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Qualitative Research Essay

2131 words - 9 pages


The rationale for qualitative research Qualitative strategies Types of qualitative methods


Qualitative sampling Quality control

Week 3


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Inductive view of relationship between theory and research
o theories and concepts emerge from the data

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Emphasis on words/text rather than numbers Systematic exploration of social phenomenon Description and analysis of social situations A “holistic” understanding Flexible and iterative research method

Exploring a problem Identifying perceptions of a problem Identifying relevant interventions Investigating feasibility, acceptability & appropriateness of solutions Developing ...view middle of the document...

Let‟s consider some examples …





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Avoids „standardised‟ approach to study design Research consists of interaction with study participants Research is open-ended/iterative rather than linear Use of multiple sources of evidence Further investigation into inconsistent evidence Obtaining feedback from subjects of study on results you have produced

(Bryman, A. & Bell, E., 2011)
11 12



Seeing through the eyes of those studied
o taking the role of the other o understanding the meanings people attribute to their world o unexpected findings

Emphasis on social process
o how patterns of events unfold over time o social worlds characterized by change and flux

Flexibility and limited structure
o no „prior contamination‟ by rigid schedules o sensitizing concepts

Description and emphasis on context
o detailed account of the social setting o „thick descriptions‟ of what is going on

Concepts and theory grounded in the data



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Get into groups of 2-4. Discuss ways in which you and your group members are the same and different from one another Next, discuss how the differences between you and your group members arise and have been constructed by your experiences Think about the implications of individual differences on research and the way in which we explore specific issues



Constructionism focuses on how reality is constructed. “Constructing reality means making accounts of the world around us and gaining impressions based on culturally defined and historically situated interpretations and personal experiences….. “The reality people experience in everyday life is a constructed reality – their reality – based on interpretation” (Sarantakos, 2005, p.35)

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A research strategy in which theory is developed from data generated by a series of observations or interviews principally involving an inductive approach Far more common approach to qualitative analysis A continual process of testing





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Research uses both qualitative and quantitative methods Think of these on a continuum from unstructured to structured In our discipline we deal with empirical (observed) data Methods we use are our tools Thus, selecting the „right tool‟ is vital



Interviews Focus Groups Participant observation Content analysis

Qualitative interviews…
o are less

structured/standardized viewpoint the topic

o take the participant‟s o encourage „rambling‟ off o are more flexible o seek rich, detailed


o aim to understand rather

than to generalize…



Characterised by:
o Length – 30 mins to several hours o Depth – more in-depth than a typical questionnaire-based interview o Structure – fluid, informal structure

Unstructured interview
o few, loosely defined topics o open-ended...

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