Lecturequalitative research--Qualitative Research.pdf

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  • 8/13/2019 Lecturequalitative research--Qualitative Research.pdf



  • 8/13/2019 Lecturequalitative research--Qualitative Research.pdf


    What is QualatativeResearch?1

    n takes place in a natural settingresearcher goes to the site of theparticipant to conduct the research

    n uses multiple methods that are interactive and humanisticresearchers seek involvement of their participants in datacollection and seek to build rapport and credibility. Methodsmay involve open-ended observations, interviews, anddocuments such as journals.

    n the data collected involve text (or word) data and images (orpicture) data

    n is emergent rather than tightly preconfiguredthe researchquestions may change and be refined; the data collection processmay change; the theory or general pattern of understanding willemerge and move toward grounded theory or broadunderstanding

    1 Adapted from Creswell, J.W. 2003. Research Design: Qualitative,Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches (2ndEdition). Thousand Oaks: SagePublications.

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    What is QualatativeResearch?(contd)

    n is fundamentally interpretative as researcher describes, individuals,settings, and relations; researcher filters observations through apersonal lens that is situated in a specific historical moment.

    n views social phenomena holistically; broad views rather than

    micro-analyses; visual models of the central process orphenomenon help establish holistic picturen researcher systematically reflects on who he or she is in the

    inquiry (introspection); acknowledges biases, values, and interests;statements of personal reflection emerge or are embeddedthroughout a proposal or study;

    n involves complex reasoning that is multifaceted, iterative, andsimultaneous; reasoning is largely inductive but both inductiveand deductive processes are involved.

    n uses one or more strategies of inquiry as a guide for theprocedures.

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    Foundational Differences

    n The major difference between qualitative andquantitative research stems from theresearchers underlying strategies.

    n Quantitative research is viewed as confirmatoryand deductivein nature.

    n Qualitative research is considered to beexploratory and inductive.

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    Foundational Similarities

    n All qualitativedata can be measured and codedusing quantitativemethods.

    n Quantitativeresearch can be generated from

    qualitativeinquiries.n Example: One can code an open-ended interview

    with numbers that refer to data specific references,or such references could become the origin of arandomized experiment.

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    Qualitativeand QuantitativeApproaches

    Tests or verifies theories orexplanationsIdentifies variables to studyRelates variables in questionsor hypotheses

    Uses standards of validity andreliabilityObserves and measuresinformation numericallyUses unbiased approachesEmploys statistical procedures

    Positions himself or herselfCollects participant meaningsFocuses on a single concept orphenomenonBrings personal values into the

    studyStudies the context or setting ofparticipantsValidates the accuracy offindingsMakes interpretations of dataCreates an agenda for change orreform

    Collaborates with participants

    Use these practices ofresearch, as the researcher

    Closed-ended questions,predetermined approaches,

    numeric data

    Open-ended questions, emergingapproaches, text or image data

    Use these methods

    Surveys and experimentsPhenomenology, groundedtheory, ethnography, case study,and narrative

    Use these strategies ofinquiry


    Constructivist/Advocacy/Participatory knowledge claims;Use these philosophicalassumptions


    Source: Creswell, J.W. 2003. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches (2ndEdition). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

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    List of Qualitative Data CollectionProcedures

    n Gather observational notes by observing as a participantn Gather observational notes by observing as an observern Conduct unstructured, open-ended interview and take interview


    n Conduct unstructured interview, audiotape the interview, andtranscribe the interviewn Keep a journal during the research study

    n Have a participant keep a journal during the research studyn Optically scan newspaper accountsn Collect personal letters from participantsn Analyze public documents (e.g., official memos, minutes,

    records, archival materials)

    Source: Creswell, J.W. 2003. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches (2ndEdition). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

