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1. The Power of the Case 2. Reflexivity & Qualitative Research 3. Philosophies of Science & Mental Health Research 4. The Rise of Elizabeth Warren: Lessons for Qualitative Researchers 5. A Primer on Deductive Qualitative Analysis as Theory Testing & Theory Development 6. The Qualitative Basis of Quantitative Models 7. Finding the Organizing Framework 8. Qualitative Researchers Aren’t the Only Ones Who Struggle to Make Sense of Data
About This Publication Current Issues in Qualitative Research is an occasional publication for field researchers in a variety of disciplines. This periodical will publish articles that comment on current issues that researchers confront as well as current affairs where qualitative research is relevant. Jane F. Gilgun, Ph.D., LICSW, is the editor and publisher. To submit articles to this publication, Professor Gilgun cordially invites researchers to email brief articles of three to five pages to her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Field researchers are individuals who do in-depth work with informants in the settings in which informants live their lives. If they do interviews, the interviews are in-depth and seek to understand individuals within their particular situations. Jane Gilgun is a professor, School of Social Work, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, USA. Her articles, books, and children’s stories are available on Amazon Kindle, the Apple store, and other internet booksellers for a variety of e-readers and mobile devices as well as print versions of her books.
The Power of the Case
Jane F. Gilgun University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, USA ecent stories about Lou Gehrig’s disease show the power of single cases to upend long-held beliefs and theories. Such upending lead to new directions not only in research but in medical and social service practices, in policy and programs, and also for understanding ourselves and the world in general.
Case studies also may contribute to a knowledge base that may or may not result in overturning long-held beliefs but contribute to a knowledge base that may eventually result in major changes in assumptions. In this article, I show these two uses of case studies. The Upending of Long-Held Beliefs Medical science has held that the causes of Lou Gehrig’s disease are unknown. Neurologists diagnosed patients with the neurological and muscular changes associated with the disease as having the disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Now, medical researchers have evidence that persons with symptoms similar to those of ALS actually may have experienced progressive neurological degeneration caused by brain damage that resulted from blows to their heads. In a study to be published in the September issue of The Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology, researchers at Boston University and the Boston Veterans Affairs Medical Center showed that the protein patterns in the brains of three athletes who had experienced head trauma did not appear in the brains of nine other persons diagnosed with ALS nor in the brains of 12 other individuals not diagnosed with ALS. Dr. Ann McFee, one of the researchers, said she had never seen this pattern of proteins in individuals who did not have histories of head trauma. Three cases have dispelled ideas medical sciences had held for decades about the causes of Lou Gehrig’s disease. These cases provide sufficient evidence to suggest that there are known causes of a set of symptoms long thought to be Lou Gehrig’s disease. Some are starting to think that Lou Gehrig did not die of Lou Gehrig’s disease, but from the consequences of several head traumas that are welldocumented. A legendary US baseball player in the 1930s, Gehrig went right back into the game after experiencing severe head blows, actions for which many hold him in esteem. Today, medical researchers know that such actions make the consequences of head trauma more dire. Black Swans and Falling Objects These findings are one more case showing the “black swan” effect, which means that finding one black swan invalidates the statement that “All swans are white.” Karl Popper (1969), known for his thinking on science as consisting of conjectures, refutations, and reformulations, pointed out that human beings can observe 1000 white swans and conclude that all swans are white. All it takes to refute this theory is one black swan, or a green one, or any other color. He, along with many other philosophers and research methodologists, pointed out that whatever we believe and whatever theories we hold can be falsified as soon as we identify one case that counters our assumptions. We then revise our theories. All theory is tentative and must be revised when researchers
identity evidence to do so (Gilgun, 1999; in press). Another example of one case that forced changes in long-held theories is the refutation of Aristotle’s theory that the mass of objects determines how fast they fall. Science held this theory for 2000 years. Galileo showed definitively that objects fall at the same rate of acceleration no matter what their mass is. For example, a feather and a lead weight dropped in a vacuum fall to the ground at the same time, an experiment replicated many times, including on a trip astronauts took to the moon. Resistance that the air contributes is an intervening variable. Newton based his theories of mechanics and gravity on Galileo’s demonstration of the relationship between mass and acceleration., which shows how a single case and the new understandings that result can lead to deeper understandings. Direction to Practice and to Research Single case studies not only may unpend long-held assumptions, but they can also have simpler outcomes—that of adding to a knowledge base and giving additional direction to practice and research. A case that shows this are the findings of the examination of the brain and spinal cord of Chris Henry, a wide receiver for the football team, the Cincinnati Bengals. He died last year when he fell off a moving truck bed while beating his girlfriend. His accidental death was the culmination of years of erratic and violent behavior. He was 26. Doctors found evidence of brain damage that is similar to the damage found in the brains of much older athletes who have experienced blows to the head, such as other football players and boxers. The syndrome is called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), known also as dementia pugilistica. This case is further evidence that blows to the head can result in trauma to the brain, which leads to changes in brain composition and circuitry. Areas of the brain are connected to behaviors, emotions, and other functions. Persons who have CTE may show a range of behavior changes, such as acting without considering consequences, erratic behaviors, depression, suicidal thinking, and suicide. Henry showed some of these behaviors. CTE in a young person is unusual, and doctors speculate that Henry had a genetic predisposition for CTE. They point out that many young people experience head trauma and do not develop CTE while still young. What will happen as they age is an open question, particularly if they continue to experience blows to their heads. Guidance for Medical Practitioners What researchers have learned from the case of Chris Henry provides guidance for medical practitioners when patients, young, middle age, or old, present with symptoms similar to Henry’s. They can do a social history to see if the patients have risk factors for CTE. They can order a genetic test to see if there is a predisposition. They can do other tests that might point to CTE. Some athletes, coaches, and parents might require a lot of evidence to convince them that the athletes have to stop playing contact sports. Medical professionals who advise athletic teams can provide guidelines for the prevention of blows to the head and careful medical attention if athletes experience them.
Contributions to Knowledge For researchers, this case is further evidence that head trauma can lead to CTE and that a genetic predisposition in combination with head trauma can lead to CTE at a young age. The case also provides further evidence that CTE leads to behavioral changes. Thus, these kinds of case studies contribute to the knowledge base and to the refinement of existing theory. They furnish tentative hypotheses and theory that require further examination. Discussion Case studies are important for many different reasons. In this brief article, I highlighted their importance in 1) forcing the modification or refutation of what until then had been considered trustworthy theory and in 2) contributing to theory and to practice. Case studies may have other purposes, such as showing components of processes, documentations of program processes and outcomes, understanding how individuals experience events in their lives, concept and theory development, and theory testing. References & Further Reading Blumer, Herbert. (1954/1969). What is wrong with social theory? In Herbert Blumer (1969/1986), Symbolic interactionism. (pp (pp. 140-152) Berkeley: University of California Press. Originally published in Vol. XIX in The American Sociological Review. Bryant, Antony & Kathy Charmaz (Eds.) (2007). The Sage handbook of grounded theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Bulmer, Martin (1984). The Chicago School of Sociology: Institutionalization, diversity, and the rise of sociological research. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Campbell, Donald T. (1979). “Degrees of freedom” and the case study. In Thomas D. Cook & Charles S. Reichardt (Eds.), Qualitative and quantitative methods in evaluation research. (pp.49-67). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Cronbach, Lee J. (1975). Beyond the two disciplines of scientific psychology. American Psychologist, 30, 116-127. Gilgun, Jane F. (in press). Qualitative research: Enduring themes and contemporary variations. In Gary F. Peterson & Kevin Bush (Eds.). Handbook of Marriage and the Family (3rd ed.). New York: Plenum. Gilgun, Jane F. (2005). Qualitative research and family psychology. Journal of Family Psychology, 19(1), 40-50. Gilgun, Jane F. (1994). A case for case studies in social work research. Social Work, 39(4), 371-389. Jones, Roger (n.d.). Philosophy of science. www.philosopher.org.uk Popper, Karl (1969). Conjectures and refutations: The growth of scientific knowledge. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul Rubin Julian (n.d). The falling bodies experiment: The work of Galileo and others, like Simon Stevin. Following the path of discovery: Repeat famous experiments and inventions. http://www.juliantrubin.com/bigten/galileofallingbodies.html
Reflexivity and Qualitative Research
Jane F. Gilgun University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, USA
eflexivity is an important topic for qualitative researchers to consider and to experiment with. I believe that all researchers, no matter which methods and perspectives they use, must be reflexive if their research is to be useful. That researchers influence research processes and research processes influence researchers are givens in theoretical physics. These assumptions are also givens or basic methodological principles, in most forms of qualitative research. Finally, awareness of the importance of reflexivity is part of the human sciences, whose traditions extend back to the origins of social science research in the middle of the nineteenth century (Gilgun, in press). The Core of the Idea The core concept of my working definition of reflexivity is the idea of awareness—that researchers are reflexive when they are aware of the multiple influences they have on research processes and on how research processes affect them. Researchers would do well to consider becoming reflexive in three general areas: • • the topics they wish to investigate. This means they account for the personal and professional meanings their topics have for them, as well as any possible biases they suspect they may have; the perspectives and experiences of the persons with whom they wish to do the research; this includes both informants/participants/subjects as well as research partners who have a stake in the research, such as funders and agencies/settings in which the research takes place, and the audiences to whom the research findings will be directed. This means that researchers write to specific audiences, presenting ideas and evidence for the ideas in language that audiences can understand. Furthermore, many audiences want to learn researchers’ thoughts on the meanings of informants’ experiences and actions that may be take in order to respond to informants.
