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Research Methods in Education 6th Edition

Research Methods in Education 6th Edition

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  • 1. NATURALISTIC, QUALITATIVE AND ETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH © LOUIS COHEN, LAWRENCE MANION & KEITH MORRISON
  • 2. STRUCTURE OF THE CHAPTER • Foundations of naturalistic, qualitative and ethnographic inquiry • Planning naturalistic, qualitative and ethnographic research • Features and stages of a qualitative study • Critical ethnography • Some problems with ethnographic and naturalistic approaches
  • 3. NATURALISTIC METHODS ASK . . . • What are the characteristics of a social phenomenon? • What are the causes of the social phenomenon? • What are the consequences of the social phenomenon?
  • 4. MAIN KINDS OF NATURALISTIC ENQUIRY • Case study • Comparative studies • Retrospective studies • Snapshots • Longitudinal studies • Ethnography • Grounded theory • Biography • Phenomenology
  • 5. MAIN METHODS OF NATURALISTIC ENQUIRY • Participant observation • Interviews and conversations • Documents and field notes • Accounts • Notes and memos
  • 6. THE QUALITATIVE PARADIGM • Humans actively construct their own meanings of situations; • Meaning arises out of social situations and is handled through interpretive processes; • Behaviour and data are socially situated, context-related, context-dependent and context-rich. • Realities are multiple, constructed, and holistic; • Knower and known are interactive, inseparable; • Only context-bound working hypotheses are possible; • Inquiry is influenced by the choice of the paradigm, theory and values that guide the investigation into the problem; • Research must include ‘thick descriptions’; • The attribution of meaning is continuous and evolving over time; • People are deliberate, intentional and creative in their actions; • History and biography intersect; • Social research needs to examine situations through the eyes of the participants; • Researchers are the instruments of the research;
  • 7. THE QUALITATIVE PARADIGM • Researchers generate rather than test hypotheses; • Researchers do not know in advance what they will see; • Humans are anticipatory beings; • Human phenomena seem to require even more conditional stipulations than do other kinds; • Meanings and understandings replace proof; • Situations are unique; • The processes of research and behaviour are as important as the outcomes; • People, situations, events and objects have meaning conferred upon them rather than possessing their own intrinsic meaning; • Social research should be conducted in natural, uncontrived, real world settings with as little intrusiveness as possible by the researcher; • Social reality, experiences and social phenomena are capable of multiple, sometimes contradictory interpretations; • All factors have to be taken into account; • Data are analyzed inductively; • Theory generation is derivative and grounded.
  • 8. PROCESSES OF QUALITATIVE ENQUIRY • Studies must take place in their natural settings as context influences meaning; • Humans are the research instrument; • Utilization of tacit knowledge is inescapable; • Qualitative methods sit more comfortably than quantitative methods with the notion of the human-as-instrument; • Purposive sampling can explore the full scope of issues; • Data analysis is inductive rather than deductive; • Theory emerges (is grounded) rather than is pre-ordinate. • Research designs emerge over time; • Research outcomes are negotiated; • The natural mode of reporting is the case study; • Idiographic interpretation replaces nomothetic interpretation; • Applications are tentative and pragmatic; • Trustworthiness and its components replace conventional views of reliability and validity.
  • 9. TEN ELEMENTS OF SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM • People construct their own actions – they are deliberate intentional and creative; • People attribute to, and construct meanings of, their situations and behaviour; people impose meanings on situations; situations themselves do not necessarily possess intrinsic meaning. • Significance of subjective meanings and the symbols and symbol systems (e.g. language and communication) by which they are produced and represented; • The need to understand individuals’ ‘definitions of the situation’ in their terms, i.e. in any situation there are many definitions of the situation – multiple realities; the self is a social product, constructed through interaction with ‘significant others’ which occurs in relation to multiple ‘reference groups’;
  • 10. TEN ELEMENTS OF SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM • Significance of negotiation – the process by which meanings are constructed; • Significance of the natural, social context/environment/ setting in understanding meaning and meaning construction; • Situations and people are unique and individual (idiographic); • The nature of a ‘career’ – the moving perspective in which people regard their own and others’ lives, based on the meanings which are being formed; ‘career’ includes notions of commitment and identity; • Research must include ‘thick description’ – detailed accounts of the situation and participants’ meanings and behaviour; • Analysis is ‘emic’ rather than ‘etic’ – generating meaning through presenting participants’ subjective accounts rather than utilizing ‘objective’ research.
