media and communication researchers to refer to their own contributions as “nonscientic” (Farrell, 1987: 123). For some, this terminology served as a way of securing a (negatively dened) niche for reections on human communication outside the social ‘sciences.’ For others, ‘critique’ represented the preferred alternative to a mainstream ‘science’ that would limit itself to describing, rather than changing, predominant media and communicative practices. While many methodological, theoretical, as well as political fault lines remain, the last three decades have witnessed two important developments for qualitative research. First, more dialogues – between qualitative and quantitative traditions, between ‘critical’ and ‘administrative’ researchers, and across the classic divide between arts and

sciences (Snow, 1964) – have been initiated; the chapters in this volume, and many of the works cited, trace this development. Second, journal, textbook, and handbook publications have served to establish standards and procedures for qualitative research. The present chapter reviews the state of qualitative methodologies in media and communication studies, with special reference to the requirements of systematic qualitative research projects.