Accounting for all three of these areas enhances the quality of both processes and outcome. Furthermore, on-going reflection on my own and informants’ experiences while conducting the research and doing analysis helps me to deal with the power dimensions that are part of doing research (See Daley, 2010, for an excellent discussion of critical reflexivity, which examines power dimensions of research processes). Finally, being reflexive in these areas increases researcher accountability, not only to the intellectual communities who are part of our audiences but to other audiences as well, such as practitioners who may apply findings to the lives of living, breathing human beings. Our own experiences and perspectives influence every aspect of the research we do. Creating awareness is an open and honest approach to doing and reporting research.
An Example As mentioned, reflexivity in research extends to the origins of social science research. John Dollard in his Caste and Class in a Southern Town, published in 1937, gave a first-person account that demonstrates that reflexivity in research was an issue then as it is today. For example, Dollard described the social awkwardness of being white in a southern town whose mores forbade treating "Negroes" as equals. Fearing that other white persons were watching as he talked to "Negroes" on his front porch, when he knew their "proper" place was at the back door, he wrote: My Negro friend brought still another Negro up on the porch to meet me. Should we shake hands? Would he be insulted if I did not, or would he accept the situation? I kept my hands in pockets and did not do it, a device that was often useful in resolving such a situation (p. 7). This description is a poignant verbal picture of a pivotal moment in Dollard's fieldwork and it is full of connotations about the racist social practices of the time. This excerpt illustrates a methodological point Small (1916) made in his essay on the first 50 years of sociological research in the U.S.: namely, the importance of going beyond "technical treatises" and providing first-person "frank judgments" that can help future generations interpret sociology. Without such contexts, "the historical significance of treatises will be misunderstood" (p. 722). Throughout his essay, Small used the first-person and provided his views--or frank judgments--on the events he narrated. Accounting for Reflexivity We can account for our own reflexivity in a several ways and at different points in the research process: • • • • • • before and during the design processes; during the implementation processes; while conducting the analysis; during the write-up; in the course of dissemination; and while applying findings to practice, teaching, and other research projects.
To engage in processes of reflexivity, researchers may write about relevant thoughts, experiences, emotions, biases, favorite theories, etc., reflect upon these, and talk to others about them engages researchers in processes of reflexivity. Schön (1983) gives a name to reflexive processes in which practitioners engage while actually doing their practice. He calls these processes reflection in action. For example, researchers typically work in teams. While engaged in planning the research, I suggest that researchers begin the reflexivity process, first, by writing down their own perspectives about the three areas mentioned earlier—and any others they may thing relevant--and then sharing with other members of their team what they have written. Chances are team sharing will stimulate further thinking and dialogue that could deepen understanding of the topic and contribute to a much better project than would have been possible had not the team engaged in group reflexivity. When such procedures become routine in team meetings, quality of the research and accountability to audiences increase. I do not believe that researchers are obligated to share sensitive personal information in team meetings, but they can share their own points of view and perspectives and engage in dialogue about
them. They can keep reflective journals for more private considerations and have private dialogues with significant others if personal issues arise, which happens quite often in qualitative research. Much of qualitative research involves dealing with the sensitive personal issues of others. For instance, I have done for more than 25 years on interpersonal violence. Qualitative research in this area involves face-to-face contact with perpetrators and/or survivors. Few researchers have no emotional responses and have no memories or nightmares activated through contact with the traumas and violence that others experience and perpetrate. Write, Reflect, Discuss Throughout the research process, researchers would do well to write, reflect upon, and discuss what is going on for them and how what they are doing may affect their research informants/participants/subjects, the nature and quality of the data, and how they will present findings. In these meetings, researchers can share not only their scholarly interpretations of what they are learning from informants, but also their personal and professional interpretations. There are many reasons to account for researchers to account for their own responses. Besides the promise of deepening and broadening understandings of the topical area to be researched, accounting for reflexivity can add to the integrity of the research. We researchers are subjective, fallible human beings who are full of biases and favorite theories. We also may use the power of our status in ways that we would not realize if we did not engage in processes of being reflexive. On-going scrutiny of ourselves is a way for us to “come clean” so that we are less likely to unwittingly impose our perspectives on the accounts and actions of research informants. If we share our own perspectives, expectations, experiences with others, or simply raise our own awareness through writing and reflection, we are more like to provide an open venue for the perspectives of our informants to blossom. Indeed, through engagement in such processes, the dependability and authenticity of our findings will be greatly enhanced. What to Include in Research Reports An important consideration is how much of our own subjectivity do we put into research reports. I believe that we as researchers should include only those bits of reflexivity that add to understanding research processes, findings, and applications—no more and no less. Therefore, researchers must be highly reflexive about the purposes of their research reports and how accounts of reflexivity would enhance these reports. After all, the research is about informants and not about the researchers. Anything about researcher perspectives must advance the purposes of the report (Gilgun, 2005). Laura McLeod and I presented extended accounts of our reflexivity in our analysis of gender and violence in the transcripts of men who had been convicted of violent crimes. The following excerpts from our article called Gendering Violence (Gilgun & McLeod, 1999) explains our rationale and provides examples of how we did it. In preparing to write this paper, our emotions were deeply stirred as we struggled to understand the accounts of men who had committed violent acts. As women and members of a class oppressed by male violence, we often identified with the victims of these men, and we may even have been victimized at times by their words. Jane, the first author, experienced feelings of fear and vulnerability that she slowly learned to manage over the course of more than ten years of conducting research on violent men. To this day, she occasionally walks into
her home wondering if a violent man has broken in and will be sitting in her living room waiting for her. The second author, Laura, was part of the project for almost two years. In a paper for one of her graduate classes, she wrote, "My readings of the transcripts about rapes and murders of women and girls brought out my vulnerabilities in very unexpected ways, making me feel permeable, without boundaries" (McLeod, 1995). Both of us developed deep insight into the phenomenology of victimization. Rather than acting as if we were kin to the Wizard of Oz, presenting our results in a disembodied, detached, and seamless voice, we chose to present "close ups" of some of our emotional reactions to the acts that we struggled to understand, along with our representations of our informants and our more "detached" analyses. As Bruner (1986) pointed out more than a decade ago, fieldwork involves "at least two double experiences:" researchers experiencing themselves, researchers experiencing informants, informants experiencing themselves, and informants experiencing researchers (p. 14). In our work, we are attempting to report on the first half of this double consciousness. We consciously, to use Fine’s (1994) words, were "unpacking the hyphen" of the self-other dichotomy; that is, challenging notions of "scientific neutrality, universal truths, and researcher dispassion" (p. 70). We created a multi-vocal text that experiments with writing that attempts to differentiate our representations of informants from our representations of ourselves. When we speak in our own voices, we state which of us is speaking; we did not have identical personal reactions to the men's words. Our representation of ourselves as women with emotion is a form of experimental writing (Richardson, 1994, 1997) that is part of feminist and postmodern thinking and practice. We expect our interpretations and reactions to the men's accounts to be similar in many respects to those of the audiences who read our work, but some of our responses could appear to be idiosyncratic and situated according to our personal histories and status. We also acknowledge that texts are open, and, therefore, readers' interpretations of our texts may be different from our own. Further, the interpretations of some readers may appear to be idiosyncratic to them. It is likely that individual interpretations, like the accounts of the informants of this study, may seem idiosyncratic but may actually represent enactments and particularizations of cultural themes and practices. Readers, researchers, and informants may all be involved in enacting and creating culture. The following excerpt shows how we handled our subjectivity/reflexivity in our article. We are quoting Don, one of two men who provided the material that we analyzed. I did the interview. "Just Grab Them:" Don's Sense of Entitlement Both informants constructed themselves as entitled to having sex with others without including others in their decisions. For instance, Don said about his rapes, "if I can't get them this way [through mutual consent] then the other way to get them is, you know, to just grab them." Drawing from cultural images of "loose" women for whom rape supposedly has no meaning, his narrative is permeated with an "ideology of supremacy" (Connell, 1995, p. 83) and constructions of women as sexual objects for men (Donaldson, 1993). The following shows
Don defining who the women were and what rape meant to them. He is imposing ideologies about women who are "loose sexually." This is hegemonic masculinity in action. Um, and if I take the right person, you know, it's not going to make a difference anyway. You know, because, like I said before, you know, the women I was, was raping were, you know, they'd been in that bar looking for guys anyway....You know, all my victims were, you know, they, my set up was that they'd been out in bars or loose sexually, kinds of people. So they had it coming, or they, you know, it didn't matter to them. So, so, you know, this wouldn't be a big, big thing to happen to them. After Don's statement that rape would not be "a big, big thing" to the women, I (Jane) was speechless for 20 seconds. When I finally was able to speak, I asked Don how he knew the women were loose. His answer revealed more of his hegemonic thinking: J: (10 sec) Yeah. (10 sec) Well, how did you know that they were at bars and were loose? What...[interrupted]. D: Well, I mean, I didn't actually know that. J: Oh. D: I, I knew, I knew that because that's the kind of people that were out at that time of night. J: Okay. So you would be looking at what time of night? D: Yeah. J: What, what time of night would you be out? D: Well generally the, and this, this is another thing that doesn't make sense because there was all kinds of times that I was out. J: Oh. D: But, J: (Laugh) D: Um, (5 sec) generally it would be late, like you know, midnight, one o'clock, two o'clock in the morning, that kind of thing. But you know I was out in, in the winter time sometimes after it got dark, you know, or not right after it got dark but maybe at seventhirty or eight o'clock, or something. Jane: My laugh was inappropriate but it arose out of an enormous sense of incongruity and perhaps hysteria. Here is this guy who looked so small to me sitting here making one-sided, hegemonic constructions of women who deserve to be raped and this same guy and guys like him terrorize women routinely. In some instances, they ruin the lives of women. He seems unable to understand the significance of what he did, what meanings his words and behaviors might have for women in general and his victims in particular. Based on our extensive conversations, I think he was so focused on himself that he was not able to step outside of his own frame of reference. In fact, he had a frame of reference that was outside of mine: the frame
