Research6 qualitative research_methods


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Research6 qualitative research_methods

  1. 1. Qualitative ResearchMethods427-302 1-2553
  2. 2. Some Terminology of Qualitative Inquiry• Phenomenology: It refers to a consideration of all perceived phenomena, both the “objective” and “subjective” o To discover the subjects’ experiences and how they make sense of those experiences• Interpretivism: It seeks to discover how the subject interprets his or her experience of life o More focusing on understanding by means of conversations with the human beings to be understood o More idiographic than nomothetic approach
  3. 3. • Hermeneutics: The interpretation of religious texts o Interested in the interpretivist’s process of discovery o Overall understanding of a text gives us a place from which to examine and interpret the meaning of its parts o The examination of the parts may lead us to reframe our overall assessment
  4. 4. • Participant Observation: a specific form of field research in which the researcher participates as an actor in the events under study• In-depth Interview: less structured and gives the subject of the interview more freedom to direct the flow of conversation
  5. 5. • Case study: an idiographic examination of a single individual, family, group, organization, co mmunity, or society o Description is a chief purpose• Ethnography: naturalistic observations and holistic understandings of cultures or subcultures
  6. 6. • Generic Propositions: Interested in the patterns of human social life• Unfettered Inquiry: field researchers basically side with the view that anything is fair game• Deep Familiarity: Place yourself in the position of those you wish to understand
  7. 7. • Emergent Analysis: theory emerges in the course of analyzing observations rather than preceding observation in the form of hypotheses• True Content: Interested in what is “really” going on• New Content: not replicating findings, but creating new observations, or new analyses, or both with each research effort
  8. 8. • Developed Treatment: Interested in balance between the presentation of data from observations and the elaboration of theoretical concepts that can represent and make sense of those data
  9. 9. Coined by Glauser & Strauss in 1967Grounded Theory• Inductive approach to understanding• It begins with observations and looks for patterns, themes, or common categories• The selection of new cases is guided by theoretical sampling concepts o Theoretical sampling begins by selecting new cases that seem to be similar to those that generated previously detected concepts and hypotheses
  10. 10. • To better ground your hypothesis in the empirical world, you might interview several additional practitioners with good clinical reputations to see if the same patterns are generated• The process of using notes and memos in ground theory resembles the social worker’s use of process recording and problem-oriented case record keeping
  11. 11. Topics Appropriate to Field Research (Lofland &Lofland, 1995)• Practices See p.• Episodes 430• Encounters• Roles• Relationships• Groups• Organizations• Settlements• Social Worlds• Lifestyles or subcultures
  12. 12. The Various Roles of the Observer• Complete participant• Participant-as-observer• Observer-as-participant• Complete observer
  13. 13. Relations to Subjects• How you may relate to the subjects of your study and to their points of view? o “Really” jointing or “pretending” joining o Insider understanding: adopt their points of view as true temporarily o Symbolic realism: to treat the beliefs they study as worthy of respect rather than as object of ridicule
  14. 14. Preparing for the Field• Begin with a search of the relevant literature, filling in your knowledge of the subject and learning what others have said about it• Make use of informants• Be wary about the information• Establish a certain rapport with them
  15. 15. Sampling in Field Research Select cases that are more or• Quota sampling less intense than usual, but not• Snowball sampling so unusual that they could be• Deviant case samplingcalled deviant o Intensity sampling o Critical incidents sampling o Maximum variation sampling o Homogeneous sampling See p. 445 o Theoretical sampling• Purposive sampling
  16. 16. Qualitative Interviewing• Informal Conversational Interviews• General interview guide approach• Standardized open-ended interview
  17. 17. Life History• Researchers ask open-ended questions to discover how the participants in a study understand the significant events and meanings in their own lives• Oral history interviews
  18. 18. Client Log• Qualitative logs are journals that clients keep of events that are relevant to their problems• The logs can be utilized to record quantitative data about target behaviors as well as qualitative information about critical incidents
  19. 19. Focus Groups• Group interviewing• To assess whether a new social program or social service being considered is really needed in a community• 12 to 15 people were recommended• Discussion of a specific topic
  20. 20. Recording Observations• Tape recording• Taking notes o Don’t trust your memory any more than you have to: it’s untrustworthy o It’s usually a good idea to take notes in stages  Need to take sketchy notes (words and phrases) to keep abreast of what’s happening  Remove yourself and rewrite your notes in more detail o To write out all of the details you can recall right after the observation session
  21. 21. Qualitative Data Processing• Rewriting your notes• Creating files• Using computers
  22. 22. Qualitative Data Analysis• Similarities and dissimilarities• Norms of behavior• Universals• Six different ways of looking for patterns o Frequencies o Magnitudes o Structures o Processes o Cases o Consequences
  23. 23. The Strengths and Weaknesses of FieldResearch• Depth of understanding• Subjectivity• Generalizability
  24. 24. Standards for Evaluating QualitativeStudies• Threats to Trustworthiness o Reactivity Researcher’s perceptions o Research biases o Respondent biases Social desirability