APPROACHING QUALITATIVE RESEARCHHoliday, A., (2007) Doing and Writing QualitativeResearch. London: Sage Publications Ltd. p. 1-21 Wida Mulyanti 1201327
Chapter discussionQualitative and Writer as Quantitative Stranger Schools and Approaches
1. SURVEYS AND EXPERIMENTS Example 1: Car surveyTo find out the proportion of Ford cars to Peugeuts in a particularcountry. This would entail counting the number of each. If it is notpossible to find every single occurrence, a sample may be taken.Statistical analysis tells us both how many, or what percentage of each,and how valid the sample is in representing the whole. Example 2: Car experimentTo test the hypothesis that more Ford cars will be bought if prospectivefirst-time buyers are exposed to advertising that says they are safer. Asample of first-time buyers is exposed to the advertising; anothersample is not; and the degree to which each group buys Fords ismeasured. A variety of techniques are employed to control variables toreduce contamination. For example, the age and social class of thesubjects are kept constant.
Example 3: Eyes surveyTo calculate the proportion of brown to blueeyes within a particular nationality. Theoccurrence of each is counted within astatistically valid sample.Example 4: Eyes questionnaireWithin the population in Example 3 to find outwhat people mean by, and what their attitudesare to ‘brown’ and ‘blue’, and what sort of socialvalues underlie these meanings and attitudes.
EXAMPLE 5: EGYPTIAN INTERVIEW I was sitting in an Egyptian university faculty common room listening to a lecturer answering survey questions about the timetable in her department. The American interviewer was going through the questions with her, perhaps to ensure good researcher-subject relations. Later on the lecturer ‘confided in me that what she had told him bore little relation to reality, but that she had not wished to disappoint him by telling him that she could not answer most of the questions’.
2. THE QUALITATIVE AREAS OF SOCIAL LIFEEXAMPLE 6: EYES STUDYAn exploration of what people mean by, andwhat their attitudes are to ‘brown’ and ‘blue’ eyecolor, and of what sort of social values underliethese meanings and attitudes. The residents ofthree households of different classes andethnicity in a provincial town are studied. Theyare interviewed in groups on topics related tohuman attractiveness as displayed in their dailylife, in advertising and in the media. Theinterviews are open-ended, allowing relevanttopics and themes to be developed. They arefollowed up with further interviews to which theresidents are invited to bring photographs offamily and friends, advertising and the media as
EXAMPLE 7: CAR STUDYAn exploration of attitudes to Ford car adverts. Anadvert is played on video in three public housesfrequented by members of the target first-time buyergroup, and their comments recorded. This is followedup with group interviews which explore topics arisingfrom the comments. The public houses are revisitedone year later and the same people are interviewedabout which cars they bought and what this means tothem.
Two paradigms: Activities Quantitative Qualitative Counts occurrences Looks deep into the across a large quality of social life population Locates the study Uses statistics to within particular settings validate generalization Initial foray into the Attempts to reduce social setting leads to contaminating social further, more informed variables exploration as themes and focuses emerge
Two paradigms: Beliefs Quantitative Qualitative Conviction about what is Conviction that what is important to look for important to look for will emerge Confidence in established research Confidence in an ability instruments to devise research procedures to fit the Reality is not so situation and the nature problematic if the of the people in it, as they research instruments are are revealed adequate; and conclusive Reality contains results are feasible mysteries to which the researcher must submit
Two paradigms: Steps Quantitative Qualitative Decide the research Decide the subject is focus interesting Then devise and pilot Go into the field to see research instruments what is going on Then go into the field Focus on themes emergeRigour: Rigour: Disciplined application of Principled development established rules for of research strategy to statistics, experiment and suit the scenario being survey design studied as it is revealed
STEPS IN DOING THE RESEARCHQualitative Quantitative Decide the subject is Decide the research interesting focus Explore the subject Devise research Let focus the themes instruments emerge Approach the subject Devise research instrument during process
3. MANAGING SUBJECTIVITY Develops aspects of anthropology and sociology represents a broad view that to understand human affairs (cannot be answer by survey and statistics) Walford (1991:1) careful, objective, step by step model of the research process is actually a fraud... Within natural sciences as well as social sicence... (Watson of reseaching DNA) Are expected to come out and tell it as it really happened
4. DEVELOPING RIGOUR THROUGH WRITING Decision about research instrument are made in gradual response to the nature of the social setting. Every qualitative research design will be different. In quantitative research the source of validity is known. In qualitative research researcher need to justify every move. Demonstrating how the strategy is appropriate to the social setting.