of reference of hegemonic masculinity. As we spoke, he seemed to hunched over, forehead wrinkled, working very hard to explain to me how he thought about his rapes. I was working hard to understand him. Laura: They had it coming. They deserved to be raped because he decided who they were, what they were doing. I'll punish them for not doing what they're supposed to be doing as women. Jane: Yes, for not being "virtuous" women. He has no idea who they were. He told me he wouldn't recognize any of his victims if they walked into the room. Yet, he's taking on a Godlike function of naming them. He's constructing these women, creating them in images he chooses, independent of them. This is hegemony. Ironically, Don could not see the holes in his own thinking. He had no basis except ideological for concluding that the women he raped were loose, and he never arrived at the conclusion that no one "deserves" to be raped, no matter what. To serve his own agenda, he chose a hegemonic ideology from a grab bag of possible ways of constructing women who drive their cars after dark. Don's views, however, may not be as extreme as we would like to believe. Many of the rapists in Scully's (1990) research also invoked negative cultural stereotypes and thus constructed the women in ways that may have helped them to rape: the women were seductresses, really wanted sex, and were not nice girls anyway. Although feminists have long challenged myths that portray rape victims as deserving of rape, as for example, when they hitchhike, get drunk, go to bars alone, or are prostitutes, these myths continued to be invoked and enacted. What’s Typical in Research Reports Typically, only a fraction of researchers’ accounts of their own reflexivity appears in research reports. That is how it goes in good qualitative research: our research reports are only the best and most economical representation we can make of the phenomena of interest. This is no less true for our ever-growing understandings of what the research means to us, in other words, our accounts of our reflexivity. Articles about researchers’ experiences of research, however, can enlighten others about the nature of such research and help them to prepare for and grapple with their own responses to their own fieldwork. I have written two recent articles about my subjective reactions to research with men who have committed violent acts. One shows my growing awareness of the violence within me: at one point I envisioned a bullet hole between the eyes of a man telling me about a rape and murder he had committed. That image arose without my conscious awareness or will. I remember wondering how that bullet hole got there. Then I realized that I had shot him—not in actuality but in my imagination, which at that point had a will of its own. See Gilgun (2008) for more about these experiences. The other article describes 25 years of doing research on violence (Gilgun, in press). Write in the First Person Finally, though I am unsure that reflexivity has anything to do with writing in the first person in research reports, I do think that good science leads us to this practice (Gilgun, 2005). Haraway (1988) terms third-person reports as pulling the “God trick” that represents authors as disembodied voices of
all-knowing beings who exist in some exalted realm and not the fallible, fleshy human beings whom they are. First person writing has a long history, originating at least in the first part of the nineteenth century when Albion Small, the founder of the first department of sociology in the United States at the University of Chicago, recommended it as means of providing contexts in terms of which future scholars may understand historically-situated research (Gilgun, 1999). Conclusion In conclusion, accounts of reflexivity enhance the quality of our processes and outcomes and increases our sensitivity to informants’ concerns, whether our not we include these accounts in the products of our research, although I can think of no reason not to include some in all reports. Reflexivity, then, is also an ethical issue in regard to clients and an accountability issue in terms of quality. One final note: we often are unaware of what we think and believe and the implications of our interactions until we write about them and discuss them with others. Thus, survey researchers and others who are more quantitatively oriented would enhance their work by engaging in these processes as well. Note This is a revised version of Gilgun, Jane F. (2006). Commentary: On Susan Smith: Encouraging the use of reflexivity in the writing up of qualitative research. International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 13(5), 215. References & Further Reading Daley, Andrea (2010). Reflections on reflexivity and critical reflection as critical research practices. Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work, 25(1), 68-82. Dollard, John (1937). Caste and class in a southern town. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Gilgun, Jane F. (in press). Qualitative family research: Enduring themes and contemporary variations. To appear in Handbook of Marriage and the Family (3rd ed.). Gary F. Peterson & Kevin Bush (Eds.), New York: Plenum. Gilgun, Jane F. (in press). Reflections on 25 years of research on violence. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping. Gilgun, Jane F. (2008). Lived experience, reflexivity, and research on perpetrators of interpersonal violence. Qualitative Social Work, 7(2), 181-197. Gilgun, Jane F. (2005). “Grab” and good science: Writing up the results of qualitative research. Qualitative Health Research, 15(2), 256-262. Gilgun, Jane F. (1999). Methodological pluralism and qualitative family research. In Suzanne K. Steinmetz, Marvin B. Sussman, and Gary W. Peterson (Eds.), Handbook of Marriage and the Family (2nd ed.) (pp. 219-261). New York: Plenum. Gilgun, Jane F., & Laura McLeod (1999). Gendering violence. Studies in Symbolic Interactionism, 22, 167-193 Haraway, Donna (1988). Situated knowledge. Feminist Studies, 14, 575-599.
Schön, Donald (1983). The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. New York: Basic. Small, Albion W. (1916). Fifty years of sociology in the United States, 1865-1915. American Journal of Sociology, 21, 712-864.
Philosophy of Science & Mental Health Research: Where are Studies on Effects of MI on Families?
Jane F. Gilgun University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, USA he National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) have just put out a news release announcing that researchers have discovered that people with major depression may also have undiagnosed bipolar disorders, an important discovery (Symptoms, 2010). The release goes into some detail about the evidence supporting the discovery.
As I read the news release and then looked at recent articles published in The American Journal of Psychiatry, I became concerned about the narrow focus of this research (e.g., in Angst et al, 2010). The research is on the identification of symptoms of mania that may appear in persons diagnosed with major depression. Knowledge of symptoms is important, but insufficient. What might the researchers have learned if they had asked family members if loved ones with major depression sometimes show symptoms of mania? Needed: Focus on Families Where are studies that identify the effects of major depression/bipolar disorders on families? On children? Where are the studies of what it is like to have major depression? People with mental illnesses (MI) usually live with other people. Persons with MI may be may be parents and spouses. We need information about family experiences with persons with MI. Family may cope better with persons with MI if they had accurate information on what it is like to have an MI. If we had information about the effects of MI on families, maybe our policies and programs would be of great help and head off long-term suffering. When symptoms of MI flare up in parents, children can be frightened, confused, and traumatized. Episodes of MI shatter the foundations of parent-child relationships, which is parental psychological availability and emotional attunement. By definition, episodes of MI lead to detachment from others and often erratic behaviors and obliviousness to the effects of these behaviors. This is how a mother described a few of her husband’s behaviors. He had a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. I interviewed her as part of my research on interpersonal violence (Gilgun, in press, 2008). He’d complain about having to drive the kids to different functions or things that they were in, or complain about the time and money that went into their extra-curricular activities, even though I’d ask permission first. I always asked him. Is it ok if they sign up for this? Is this ok? It costs this much money. It’s this time. Oh yeah, no problem, no problem. But then when he had to go pick them up or drop them off, or it messed with his comfort, then he would either just not show up, or call at the last minute and say he couldn’t be there. A lot of
times I’d be at work or I’d be somewhere else. So then I’d have to scramble or leave where I was to go get the kids. So, he messed with your life a lot, and just made it really chaotic. We need to know a lot more about the effects on children and spouses of behaviors associated with diagnoses of MI. The Ecology of Mental Illness Spouses of persons with a flare-up of MI can experience fear and trauma. We do know now their experiences, nor what is helpful and what is not, what spouses require to keep themselves together and to help their children cope. We know little about how courts deal with spouses with diagnosed MI that is out of control. We need much more information about the ecology of MI. This is the experience of a woman quoted above when she sought a divorce from her husband, who denies his diagnosis of bipolar disorder and refuses treatment. They are an upper middle-class family. Here’s this guy that has been told, time and time again, by judges, by police officers, by all different things, to either do or not do something. He doesn’t listen, and he hasn’t had any kind of real consequences, because he doesn’t really care. Yeah, he might be in trouble, and he might be on probation, but you know what? He was never uncomfortable. He had to spend more of his mom’s money, which isn’t even his, so he still has his whole lifestyle that he wanted. He can go out. He can go out with friends. He can go to the movies. He can go out to eat. He can play golf. He can go bowling. Whatever he wants to do. He can go on trips. He’s been on at least three trips in the last year and a half, to warm destinations. We’ve been on none. We didn’t even have food, and he’s going on these trips. We had neighbors giving us food, and we lived on peanut butter and macaroni and cheese for a pretty good chunk of time. So, yeah, and it makes me really mad, at the court system—because that should be their job. From my point of view, it’s like I’m a parent. I have to be consistent. I have to raise welladjusted, responsible children. This is the kind of information we also need about untreated MI—what it does to spouses and families. Maybe then we can craft more helpful interventions; maybe public policy will fit the situations that families and children are living. We also need information about the ecology of MI, such as how courts handle spouses with MI and the effects of their rulings and what happens when individuals ignore rulings to the further detriment of their families. This quote also hints at family of origin issues. This ex-wife had views about these. The woman just quoted believes that family of origin issues contribute to her ex-husband’s behaviors. He’s very entitled, spoiled person. So a lot of it goes together. And, again, his mom supports him in everything he does… He’s never had to support himself, ever. His mom paid for his college. He lived in a condo during college so he didn’t have to live in the dorms. Paid for his food. He’s only had to do, kind of like what a high school kid would do. Pay for maybe your gas and your insurance, if even. That’s all he’s really ever had to do. You know, his mom has bought all of his vehicles. Houses. You know, dwellings that he’s lived in. Right now she owns the condo he’s in. She used to own the house that the kid and I are in, but I just bought it back.
