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Sabir Ali - Qualitative Research Methods

Sabir Ali - Qualitative Research Methods

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Published by Sabir Ali Nastran
Phenomenology, Hermeneutics, Content Analysis
Phenomenology, Hermeneutics, Content Analysis

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Published by: Sabir Ali Nastran on Dec 15, 2009
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Sabir Ali Nastransabirnastran@gmail.comDecember 15, 2009QUALITATIVE RESEARCH
The goal of research under the phenomenological doctrine is thedevelopment of theories through explanatory methods rather thanthrough the creation of generalizations. The qualitative approach is away to gain insights through discovering meanings by improving ourcomprehension of the whole. Qualitative research explores therichness, depth, and complexity of phenomena. Qualitative research,broadly defined, means "any kind of research that produces findingsnot arrived at by means of statistical procedures or other means of quantification".
Inquiry from the inside
An attempt to take account of differences between people
Aimed at flexibility and lack of structure, in order to allow theoryand concepts to proceed in tandem
The results are said to be, thorough theoretical generalization,deep, rich and meaningful.
Inductive where propositions may develop not only frompractice, or literature review, but also from ideas themselves
An approach to the study of the social world, which seeks todescribe and analyze the culture and behavior of humans andtheir groups from the point view of those being studied
Research tactics and bases
Action research Strictly phenomenologicalCase studiesHave scopeEthnographicStrictly phenomenologicalField experimentsHave scopeFocus groupsmostly phenomenologicalFuture researchhave scopeIn-depth surveysmostly phenomenologicalParticipant observerStrictly phenomenologicalScenario researchmostly phenomenologicalQualitative research is conducted through an intense and/or prolongedcontact with a field or life situation. These situations are typically
predictable or normal, reflective of the everyday life of individuals,groups, societies, and organizations. In some senses, all data arequalitative; they refer to issues relating to people, objects, andsituations. One major feature is that they focus on naturally occurring,ordinary events in natural settings, so that there is a view on what reallife is like. Another feature of qualitative data is their richness andholism, with strong potential for revealing complexity. Such dataprovide rich descriptions that are vivid, nested in a real life context,and have a ring of truth. Furthermore, the fact that such qualitativedata are typically collected over a sustained period makes it powerfulfor studying any process. Also thee inherent flexibility of qualitativestudies (data collection times and methods can be varied as a studyproceeds) gives further confidence that what has been going on isreally understood. Qualitative data, with their emphasis on people’slived experience are fundamentally well suited for locating theirmeaning people place on the events, processes and structures of theirlives; their perceptions assumptions, prejudgments, presuppositionsand for connecting these meanings to the social world around them.There are three other claims for the power of qualitative data. Theyhave often been advocated as the best strategy for discovery,exploring a new area, developing hypotheses. In addition their strongpotential for testing hypotheses is underlined on seeing whetherspecific predictions hold up. Further, qualitative data are useful whenone needs to supplement, validate, explain, illuminate, or reinterpretquantitative data gathered from the same setting.
Strengths Weaknesses
Data-gathering methods seenmore natural than artificial.Data collection can be tediousand require more resources.Ability to look at changeprocesses over time.Analysis and interpretation of data may be more difficult.Ability to understand people’smeaning.Harder to control the pace,progress, and end-points oresearch process.Ability to adjust to new issuesand ideas as they emerge.Policy makers may give lowcredibility to results fromqualitative approach.Contribute to theory generation
Basic Beliefs:
The world is socially constructed and subjective;
Observer is part of what is observed;
Science is driven by human interests.
Researcher should:
Focus on meanings;
Try to understand what is happening;
Look at the totality of each situation;
Develop ideas through induction from data.
Preferred Research methods:
Using multiple methods to establish different views of thephenomena;
Small samples investigated in depth or over time.
The main steps in qualitative research
General research question(s)
Selecting relevant site(s) and subjects
Collection of relevant data
Interpretation of data
Conceptual and theoretical work
Tighter specification of the research questions
Collection of further data
Writing up findings/conclusions
General framework
Seek to explore phenomena. Instruments use more flexible,iterative style of eliciting and categorizing responses to questions.Use semi-structured methods such as in-depth interviews, focusgroups, and participant observation
Analytical objectives
To describe variationTo describe and explain relationshipsTo describe individual experiencesTo describe group norms
Question format
Data format
Textual (obtained from audiotapes, videotapes, and field notes)
Flexibility in study design
Some aspects of the study are flexible (for example, the addition,exclusion, or wording of particular interview questions). Participantresponses affect how and which questions researchers ask next.

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