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    List of Qualitative Data CollectionProcedures (Contd)

    n Examine autobiographies and biographiesn Have a participant write his or her autobiographyn Write your own (the researchers) autobiography

    n Have participants take photographs or videotapes

    n Examine physical trace evidence (e.g., footprints)n Videotape a social situation or an individual/ group

    n Examine photographs or videotapesn Collect sounds (e.g., musical sounds, crowd noises)n

    Collect e-mail or electronic messagesn Examine possessions or objects to elicit views during an


    n Collect smells, tastes, or sensations through touch

    Source: Creswell, J.W. 2003. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches (2ndEdition). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

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    Terminology in Qualitative Research

    n Grounded theory

    n Ethnography


    Phenomenologyn Field research

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    Grounded Theory

    n Grounded theory refers to an inductive process ofgenerating theory from data.

    n This is considered ground-up or bottom-upprocessing.

    n Grounded theorists argue that theory generated

    from observations of the empirical world may bemore valid and useful than theories generated fromdeductive inquiries.

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    Grounded Theory (cont)

    n Grounded theorists criticize deductive reasoningsince it relies upona prioriassumptions about theworld.

    n However, grounded theory incorporates deductivereasoning when using constant comparisons.

    n In doing this, researchers detect patternsin theirobservations and then create working hypothesesthat directs the progression of the inquiry.

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    n Ethnography emphasizes the observationof details of everyday life as they naturally

    unfoldin the real world. This issometimes called naturalistic research.

    n Ethnography is a method of describing aculture or society. This is primarily usedin anthropological research.

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    n Phenomenology is a school of thought thatemphasizes a focus on peoples subjectiveexperiences and interpretationsof the world.

    n Phenomenological theorists argue thatobjectivity is virtually impossible to ascertain,

    so to compensate, one must view all researchfrom the perspective of the researcher.

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    Phenomenology (cont)

    n Phenomenologists attempt to understandthose whom they observe from thesubjects perspective.

    n This outlook is especially pertinent insocial work and research where empathy

    and perspectivebecome the keys tosuccess.

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    Field Research

    n Field research is a general term that refers to agroup of methodologies used by researchers in

    making qualitative inquiries.

    n The field researcher goes directly to the socialphenomenon under study and observes it as

    completely as possible.

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    Field Research (cont)

    n The natural environmentis the priority of the fieldresearcher. There are no implemented controls or

    experimental conditions to speak of.

    n Such methodologies are especially useful inobserving social phenomena over time.

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    n Participant observation

    n Direct observationn Unstructured or intensive interviewing

    n Case studies

    n Focus Groups

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    Participant Observation

    n The researcher literally becomes part oftheobservation.

    n Example: One studying the homeless maydecide to walk the streets of a given area inan attempt to gain perspective and possibly

    subjects for future study.

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    Direct Observation

    n Direct observation is where the researcher

    observes the actual behaviorsof the subjects,instead of relying on what the subjects sayabout themselves or others say about them.

    n Example: Observing people in a National Parkvisitor center as they interact with various

    interpretive displays.

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    Unstructured or IntensiveInterviewing

    n This method allows the researcher to ask open-ended questions during an interview.

    n Detailsare more important here than a specificinterview procedure.

    n Here lies the inductiveframework throughwhich theory can be generated.

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    ExampleDeep Play and the FlowExperience in Rock Climbing

    The physical and mental requirements involved in staying on therock act as a screen for stimuli of ordinary life.

    When I start on a climb, its as if my memory input had been cut off. All I canremember is the last thirty seconds, and all I can think ahead is the next fiveminutes.with tremendous concentration the normal world is forgotten.

    When youre [climbing] youre not aware of other problematic life situations.It becomes a world unto its own, significant only to itself. Its a concentrationthing. Once youre into the situation, its incredibly real, and youre very muchin charge of it. It becomes your total world.

    Youre moving in harmony with something else, youre a part of it. Its one ofthe few activities in which you dont feel you have all sorts of different kinds ofconflicting demands on you.