This woman’s story suggests that ecological factors, including family practices, may contribute to the out-of-control behaviors of persons with MI. We need to know much more about these factors if we are to be responsive to troubling issues that untreated and out-of-control MI raise. Public policy, professionals, and family members need information like this. Needed: A New Philosophy of Science A focus on symptoms of MI to the neglect of their effects and ecologies originate in a philosophy of science that values objectivity, precision, distance from lived experience, and mathematical proofs. There is nothing innately harmful in these perspectives, and they do advance knowledge, but they also exclude other ways of knowing that are also valuable. To understand the ecology and effects of MI, we require another philosophy of science that values interactive, ecological analyses and subjective accounts of human situations. This is the human sciences tradition of research (Gilgun, 1999, in press) that is concerned with understanding human situations in context. The basic assumption is that situational variables influence actions and the interpretations what persons make of life events. The meanings that persons attribute to situations influence their actions and interpretations. Understandings of MI would be greatly enhanced if research focused the meanings that arise within situations where MI is at issue. Human sciences traditions are also emancipatory, meaning the purpose of the research is to understand problematic human situations so as to make things better. Researchers who follow rationaltechnical philosophies of science shy from emancipatory perspectives because they somehow taint the research, or because researchers believe research and making things better are separate. Conclusion Focus on symptoms is important, but leaves out human dimensions of MI, such as how MI affects children and families and how courts, police, and other agents of social control respond to MI. Family of origin issues, such as factors that contribute to behaviors associated with MI, are significant and under-researched. NIMH and other funding bodies would do well to question whether their philosophies of science are responsive to the human dimensions of MI. Researchers might question their underlying assumptions about what is important in mental health research. References & Further Reading Angst J, Cui L, Swendsen J, Rothen S, Cravchik A, Kessler R, & Merikangas K. (2010). Major depressive disorder with sub-threshold bipolarity in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. American Journal of Psychiatry. Online ahead of print August 15. Blumer, Herbert (1986), Symbolic interactionism. Berkeley: University of California Press. Gilgun, Jane F. (in press). Qualitative research: Enduring themes and contemporary variations. In Gary F. Peterson & Kevin Bush (Eds.). Handbook of Marriage and the Family (3rd ed.). New York: Plenum. Gilgun, Jane F. (in press). Reflections on 25 years of research on violence. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping. Gilgun, Jane F. (2008). Lived experience, reflexivity, and research on perpetrators of interpersonal violence. Qualitative Social Work, 7(2), 181-197. Gilgun, Jane F. (1999). Methodological pluralism and qualitative family research. In Suzanne K. Steinmetz, Marvin B. Sussman, and Gary W. Peterson (Eds.), Handbook of Marriage and the Family (2nd ed.) (pp. 219-261). New York: Plenum.
Symptoms of bipolar disorder may go undiagnosed in some adults with major depression (2010). National Institutes of Mental Health website: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/science-news/2010/symptoms-of-bipolar-disorder-may-go-undiagnosed-insome-adults-with-major-depression.shtmlScience Update • August 16, 2010
The Rise of Elizabeth Warren: Lessons for Qualitative Researchers
Jane F. Gilgun University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, USA
he rise of Elizabeth Warren to become a leading candidate for head of the recently created Federal Consumer Protection Agency has lessons for qualitative researchers who want to make a difference. Rational-technical models of research tell researchers to be objective, separate themselves from their values, and not to become advocates, as advocacy would interfere with objectivity. Rational-technical models also advise researchers to use specialized language that is hard for outsiders to understand. Human sciences traditions suggest that researchers focus on subjectivity, to be clear about their own values, and to do research that is based on values, including becoming advocates themselves. They write their research in plain English to make it accessible to a lot of people. Some researchers believe that their research should be written so as to draw audiences in (Gilgun, 1999, in press). Elizabeth Warren’s research and actions are within human sciences traditions. Her story has many lessons for qualitative researchers in human sciences traditions. The Story of Elizabeth Warren The career of Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard Law professor, provides an example of what can happen when researchers apply principles from the human sciences. Warren has specialized in research on middle class families who have experienced bankruptcies. Bankers had been saying that bankruptcy is the “easy way out.” Warren and two colleagues found that people who filed for bankruptcy had lost their jobs or had some other major life event that made it impossible for them to pay their bills. They were desperate. The research resulted in a well-received book called As We Forgive Our Debtors (Sullivan, Warren, &, 1999. Warren later co-wrote another influential book (Warren & Tyagi, 2004) called The Two-Income Trap. One of Warren’s colleagues on the bankruptcy research project said that looking through bankruptcy filings gave “a sense of human beings in real trouble. All of us were very much affected by what we found in those files” (Nocera, 2010, p. B6). Like many researchers before her, Warren found the research led her to take an advocacy stance (Gilgun, 1999, in press). In 2007, she wrote an article in Democracy: A Journal of ideas (Warren, 2007), reprinted in Harvard Magazine (Warren, 2008), where she discussed deceptive bank practices and laid out her case for regulation. She proposed a regulatory agency for financial products. She called the proposed agency The Financial Product Safety Commission (FPSC). She wrote Consumers entering the market to buy financial products should enjoy the same protection as those buying household appliances. Just as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) protects buyers of goods and supports a competitive market, a new regulatory agency is needed to protect consumers who use financial products. The time has come to recognize that regulation can often support and advance efficient and more dynamic markets (Warren, 2008). The Consumer Financial Protection Agency came into being early in 2010 through federal legislation.
People across the country want President Obama to appoint Warren to be the agency’s new director. There is even a popular youtube rap video that depicts her as a sheriff who will take down
bankers who deceive and harm consumers (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6W0vCgMRX0o). In fact, there are many youtube videos showing Warren in action, with such titles as “Warren Makes Timmy Geithner
Squirm Over AIG.” The sheriff idea is from a Time magazine article highlighting the roles of women in financial reform, calling the women “the new sheriffs of Wall Street” (Scherer, 2010). President Obama is considering another candidate, a man who is already part of the Obama administration and the apparent pick of Timothy Geithner, secretary of the treasury (Nocera, 2010). The Democracy article propelled Warren to national prominence. In December 2008, the U.S. Senate appointed her head of the Congressional oversight panel for the $700 billion bank bailout fund (TARP). She said that the job of the panel is to make sure that banks are using taxpayer’s money for the benefit of taxpayers. One of her many public statements about the panels findings was that taxpayers had subsidized ten of billions of dollars of shareholder profits while the money had little or no effect on bank lending. Such clear and forthright language has resulted in the tidal waves of support for her to head the protection agency she proposed. One commentator summed up what legions of people believe: I’m convinced that no one grasps the true nature of our hard times better than Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard Law School professor….(Scurlock, 2009). Researchers & Evocative Language Warren (2008) coined the term “tricks and traps” to depict how banks fooled people into signing credit agreements that had terms they did not know existed. She wrote in the Democracy article Lenders have deliberately built tricks and traps into some credit products so they can ensnare families in a cycle of high-cost debt. She began the article with a comparison. It is impossible to buy a toaster that has a one-in-five change of bursting into flames and burning down your house, but it is possible to refinance an existing home with a mortgage that has the same one-in-five chance of putting the family out on the street.” In this article, she uses words such as “fleece,” “tricks,” and “bribes” to describe actions of bankers. She showed a flair for words in an article in The Wall Street Journal, Warren (2010) wrote Banks and brokers have sold deceptive mortgages for more than a decade. Financial wizards made billions by packaging and repackaging those loans into securities. And federal regulators played the role of lookout at a bank robbery, holding back anyone who tried to stop the massive looting from middle-class families. When they weren't selling deceptive mortgages, Wall Street invented new credit card tricks and clever overdraft fees. Warren wants the new consumer protection agency to make a rule that banks have to write their contracts in language a 10th-grader would understand. This, she said, would help stop “cheating by contract.”