5. JUDICIOUS BALANCE To meet the important of the social situation being studied, freedom is needed to explore creatively the best way to approach the scenario The researcher must be prepared to account carefully for every move made. Most researchers must be more explicit about their research processes: to offer rationale and further detail on issues such as respondent selection, key changes in research direction and analytical procedures
SOURCE OF VALIDITY Quantitative research Qualitative research Details of the population (in Choice of social setting: How feasible samples) (access), how substantial (duration, depth, breadth) What short of questions Choice of research activities : how they Which statistics suit the social setting, how researcher- The composition of group subject relationship, how to form (in experiment) coherent strategy. Which variables are being Choice of themes and focuses: how they emerge, why significant, how far included and excluded they are respresentative of the social What groups are exposed to setting in experiment Overall need to articulate a judicios balance between opportunism and principle
6. RESEARCH AS SOCIAL ACTION Qualitative research is learning culture Qualitative research is similar to the research in everyday life (ideologically motivated) Research setting involves interaction between culture of the setting and culture of research (researcher cannot put themselves above other people)
7. RESEARCH AND EVERYDAY LIFE Research as everyday life = we continually have to solve the problems about how we should behave with other people in a wide range of setting. This would involve analysing behaviour and language, how and when to be formal/informal, learning new technical terms, specialist turn of phrase, what constitutes humour etc.
8. DISCOVERING AND DOING CULTURE Culture = socially constructed entities which exist only in the way in which people operationally divided up the world Culture = composite of cohesive behaviour within any social grouping from a neighbourhood to a work group (Beales et al, 1967: 8) In this view culture is seen as dynamic, ongoing group process which operates in changing circumstances to enable group member to make sense of and operate meaningfully within those circumstances
9. RESEARCH AS IDEOLOGICAL PRACTICE Researchers bring with them residues of their own cultural background. Ideological means systematic body of ideas organized from a particular point of view. Social groups organize their lives around concepts, purposes, values, beliefs, ideas, theories, notions of reality, and the like.
10. RESEARCH LANGUAGE AND WRITING Writing of qualitative research is not going to be an easy task Being as transparent as possible about how the research is constructed in relation to the research setting, enables evaluation of its cultural and ideological appropriateness in writing. We cannot avoid ideology, it has to be carried out in a very self-conscious way
Schools and Approaches Any venture into the literature will reveal that quantitative research is presented under a confusing array of different and variable headings. 1. A FLUID PICTURE Denzil and Lincoln (1994b) state that there are notight categories. For example, you do not have tochoose between case study, ethnography and groundedtheory.
2. NATURALISM OR POSTPOSITIVISM More ‘traditional’ paradigm in qualitative research (much more closer to positivism) Reality is seen as relatively straightforward Deeper social reality needs qualitative enquiry Problem truth is supported by extensive substantiated record or real setting Researcher must not interfere with real setting
3. PROGRESIVISM Qualitative research potrays people as constructing the social world researchers as themselves constructing the social world through their interpretation of it Reality and science are socially constructed Researchers are part of research settings Investigation must be reflective, self-critical, creative dialog Aims to problematize, reveal hidden realities, initiate discussions
Writer as StrangerThe qualitative researcher as writer must seeher/his own research experience as strangely andfreshly