  • 11. ETHNOGRAPHIES CONCERN . . . • The production of descriptive cultural knowledge of a group; • The description of activities in relation to a particular cultural context from the point of view of the members of that group themselves; • The production of a list of features constitutive of membership in a group or culture; • The description and analysis of patterns of social interaction; • The provision as far as possible of ‘insider accounts’; • The development of theory.
  • 12. CRITICAL ETHNOGRAPHY • Whereas conventional ethnography is concerned with what is, critical ethnography concerns itself with what could be. • Theoretical basis in critical theory and ideology critique. • Concerned to expose oppression and inequality in society with a view to emancipating individuals and groups towards collective empowerment. • Research is an inherently political enterprise: ethnography with a political intent. • It has an explicit agenda and ‘ethical responsibility’ to promote freedom, social justice, equity and well-being. • It takes power, control and social exploitation as problematic, and to be changed, rather than simply to be interrogated and discovered • Its basis echoes Habermas’s emancipatory interest
  • 13. CRITICAL ETHNOGRAPHY • Research and thinking are mediated by power relations; • These power relations are socially and historically located; • Facts and values are inseparable; • Relationships between objects and concepts are fluid and mediated by the social relations of production; • Language is central to perception; • Certain groups in society exert more power than others; • Inequality and oppression are inherent in capitalist relations of production and consumption; • Ideological domination is strongest when oppressed groups see their situation as inevitable, natural or necessary; • Forms of oppression mediate each other and must be considered together (e.g. race, gender, class).
  • 14. FIVE STAGES IN CRITICAL ETHNOGRAPHY Stage 1 Compiling the primary record through the collection of monological data Stage 2 Preliminary reconstructive analysis Stage 3 Dialogical data collection Stage 4 Discovering system relations Stage 5 Using system relations to explain findings
  • 15. PLANNING A QUALITATIVE STUDY 1. Locate a field of study. 2. Decide research questions (where appropriate) 3. Address ethical issues. 4. Decide from whom to obtain data (sampling). 5. Find a role and manage entry into the context. 6. Find informants: – reliability; – Importance in giving accounts; – Knowledge/knowledgeability; – Status; – Contacts – gatekeepers; – Representativeness; – Centrality; – Relationships to others.
  • 16. PLANNING A QUALITATIVE STUDY 7. Develop and maintain relationships in the field: trust; confidence; rapport; discretion; sensitivity; empathy; 8. Collect data in situ and in several contexts (field notes and triangulation); 9. Collect other data (where relevant); 10. Analyze data; 11. Leave the field; decide when, how, how to close relationships. 12. Write the final report.
  • 17. REFLEXIVITY • Researchers are part of the social world that they are researching • This social world is an already interpreted world by the actors • Researchers bring their own biographies to the research situation • Researchers should acknowledge and disclose their own selves in the research, seeking to understand their part in, or influence on, the research.
  • 18. OBSERVER ROLES OUTSIDER INSIDER ← → Detached Observer Observer as participant Participant as observer Complete participant
  • 19. CONCERNS IN CONDUCTING ETHNOGRAPHIES • How do you negotiate your way into a situation; how to minimize threat. • Timing the point of entry. • Finding a role for yourself. • To be a participant observer or non-participant observer? • How to maintain naturalism and to avoid people playing to what they perceive are your expectations of them. • How to retain your distance from those involved. • How to gain access to certain ‘difficult’ groups. • Who to regard as key/important informants. • How to record multiple perspectives and multiple realities.
  • 20. CONCERNS IN CONDUCTING ETHNOGRAPHIES • How to address emic and etic approaches. • Who owns the data; how much control do respondents/participants have over the data; when does ownership pass from the respondents/participants to the researcher? • How to write up the report. • What if the researcher sees what the respondents/ participants do not see? • Reactivity of participants (Hawthorne effect). • Halo effect. • Focusing on the known/familiar only. • Consider generalizability.
  • 21. STEPS IN QUALITATIVE DATA ANALYSIS Step 2: Create a ‘domain analysis’ Step 3: Establish relationships and linkages between the domains Step 4: Make speculative inferences Step 5: Summarize Step 6: Seek negative and discrepant cases Step 7: Generate theory Step 1: Establish units of analysis of the data, indicating how these units are similar to and different from each other
  • 22. SOME DIFFICULTIES IN QUALITATIVE RESEARCH • Definition of the situation • Reactivity • Halo effect • Implicit conservatism • Focusing on the familiar • Open-endedness and diversity • Neglect of wider social contexts and constraints • Generalizability • Writing up multiple realities • Ownership of the data