This is evocative language and bold thinking. Neutrality does not mean that researchers should depict deception in terms that drain away the actualities of the dishonesty and harm their actions cause. To get people’s attention, researchers would do well to use evocative language along the lines of the language that Warren uses. Her Words Convey Understanding As Joe Nocera of The New York Times stated, Warren writes about consumer issues “precisely in ways that most Americans have experienced them.” He continued, “She conveys a powerful sense that she understands what we’ve been through this last decade.” Nocera is part of the legions of people who want Warren to be appointed head of the new consumer financial protection agency. To convey understanding requires a deep appreciation of subjectivity—that is, other people’s experiences. In order to understand others, researchers must be comfortable with their own subjectivity. Thus, researchers have to become comfortable with their own inner lives and the inner experiences of others, if they want to convey human experience and if they want other people to pay attention to what they say. Researchers Have Values Warren’s values are clear in her statements. She said about her job as head of the oversight commitment on the bailout funds, “I'm not hanging on to this job. I’m here at the pleasure of the Senate that appointed me. But having said that, I’m not looking over my shoulder. I’m here to do what I think is right." In her mind, what’s right is a matter of fairness, of social justice. Similar values drive many researchers. This does not mean that we twist our research to fit our values, but we must be clear to ourselves and others that we do hold values and values are important to us. We must ensure that we remain fair and even-handed ourselves, even as we seek to identify, understand, and challenge social injustice and unfairness. To do less will render us ineffective and unfair. Connections Between Values and Courage Warren’s convictions about the value of fairness have given her courage. Even as she presents a soft-spoken demeanor, she said, “Don’t let my politeness fool you. I can’t think of anyone I’m afraid of, certainly not someone who may have had a hand in bringing this country to the brink of disaster” (Nocera, 2010, p. B6). This is courage based on values. Researchers may need this same kind of value-based courage. Once we have solid research on which to base our claims, we, like Elizabeth Warren, must share them in whatever forums we can find, not only in journal articles, but also in internet postings, youtube, appearances in the mass media, in classrooms, and at conferences. Research projects do not stop with publication in scholarly journals, but must be widely disseminated. The Effects of Values, Powerful Language, & Excellence of Thought Bankers and financiers have complained that Warren’s proposed policies would threaten the soundness, safety, and profits of banks. Warren answered, if banks depend upon deception and taking advantage of consumers, then there is something wrong with the banking system. Banks must change (Nocera, 2010). This is a turning of the tables, not backing down with scare tactics based on selfinterest.
Patterns and Exceptions to General Statements A hallmark of human sciences research is to acknowledge variations in human phenomena. It is rare that any generalization fits all cases. Warren’s thinking and writing shows this. While critiquing current banking practices for deception in the Democracy article, Warren (2007) acknowledged how important credit is. Sometimes consumer trust in a creditor is well placed. Credit has provided real value for millions of households, permitting the purchase of homes that can add to family wealth accumulation and cars that can expand job opportunities. Credit can also provide a critical safety net, a chance for a family to borrow against a better tomorrow when they confront layoffs or medical problems today. Life insurance and annuities also can greatly enhance a family’s security. Consumers may not spend hours poring over the details of their credit-card terms or understand every paper they sign at a real-estate closing, but many of those financial products are offered on fair terms that benefit both seller and customer. In making these statements, Warren presented variations on her main point of how harmful deceptive practices are. She did not paint all credit practices as deceptive. It’s important for researchers to make their points in a similar fashion: to make their main points clear, but also to document exceptions and variations (Gilgun, 1999, 2005, in press). Conclusion Human sciences traditions give researchers guidance on how to conduct research that focuses on subjectivity, honor patterns and exceptions to general statements, allow for researcher values, and encourage emancipatory research; that is, research that examines and documents human situations where justice and care at are issue. Warren’s work and career show what can happen when researchers follow the guidelines of human sciences research. Few researchers may want the national prominence and media attention that Warren has garnered, but we do want our research to be noticed, used, and effective. Following human sciences traditions and the example of Elizabeth Warren can foster these goals. References & Further Reading Blumer, Herbert (1986), Symbolic interactionism. Berkeley: University of California Press. Elizabeth Warren, TARP overseer (2008). Huff Post. December 16. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/12/16/elizabeth-warren-tarp-ove_n_151418.html/. Gilgun, Jane F. (in press). Qualitative research: Enduring themes and contemporary variations. In Gary F. Peterson & Kevin Bush (Eds.). Handbook of Marriage and the Family (3rd ed.). New York: Plenum. Gilgun, Jane F. (2005). Qualitative research and family psychology. Journal of Family Psychology,19(1), 40-50. (invited and peer blind reviewed) Gilgun, Jane F. (1999). Methodological pluralism and qualitative family research. In Suzanne K. Steinmetz, Marvin B. Sussman, and Gary W. Peterson (Eds.), Handbook of Marriage and the Family (2nd ed.) (pp. 219-261). New York: Plenum. Kolhatkar, Sheelah (2009). Elizabeth Warren: Riding Herd on the Bailout. Time, June 22.
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1904151,00.html/. Scherer, Michael (2010). The new sheriffs of Wall Street. Time, May 13. http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1988953,00.html/. Scurlock, James (2009). The TARP queen: Why we should all bow before Elizabeth Warren (even if you’ve never heard of her). The Big Money, April 23. http://www.thebigmoney.com/articles/judgments/2009/04/23/elizabeth-warren-my-hero Sullivan, Teresa A., Elizabeth Warren, & Jay Lawrence Westbrook (1989). As we forgive our debtors: Bankruptcy and consumer credit in America. New York: Oxford. Warren, Elizabeth (2007). Unsafe at any rate. Democracy: A journal of ideas (5), Summer. http://www.democracyjournal.org/article.php?ID=6528 Warren, Elizabeth (2008). Making credit safer: The case for regulation. Harvard Magazine. May-June. http://harvardmagazine.com/2008/05/making-credit-safer-html Warren, Elizabeth & Elizabeth Warren Tyagi (2004). The two-income trap. New York: Basic. Warren, Elizabeth (2010). Wall Street’s race to the bottom. Wall Street Journal, February 8. http://online.wsj.com/article/NA_WSJ_PUB:SB10001424052748703630404575053514188773400.ht ml/.
A Primer on Deductive Qualitative Analysis as Theory Testing & Theory Development
Jane F. Gilgun University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, USA
eductive qualitative analysis is qualitative research that begins with theory. Researchers may test theory for the purpose of modifying it or use theory as sources of sensitizing concepts that are the basis of their interview questions, their preliminary codes, and their theoretical sensitivity. Theoretical sensitivity means that researchers already have knowledge of theory, research, and personal experience that contribute to implicit or explicit sets of ideas that helps them to notice certain things about their data and not notice others. These sets of ideas are conceptual frameworks. (See Glaser, 1978 for an extended discussion of theoretical sensitivity.) In this brief article, I discuss the theory testing and theory development strategies of deductive qualitative analysis (DQA). In this form of DQA, researchers begin with a preliminary theory. The initial theory can be composed of loosely formulated hunches based on personal or professional experience, formal hypotheses, or a set of that is a model of how things work (Gilgun, 2010, 2007, 2005c). The theory is tested on a series of cases. When the theory does not fit cases, the theory is changed. DQA is an updating of analytic induction, a form of qualitative inquiry that researchers at the University of Chicago, USA, developed in the early part of the twentieth century. DQA and the Scientific Method. Researchers test preliminary theory on particular cases. Many do “natural experiments” in that they observe phenomena that they do not control, typically because they want to observe behaviors in natural settings or because it would be unethical to perform some social experiments. Post-hoc studies of trauma are examples. Sometimes researchers manipulate the actions observed, such as when researchers drop a wallet on the ground and watch what passers-by do when the see it lying there. Thus, DQA follows a scientific method, one that involves proposing a theory, testing it, and then revising it based on results of the test (Popper, 1969). Another way to think about scientific method is the following. Science involves observation, the formulation of descriptions of what researchers see in their observations, and the testing of these descriptions, which may be called hypotheses. Researchers may—and probably should--purposefully seeking evidence that undermines or at least refines hypotheses and that promotes the production of new hypotheses when those that are tested are found lacking. Indeed, the production of new, more useful hypotheses is a goal of science. Science builds understandings based upon procedures of conjectures in the form of hypotheses, refutation through the process of testing hypotheses for their fit with observations, and reformulation
when the hypotheses that are tested do not fit observations (Gilgun, 2005a; Popper, 1969). In DQA as in the scientific method in general, researchers consider the initial theory to be preliminary. The purpose of DQA is to come up with a better theory than researchers had constructed at the outset (Gilgun, 2005c, 2007; 2010). The Terminology of DQA The terminology of DQA can be confusing. Researchers refer to the initial theoretical framework in various ways, such as a preliminary theory, an analytic framework, a theoretical model, a preliminary model, and the initial or preliminary hypothesis or hypotheses. The final product of DQA also has more than one name, including tested and refined theory or model, the improved model, and the final model. Whatever terms researchers use, DQA is based on the idea that “final” theory is not final at all, but tentative and subject to revision when there is evidence to do so (Gilgun, 2005c, 2007, 2010). The term hypothesis can also be a confusing term in DQA. In the present context, hypotheses are statements of relationships among concepts. Any hypothesis is composed of at least two concepts and a statement of the relationship between them, such as the hypothesis that Clever Foxes (a concept) know exactly what they are doing (a concept). Concepts in DQA serve sensitizing purposes, meaning they help researchers see aspects of phenomena that might not otherwise have noticed. This is both their strength and weakness, strength precisely because they enlighten and thus serve as lenses with which to view the world. The sensitizing purposes of concepts also represent weakness because they may blind researchers to other significant aspects of phenomena (Blumer, 1954/1969). Thus researchers may only pay attention to data that support their assumptions and ignore other important data. It is easy enough to find material that upholds one’s assumptions, but this is not science. Negative Case Analysis Researchers avoid finding what they intend to find through the conscious search for evidence that contradicts their emerging findings. This requires a form of sampling called negative case analysis, which involves the search for data that adds additional dimensions or even contradicts researchers’ emerging understandings. Negative case analysis fits well with the ideas of conjectures, refutations, and reformulations (Gilgun, 2005c, 2007; 2010). Another way to think of sampling in deductive qualitative analysis is the idea of maximum variability, where researchers attempt to sample a wide variety of cases in order to arrive at a comprehensive theory. The sampling is purposeful in that researchers intentionally select cases that represent a wide variety of types. The result is a set of cases that are representative of the many variations. It is likely that other variations not accounted for in the sample actually do exist. Thus, any theory based on DQA is flexible, intended to be modifiable if a new situation or case calls for flexibility. Such are the challenges and pleasures of scientific endeavors. DQA and Analytic Induction Deductive qualitative analysis (DQA) is an updating of analytic induction (AI) which is a research method associated with the Chicago School of Sociology (Bulmer, 1984; Gilgun 2005c, 2007,