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    Case Studies

    n A particular case study may be the focus of any of thepreviously mentioned field strategies.

    n The case study is important in qualitative research,especially in areas whereexceptionsare being studied.

    n Example: A national park may have crowding

    conditions that are not experienced at other nationalparks. Visitor behavioral problems are unique to thesetting and potential managerial solutions have notbeen researched.

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    Strengths and Weaknesses

    n Objectivity

    n Reliability


    Validityn Generalizability

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    n It is given that objectivity is impossibleinqualitative inquiry. Instead the researcherlocates his/ herself in the research.

    n Objectivity is replaced by subjectiveinterpretation and mass detail for later


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    n Since procedure is de-emphasized in qualitativeresearch, replication and other tests of reliabilitybecome more difficult.

    n However, measures may be taken to makeresearch more reliable within the particular study(such as observer training, or more objective

    checklists, and so on).

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    n Qualitative researchers use greaterdetailto argue for the presence of constructvalidity.

    n Weak on externalvalidity--results for themost part, do not extend much further

    than the original subject pool

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    n Samplingmethods determine the extent of thestudys generalizability.

    n Quota and Purposive samplingstrategies are usedto broaden the generalizability.

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    Summaryn There are always trade-offsin research.

    n Are you willing to trade detail for


    n Will exploratory research enable you togenerate new theories?

    n Can you ask such sensitive questionson aquestionnaire?

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    Summary (cont)

    n Will the results add any evidence toward any pre-existing theoryor hypothesis?

    n Is fundingavailable for this research?

    n Do you really need to see numbersto support your

    theories or hypotheses?

    n Are there any ethicalproblems that could beminimized by choosing a particular strategy?

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    CodingQualitative Data

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    What is Coding

    Codingis the process of organizing the qualitative data

    [usually text or image] into chunks before bringing

    meaning to those chunks.

    Codingis analysis. To review a set of field notes,

    transcribed or synthesized, and to dissect themmeaningfully, while keeping the relations between theparts intact, is the stuff of analysis.

    Miles and Huberman, An Expanded Sourcebook: Qualitative Data Analysis, p.


    Th C di P 1

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    The Coding Process1

    1. Get a sense of the whole. Read all the transcriptions carefully. Perhaps write downsome ideas as they come to mind.

    2. Pick one interview or documentthe most interesting, or shortest, or one on topof the pileand read through it asking yourself what it is about. Do not thinkabout the substance of the information but its underlying meaning. Writethoughts in the margin.

    3. After completing this task for several informants, make a list of all topics. Clustertogether similar topics (e.g., place in same piles). Form topics into columns thatmight be arrayed as major topics, unique topics, and leftovers.

    4. Take list of topics and go back to data. Abbreviate the topics as codes and writethe codes next to the appropriate segments of text. Try this preliminary organizingscheme to see if new categories and codes emerge.

    5. Find the most descriptive wording for your topics and turn them into categories.Look for ways of reducing your total list of categories by grouping topics that relateto each other. Perhaps draw lines between categories to show interrelationships.

    6. Make a final decision on the abbreviation for each category and alphabetize thesecodes.

    7. Assemble the data material belonging to each category in one place and perform apreliminary analysis.

    8. If necessary, recode your existing data.

    Source: Tesch, R. 1990. Qualitative research: Analysis Types and software tools. New York: Falmer.

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    Example of Coding

    Li t fP ibl T fC d

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    List of Possible Types of Codes

    Source: Creswell, J.W. 2003. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches (2ndEdition). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

    n Setting and context codes

    n Perspectives held by subjectsn Subjects ways of thinking about people

    and objects

    n Process codesn Activity codes

    n Strategy codes

    n Relationship and structure codesn Preassignedcoding schemes

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    Concept Mapping

    Greg nerd studies in library


    open door

    interacts withstudents


    works toohard

    fits in


    Positive relationshipNegative relationship

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    Concept Mapping


    partyanimal hangs in pub



    passed out

    interacts withstudents



    fits in


    Positive relationshipNegative relationship