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UK EDP 656 - Qualitative Research

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Qualitative ResearchSlide 2Goals of Social Research that are primarily answered using qualitative strategiesQualitative Field ResearchCategoriesChallenge of Low-Constraint ResearchQualitative Research ParadigmsEthnographySlide 9Slide 10EthnomethodologyFocus GroupsSlide 13Focus GroupParticipation Action Research (PAR)Qualitative InterviewingWho are you going to talk to?When do you quit interviewing?Doing the InterviewAfter the Interview: Writing up the Interview and…Ethical IssuesEvaluating the DataLimitationsQualitative ResearchThe distinction between qualitative and quantitative research is not precise. Most qualitative work has some form of quantitative analysis involved, and visa-versa.Goals of Social Research that are primarily answered using qualitative strategiesGiving voiceInterpreting cultural and historical phenomena –Due to the fact that there are often many aspects involved in historical research, and because many of the materials are not specifically quantitative in natureAdvancing new theories–“Inductive logic”; it goes from a specific case to a general case–qualitative cases are often more in-depth, and give a fuller picture of phenomena than quantitative casesQualitative Field ResearchProduces observations not easily reduced to numbersIncludes a range of data collection methods including field notes, one-to-one and focus group interviews, as well as some forms of content analysis and historical analysisWell suited for studying social process; How does this come about?CategoriesNaturalistic Observation (Ethnography)EthnomethodologySurveysCase StudyFocus GroupsField ExperimentsParticipatory Action ResearchChallenge of Low-Constraint ResearchUsually involves careful observation of participants in their natural surroundings–Can be very difficult to observe behavior in natural surroundings–Often we are not sure what behaviors are important until after we have observed for a while–Without the controls of the laboratory, participants are free to do what they want to do, and not what we are hoping to observeQualitative Research ParadigmsNaturalists Studies or EthnographyEthnomethodologyGrounded TheoryEthnographyA research method whereby the researcher emerges her/himself in a setting of interest for the purpose of gathering detailed data about the group (culture, symbols, processes, membership boundaries, etc.) Studying social life in its natural settingEthnographyPrimary data gathering tools: field notes and depth interviewsMembership Roles:–Complete Membership (Complete Participant) – assume functional roles and are not necessarily known as researcher; most closely aligned emotionally with others in group; aligned ideologically with group; closest to “going native” –Active Membership – assume functional roles but maintain escapes for maintaining perspective on setting (debrief with colleagues)–Peripheral Membership – does not assume functional roles but known to group members Complete Observer (non-membership role)EthnographyDistance from ideology of group (perhaps) allows you to better frame and explain ideasKnown and Unknown observers–Ethics –Data collection considerationsEthnomethodologyRelies on techniques for breaking ‘taken for granted rules’ to better understand the invisible set of norms and values that surround and guide our daily interactionsBabbie’s public trash exampleResearch subjects themselves are not so much the focal point of investigation as are the practices and processes that enable and constrain their daily livesFocus GroupsEstablishing the Group–Small group–Coordination Issues –Paying your subjects –Finding a place –Need at least two research team members; facilitation and note-taking –Purpose: RICH DATA not generalizabilityFocus GroupsAdvantages–Real-life data in a social setting –Flexibility –Speedy results –Low in cost –Group Format generates discussionFocus GroupDisadvantages–Groupthink –Less control than one-to-one interview –Data more difficult to analyze–Moderators need to be skilled –Differences between groups can be troublesome–Difficult to coordinate –Reliability issues–Recording process –Probing and Follow-Up Questions –INTERVIEWER TRAINING IS CRITICALParticipation Action Research (PAR)Explicitly and implicitly, PAR has a goal of meeting community needs and/or giving back to the communities of researchWith PAR, the communities of research are included as “experts” in deciding the focal point of research (problem conceptualization); and investigation strategy (research design) to help the community.Research is conceived as a tool of community empowerment. –You as researcher are guide. –This is a substantial departure from traditional models where research expert objectifies subjects of research, extracts data, and leaves without further contact.Qualitative Interviewing Good technique for researchers less interested in “variables” and more interested in how individuals subjectively see the world and make sense of their livesWho are you going to talk to? Theoretical Sampling –Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss; 1967; The Discovery of Grounded TheoryThe data collection, coding and analysis processes occur ongoing providing us direction for who needs to be talked to next… and perhaps new types of questions that need to be askedWhen do you quit interviewing? Theoretical SaturationYou quit interviewing when you have reached “theoretical saturation”–exhausted the variation in data patterns emerging; no new themes are being offered by added interviewsExample: Midwifery Research; Rationale for choosing homebirth–Natural life event, Control and Empowerment, Safety, Care availability, Quality of Care–You are presenting the set of of ideas, patterns, practices which were communicated in interviews (# that talked about each does not matter). However, if only 1 person out of 30 mentions something, it would not e included in the set of “themes” in the analysis.Doing the InterviewIntroduction and Building RapportIntroduction and Building Rapport –explain purpose again –verbal


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