2010). Like DQA, AI starts with a preliminary theory, tests the theories on cases, selects sample based on negative case analysis, and continual revises the theory according to what researchers find through their analysis of cases. Some researchers who used AI, stated that their findings were universal, meaning that they fit every case they investigated, not that they fit every specific instances of an entire class of phenomena. Those who originated AI recognized that their “final” theories are in fact tentative, subject to revision when new evidence comes to light (Cressey, 1953). Analytic induction went through long period of disrepute because some methodologists misunderstood its premises. For instance, these methodologists thought by “universal,” researchers using AI meant that their findings were general laws, applicable across time, place, and persons (Gilgun, 2005c). In fact, as stated, those who used AI saw findings as subject to revision (Gilgun, 2007). Methodologists also misunderstood how to use the findings of AI. They correctly noted that findings are not applicable to an entire population. Those who developed AI also recognized this and expected findings to be tested for their fit with new situations. Any findings from research, including findings based on true random samples cannot be assumed to fit any one individual, even someone who was part of the sample on which the findings were developed. What is true for a group may not be true of individuals who compose that group. Assuming that group findings fit individual situations has a name: the ecological fallacy. Any finding, no many how derived, must be tested for fit in applied settings (Cronbach, 1975). Analytic induction, like DQA, has as its purpose theory-building and cannot answer questions about distribution of qualities within a population, such as how many people will vote Democratic, Republican, Green, Independent, otherwise, or not at all. Many of the ideas connected to AI are also part of DQA, but DQA elaborates upon many of these ideas and adds new ones. For instance, those who have created AI gave scant attention to the various types of initial hypotheses with which researchers begin their studies, nor do they define such terms as theory, model, and hypotheses. They provided little guidance as to how to incorporate previous research and theory into the development of the initial hypotheses and into emerging findings. They appear not to have considered ideas related to the sensitizing nature of concepts that is so important in testing and revising hypotheses. They did not connect negative case analysis with Popper’s ideas of conjectures and refutations nor with ideas of maximum variability. These are some of the elaborations that the present author did to create DQA and that are accounted for in the present investigation and in articles previously cited. Deductive qualitative analysis (DQA) also states clearly how important it is for researchers to begin qualitative, case-based research with a preliminary theory that also services as a conceptual framework. If they do not, they have scant chance of having our proposals funded by sponsoring agencies or accepted by dissertation committees. Some researchers fear that we will find what they expect to find if we begin our research with hypotheses (Glaser, 1973; Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Strauss & Corbin, 1998). These fears are well founded. In response, DQA offers the principles of conjectures, refutations, and reformulations to counteract these tendencies and, furthermore, shows how negative case analysis represents a means of refuting previous conjectures.
Induction and Deduction Finally, analytic induction is not induction at all, but a combination of induction and deduction. For example, if a horse owner sees a gooey, yellow substance in the corner of her horse’s eye, she uses both induction and deduction to conclude that her horse has an eye infection. She has prior understanding of pus as an indicator of infection. Prior knowledge is a source of deductive reasoning. She sees the yellow substance in her horse’s eye and concludes the horse has an eye infection (induction). The horse owner did not have a prior framework in mind when she looked at the horse’s eye, but when she saw the yellow substance, she immediately thought of eye infection. In this instance, she began with no prior framework but immediately called one up when she saw the substance in the corner of the eye. Had someone told her that her horse appears to have an eye infection, she would have looked at the eye with that hypothesis in mind. If she had seen the yellow, soft substance, she would have tentatively concluded that the hypothesis fit the situation. She would have sought further confirmation by calling a veterinarian and having the vet inspect the eye. If the hypothesis were to be confirmed, then action would follow. The vet would sell the horse owner medication and the horse owner would apply it to the horse’s eye as directed. If the vet were correct in her conclusion, and if she prescribed the correct medication, and if the owner applied the medication as directed and in the correct dose, then the horse’s eye would clear up. Results would confirm or disconfirm the hypothesis. Deductive qualitative analysis (DQA) begins with a deductive approach based on the construction of a preliminary theory that is tested and hopefully refined as a result of an analysis. The theory also serves a sensitizing function, as discussed. When researchers seek evidence to disconfirm or to discover new dimensions of their emerging hypotheses, they often use induction as described above. In other words, they may set aside their prior theory as much as they can and attempt to be open to new aspects of phenomena under investigation. They do not know exactly what they are looking for other than they want to find something different from what they already think they know. Summary To summarize, DQA is based on the scientific method and typically is used to test and refine hypotheses through observation of behaviors in their natural settings. Data can be created through researchers’ own observations and interviews or through the examination of texts that others have constructed. As increasing numbers of social scientists see the merits of DQA for developing theory, theory development may take a more central place in social science in general and in the applied disciplines as well. Note
This article is revision of an appendix that appears in a book called On Being a Shit: Unkind Deeds & CoverUps in Everyday Life (Gilgun, 2009). This book shows how to use deductive qualitative analysis for testing & modifying theories using qualitative case studies and is inspired by Professor Harry Frankfurt’s bestseller On Bullshit.
References & Further Reading Blumer, Herbert. (1954/1969). What is wrong with social theory? In Herbert Blumer (1969/1986), Symbolic interactionism. (pp (pp. 140-152) Berkeley: University of California Press. Originally published in Vol. XIX in The American Sociological Review. Bryant, Antony & Kathy Charmaz (Eds.) (2007). The Sage handbook of grounded theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Bulmer, Martin (1984). The Chicago School of Sociology: Institutionalization, diversity, and the rise of sociological research. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Corbin, Juliet & Anselm Strauss (2008). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Cressey, Donald (1953). Other people's money. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Cronbach, Lee J. (1975). Beyond the two disciplines of scientific psychology. American Psychologist, 30, 116-127. Daly, Kerry (2007) Qualitative methods for family studies & human development. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Gilgun, Jane F. (2005a). “Grab” and good science: Writing up the results of qualitative research. Qualitative Health Research, 15(2), 256-262. Gilgun, Jane F. (2005b). Lighten up! The citation dilemma in qualitative research. Qualitative Health Research, 15(5,) 721-725. Gilgun, Jane F. (2005c). Qualitative research and family psychology. Journal of Family Psychology, 19(1), 40-50. Gilgun, Jane F. (2010). Methods for enhancing theory and knowledge about problems, policies, and practice. In Katherine Briar, Joan Orme, Roy Ruckdeschel, & Ian Shaw, The Sage handbook of social work research (pp. 281-297). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Gilgun, Jane F. (2009). On being a shit: Unkind deeds & cover-ups in everyday life. Morrissville, NC: Lulu. Gilgun, Jane F. (2006). The four cornerstones of qualitative research. Qualitative Health Research, 16(3), 436-443. Glaser, Barney. (1978). Theoretical sensitivity. Mill Valley, CA: Sociology Press. Glaser, Barney & Anselm A. Strauss (l967). The discovery of grounded theory. Chicago: Aldine. Popper, Karl (1969). Conjectures and refutations: The growth of scientific knowledge. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Strauss, Anselm, & Juliet Corbin (1998). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
The Qualitative Basis of Quantitative Models
Jane F. Gilgun University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, USA “The Quants are Reeling” reads a headline in today’s New York Times. They’re reeling because quantitative models did not predict the loss of billions of investor dollars. Investors by the hundreds of thousands are bailing out of hedge funds based on quant models. Once called the Wizards of Wall Street for the huge profits they racked up, managers of quant hedge funds now look like dunces, absurdly rich dunces, but dunces all the same. Self-proclaimed geniuses when their models fit the economic bubble, many now blame market forces for their failures. The problem is with their models. They had inadequate models. What these managers did not understand is that a quantitative model is only as good as its underlying qualitative concepts. In other words, these managers did not take into account important factors that influence how markets behave. It is a truism that quantitative models are only as good as their underlying concepts. Managers did not understand this, or if they did, they persuaded themselves of the goodness of fit of their models and how markets behave. They were wrong. Science is Based on Qualitative Thinking As Campbell and Stanley (1979) pointed out, science is based on qualitative thinking. Advocates touted the scientific bases of quant models, but they did not understand what science is, which continually tests and revises models of how things work. Adequate conceptual models are based upon qualitative thinking and attempts to revise them to make them more adequate to solving problems and promoting the social good. Model developers identify relevant factors that comprise their model. They test the model under a variety of situations. The purposefully seek exceptions to their developing model. They want to find situations where the model does not work. They then can change the model to fit these situations. Models are always tentative. Model developers are continually on the outlook for situations that do not fit their developing models or that can add to them. Excellent model developers look just about everywhere, such as historical records and analyses, theories backed up with plausible data, and observations of various sorts. They specify conditions under which their models work. They recognize that various conditions have various effects on their models. Familiar Strategies These strategies are familiar to qualitative researchers. We want to build theories and models in order to improve human situations, such as crime and poverty. We continually seek exceptions to our emerging understandings. We take seriously the idea that model building is part of an experimenting society committed to social justice and care.
We are impelled to seek exceptions to our models because of the values we hold—such as justice and care. Values that Exclude Fairness and Care Values could be at the root of the failures of quant models. Managers may have been committed to the value of making profits and being kings of the hill. “My hedge fund is bigger than yours” kind of thinking. They were not uneasy that perhaps they were missing something. They were making too much money. They were adored. Social researchers often have doubt. They often are uneasy. They have concern that they may be missing something. They know that the quality of human lives is at stake if they misspecify their models. People driven by greed and blind pride apparently have no doubts and are not concerned that a misspecification of their models could hurt others. It’s time for those with blind faith in their quant models not only to re-specify their models but also to examine the values that are the basis of their blindness, blindness that is both conceptual and moral. Reflexivity Researchers call this examination of values “reflexivity.” Wall street managers could use a lot more reflexivity. What they do in their joy in making money and being bigger than the other guy affects untold millions of others. It’s about time they took reflexivity seriously. Conclusions It’s time for Wall Street managers to adopt strategies that social scientists use—doubt, reflexivity, values based on care and justice, and continually seeking to improve their models of how things work. References & Further Reading Blumer, Herbert. (1954/1969). What is wrong with social theory? In Herbert Blumer (1969/1986), Symbolic interactionism. (pp (pp. 140-152) Berkeley: University of California Press. Originally published in Vol. XIX in The American Sociological Review. Campbell, Donald T. (1979). “Degrees of freedom” and the case study. In Thomas D. Cook & Charles S. Reichardt (Eds.), Qualitative and quantitative methods in evaluation research. (pp.49-67). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Cook, Thomas D., & Donald T. Campbell (1979). Quasi-experimentation: Design & analysis for field settings. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Creswell, Julie (2010). The quants are reeling. New York Times, August 20, p. B1, B6. Cronbach, Lee J. (1975). Beyond the two disciplines of scientific psychology. American Psychologist, 30, 116-127. Gilgun, Jane F. (in press). Qualitative research: Enduring themes and contemporary variations. In Gary F. Peterson & Kevin Bush (Eds.). Handbook of Marriage and the Family (3rd ed.). New York: Plenum.
Gilgun, Jane F. (2005). Qualitative research and family psychology. Journal of Family Psychology, 19(1), 40-50. Gilgun, Jane F. (1994). A case for case studies in social work research. Social Work, 39(4), 371-389. Popper, Karl (1969). Conjectures and refutations: The growth of scientific knowledge. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Finding the Organizing Framework
by Jane F. Gilgun University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, USA s I was reading a book proposal on interpersonal violence that I wrote several years ago and haven’t sought a publisher for, the importance of an organizing framework came to mind. What’s your point? is a relevant question when field researchers are confronting the task of writing up results.
Sometimes in qualitative research finding the point you want to make takes time, even if the words of informants are compelling and significant. Some organizing ideas practically jump into your arms, while others are elusive. I have many published articles on violence, and for each of them the organizing framework was easy to identify. It was the construction of the framework that made writing the articles possible. For a book on interpersonal violence, however, I have not been able to find an organizing framework. The framework would be complex because violence is complex. I want the book to be readable and much of the interview material I have on violence is difficult to read because of the horrors that informants narrate. My dilemma is, How do I write up research on violence so that other people not only can bear to read the book but will take action based upon what is in the book? I spent a large portion of my adult life learning about the meanings of violence to perpetrators and the development of violent behavior, and I am flummoxed on how to present this material to the general public and to other researchers. A Book that Requires an Organizing Framework The book proposal I have written but not submitted to publishers is an example of a piece of writing that requires an organizing framework. The proposal is based on 24 years of in-depth interviewing I did with men who have risks for violence. I have written many articles from this data set and have many other products from the research. I have listed these publications below. I want the book to be a comprehensive statement of what I’ve learned. Challenges of Open-Ended Approaches It is important, as many qualitative researchers point out, to enter the field with an open mind and to work at not imposing ideas on the material until you have a firm understanding of what is going on. In my heart, I now have an understanding of violence. Yet, I have come up almost blank in terms of how to interpret and organize my understandings for my proposed book and for the two articles I just mentioned. I think some of the material my informants have handed over to me is outside of my experience and therefore does not correspond to meanings that are in my mind. Open-ended approaches to research lead to important learnings, but in some cases, such as mine, the material is so far outside of researchers’ experience that they struggle with how to organize it For instance, in my case, I want to convey meanings but I do not want to sensationalize violence and convey such horror that no one can read it. Theoretical Readiness & Theoretical Sensitivity
I’m concluding that for qualitative researchers to come up with ideas to help them to interpret and organize their findings, these ideas must already be present in some form in their own minds. I still don’t have analytic frameworks that satisfy me. No journal I know will accept simple narrations of another person’s words, especially when I can’t make anymore sense out of them than to say, “Will you take a look at this? Can you imagine?” I do not want to publish a book based on fragmented, confusing ideas. In my own mind, I do not have theoretical readiness to publish a helpful book on violence. I coined this term as I wrote this article, and there may be others who have thought about and written about the issue of theoretical readiness. Glaser (1978) talks about theoretical sensitivity which roughly means that researchers already have ideas in their minds that correspond to what they see in their research material. I have been theoretically blank, in terms of the complex set of ideas I know I require if I am to write a coherent account of interpersonal violence, its meanings and its development. What I Want in a Book on Violence I am hoping that as I reflect upon the book proposal—which, if I may say so myself, is good— that I will see an analytic thread that will help me bring the proposal to a satisfying conclusion. Then I can seek a publisher. Understanding violence is a huge challenge. My goals are to convey what I have learned in ways that will energize others, first, to understand and then to respond in firm, yet humane ways. I have some hope that I will eventually write a paper on a process model of interpersonal violence. I think cognitive science will be helpful. I had no knowledge of cognitive science until several years ago when I came across an article on social information processing (Crick & Dodge, 1996) which led to me explore the work of John Bargh (Bargh & Chartrand, 1999; Bargh & Ferguson, 2000) on the automaticity of being. The words of these researchers put a larger lens on the patterns I had observed in the words of my informants. Without knowledge of cognitive science, I was stuck as to how to write up my compelling findings. I’ve learned from these experiences that making sense out of qualitative research involves connecting ideas to concrete findings. When findings are outside of researchers’ experience, the challenge to organize and write up findings is daunting – and probably impossible to meet. Note: The following is a list of academic publications I have on the topic of interpersonal violence. I have many more articles and small books for the general public on Amazon Kindle, scribd.com, and iBooks for a variety of mobile devices, many of them free to read. Gilgun, Jane F. (in press). Reflections on 25 years of research on violence. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping. Gilgun, Jane F. (2010). Child sexual abuse: From harsh realities to hope. Morrisstown, NC: Lulu. Gilgun, Jane F., & Alankaar Sharma (2008). Child sexual abuse. In Jeffrey L. Edleson & Claire M. Renzetti (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Interpersonal Violence (pp. 122-125). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Sharma, Alankaar & Jane F. Gilgun (2008). In their own words: Learning about child sexual abuse through listening to perpetrators. Indian Journal of Social Work, 69(3), 321-338.
Gilgun, Jane F. (2008). Lived experience, reflexivity, and research on perpetrators of interpersonal violence. Qualitative Social Work, 7(2), 181-197. Gilgun, Jane F. (2006). Children and adolescents with problematic sexual behaviors: Lessons from research on resilience. In Robert Longo & Dave Prescott (Eds.), Current perspectives on working with sexually aggressive youth and youth with sexual behavior problems (pp. 383-394). Holyoke, MA: Neari Press. Gilgun, Jane F. (2005). Evidence-based practice, descriptive research, and the resilience-schemagender-brain (RSGB) assessment. British Journal of Social Work. 35 (6), 843-862. Gilgun, Jane F., & Laura S. Abrams (2005). Gendered adaptations, resilience, and the perpetration of violence. In Michael Ungar (Ed.), Handbook for working with children and Youth: Pathways to resilience across cultures and context (pp. 57-70). Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Gilgun, Jane F., Danette Jones, & Kay Rice. (2005). Emotional expressiveness as an indicator of progress in treatment. In Martin C. Calder (Ed.), Emerging approaches to work with children and young people who sexually abuse (pp. 231-244). Dorset, England: Russell House. Gilgun, Jane F. (2004). Fictionalizing life stories: Yukee the wine thief. Qualitative Inquiry, 10 (5), 691-705. Gilgun, Jane F. (2004). Qualitative methods and the development of clinical assessment tools. Qualitative Health Research, 14(7), 1008-1019. Gilgun, Jane F. (2002). Social work and the assessment of the potential for violence. In Tan Ngoh Tiong & Imelda Dodds (Eds.), Social work around the world II (pp. 58-74). Berne, Switzerland: International Federation of Social Workers. Gilgun, Jane F. Christian Klein, & Kay Pranis. (2000). The significance of resources in models of risk, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 14, 627-646. Gilgun, Jane F., Susan Keskinen, Danette Jones Marti, & Kay Rice. (1999). Clinical applications of the CASPARS instruments: Boys who act out sexually. Families in Society, 80(6), 629-641. Gilgun, Jane F. (1999). CASPARS: New tools for assessing client risks and strengths. Families in Society, 80(5), 450-459. Tools available at ssw.che.umn.edu/Faculty_Profiles/Gilgun_Jane.html Gilgun, Jane F. (1999). Fingernails painted red: A feminist, semiotic analysis of "hot" text, Qualitative Inquiry, 5, 181-207. Gilgun, Jane F., & Laura McLeod (1999). Gendering violence. Studies in Symbolic Interactionism, 22, 167-193. Gilgun, Jane F. (1999). Mapping resilience as process among adults maltreated in childhood. In Hamilton I. McCubbin, Elizabeth A. Thompson, Anne I. Thompson, & Jo A. Futrell (Eds.), The dynamics of resilient families. (pp. 41-70). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Gilgun, Jane F. (1996). Human development and adversity in ecological perspective, Part 2: Three patterns. Families in Society, 77, 459-576. Gilgun, Jane F. (1996). Human development and adversity in ecological perspective: Part 1: A conceptual framework. Families in Society, 77, 395-402. Gilgun, Jane F. (1995). We shared something special: The moral discourse of incest perpetrators. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 57, 265-281. Gilgun, Jane F. (1994). A case for case studies in social work research. Social Work, 39, 371-380. Gilgun, Jane F. (1994). Avengers, conquerors, playmates, and lovers: A continuum of roles played
by perpetrators of child sexual abuse. Families in Society, 75, 467-480. Lead article. Reprinted in Richard Tewksbury & Patricia Gagne (Eds) (2000). Deviance and deviants: An anthology. Los Angeles: Roxbury. Gilgun, Jane F. (1994). Freedom of choice and research interviewing in child sexual abuse. In Beulah G. Compton & Burt Galaway, Social work processes (5th ed.) (pp. 358-368). Chicago: Dorsey. Gilgun, Jane F. (1992). Observations in a clinical setting: Team decision-making in family incest treatment. In Jane F. Gilgun, Kerry Daly, and Gerald Handel (Eds.), Qualitative methods in family research (pp. 236-259). Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Gilgun, Jane F. (1991). Resilience and the intergenerational transmission of child sexual abuse. In Michael Q. Patton (Ed.), Family sexual abuse: Frontline research and evaluation (pp. 93-105). Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Gilgun, Jane F. (1991). Discovery-oriented qualitative methods relevant to longitudinal research on child abuse and neglect. In Raymond H. Starr, Jr. & David A. Wolfe (Eds.) The effects of child abuse and neglect: Issues and research. (pp. 144-163). New York: Guilford. Gilgun, Jane F. (l990). Factors mediating the effects of childhood maltreatment. In Mic Hunter (Ed.), The sexually abused male: Prevalence, impact, and treatment (pp. 177-190). Lexington, MA: Lexington Books. Gilgun, Jane F. & Teresa M. Connor (1990). Isolation and the adult male perpetrator of child sexual abuse. In Anne L. Horton, Barry L. Johnson, Lynn M. Roundy, & Doran Williams (Eds.), The incest perpetrator: The family member no one wants to treat (pp. 74-87). Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Gilgun, Jane F., & Elizabeth Reiser. (1990). Sexual identity development among men sexually abused in childhood. Families in Society, 71, 515-523. Gilgun, Jane F., & Teresa M. Connor. (1989). How perpetrators view child sexual abuse. Social Work, 34, 349-351. Reprinted in the U.S. Air Force handbook on family violence and in the Training Manual of CornerHouse, a child sexual abuse evaluation center, Minneapolis, MN. Gilgun, Jane F. (l988). Decision-making in interdisciplinary treatment teams. Child Abuse & Neglect, 12, 231-239. Gilgun, Jane F. (l988). Self-centeredness and the adult male perpetrator of child sexual abuse. Contemporary Family Therapy, 10, 216-234. Gilgun, Jane F. (1988). Why children don't tell: Fear of separation and loss and the disclosure of child sexual abuse. New Designs in Youth Development, 8, 16-20. Gilgun, Jane F. (l987). Theory development and child sexual abuse. Journal of Sex Education and Therapy, 13, 22 -- 25. Gilgun, Jane F. (l986). The adolescent sex offender and the juvenile justice system in Minnesota. In Hans J. Kerner, Burt Galaway, & H. Janssen (Eds.), European and North-American juvenile justice systems. Munich: Schriftenreihe der Deutschen Vereinigung fur Jugendgerichte und Jugendgerichtschilfen. Gilgun, Jane F. (l986). Sexually abused girls' knowledge of sexual abuse and sexuality. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 1, 209-225. Gilgun, Jane F. & Sol Gordon (l985). Sex education and the prevention of child sexual abuse. Journal of Sex Education and Therapy, 11, 46-52. Gilgun, Jane F. (l984). Does the mother always know? Alternatives to blaming mothers for child sexual abuse. Response to the Victimization of Women and Children, 7, 2-4. Reprinted in J. Philip (Ed.), (l988). Child sexual abuse training curriculum for social workers. Denver: American Humane
Association. Gilgun, Jane F. & Sol Gordon (l983). The role of values in sex education programs. Journal of Research and Development in Education, 16, 27-33. References Bargh, John A. & Melissa J. Ferguson (2000). Beyond behaviorism: On the automaticity of higher mental processes. Psychological Bulletin, 126(6), 925-945. Bargh, John, & Tanya L. Chartrand (1999). The unbearable automaticity of being. American Psychologist, 54(7), 462-479. Crick, Nikki R. & Kenneth A. Dodge. (1996). Social information processing mechanisms in reactive and proactive aggression. Child Development, 67, 993-1002. Glaser, Barney (1987). Theoretical sensitivity. Mill Valley, CA: Sociology Press.
Qualitative Researchers Aren’t the Only Ones Who Struggle to Make Sense out of Data
Jane F. Gilgun University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, USA
ualitative researchers sometimes have no idea what their findings mean. Educated, smart, and theoretically sensitive, researchers’ findings may be outside of their experience. So, we can describe it. We can make typologies with clever names, but we don’t get it. If the purpose of our research is to advance the social good, we may be hampered in our efforts when we can’t explain the events we’ve studied. The same has happened with educated, smart, and theoretically sensitive financial analysts who have all the data they could ever want about the five-minute 600-point plunge of the stock market in May. They’ve made charts, graphs, and typologies. They’ve read economic theory and the history of economics. They’ve interviewed experts. They’ve talked among themselves. They’ve coined a clever term to describe the drop: “flash crash.” But they don’t know what happened. If they are to prevent such crashes again, they have to know what happened. Combinations of Induction and Deduction In trying to figure out what happened, financial analysts do the same kinds of thinking that qualitative researchers do. They have studied the data and theorized from it. They have come up with theories, such as sabotage, cyber warfare, fraud, and the mindless coming together of multiple influences. No one theory or combinations of theories appear to fit the situation. Financial analysts can theorize because they have a lot of knowledge about financial markets. The type of theorizing they are doing is neither inductive nor deductive. It is both. They are inspecting data that have some familiar characteristics, but that also have much they don’t understand. They call upon their storehouses of knowledge to see if their ideas fit and help explain, organize, and make sense out of their data. They are doing pattern matching. So far, they have not developed a pattern that matches. Qualitative researchers do the same thing. There is no such thing as pure induction. We come to each data set with a storehouse of ideas. If there are several researchers, there are several storehouses of ideas. We try all kinds of ideas to see how they help us organize and understand. We know the dangers of seeing what we expect to see. We seek exceptions to our emerging ideas. Like financial analysts, we do pattern matching. We include outliers and study them. Outliers may be key, much like the flap of a butterfly’s wings in South America that eventually culminate in thunderstorms in Waterloo. Sometimes We Just Don’t Know Sometimes despite our best thinking and despite following the most trustworthy procedures, we still don’t know what is going on in our data—or what is going on in the real world in which we are interested. We are left with mysteries.
In the case of the stock market, players now fear that another flash crash can happen. They fear the loss of money and status. Uncertainty in the market can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Our ailing economy in combination with fear of flash crashes could combine with other events to create a perfect storm—in this case, a prolonged crash. Conclusion How market analysts try to understand market phenomena is similar to how qualitative researchers try to understand social phenomena. Combinations of deduction and induction are what we do as we analyze and try to understand out data. The more complex the issues we study, the more complex our explanations have to be. When we are able to explain complex phenomena, we have called upon many bodies of knowledge using a combination of induction and deduction. Along the way, we may also have had the good luck to stumble upon some illuminating ideas. References & Further Reading Blumer, Herbert (1986), Symbolic interactionism. Berkeley: University of California Press. Bowley, Graham (2010). Stock swing still baffles, ominously. New York Times, August 23, p. B1, B2. Campbell, Donald T. (1979). “Degrees of freedom” and the case study. In Thomas D. Cook & Charles S. Reichardt (Eds.), Qualitative and quantitative methods in evaluation research. (pp. 49-67). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Gilgun, Jane F. (in press). Qualitative research: Enduring themes and contemporary variations. In Gary F. Peterson & Kevin Bush (Eds.). Handbook of Marriage and the Family (3rd ed.). New York: Plenum. Gilgun, Jane F. (2010). A primer on deductive qualitative analysis as theory testing & theory development. Current Issues in Qualitative Research,1(3). http://www.scribd.com/doc/35886233/APrimer-on-Deductive-Qualitative-Analysis-as-Theory-Testing-Theory-Development Gilgun, Jane F. (2010). Dilemmas in qualitative research: Finding the framework. Current Issues in Qualitative Research, 1(1). http://www.scribd.com/doc/35667697/Dilemmas-in-QualitativeResearch-Finding-the-Organizing-Framework Gilgun, Jane F. (2005). Qualitative research and family psychology. Journal of Family Psychology, 19(1), 40-50.
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