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DR. H. Rasyidin, S.Sos, M.A
What is Research?
• “A systematic process of critical enquiry leading to valid propositions and conclusions that are communicated to interested others”
• What are some of the key words in this definition and why are they important?
e. how you answer each of the above questions should be tied to the methodological literature and/or the literature in your subject area. .e. How will the study be conducted? Where? How will you gain access? – What is the justification for these methods? – What questions will be asked and why? – What are the limitations of these methods and how will you address these limitations? – How will analysis be undertaken? – What are the ethical concerns related to these methods and how will these be addressed? All the methodological decisions you make – i.Taking A Closer Look at Methods • METHODS – What methods will you use to address the research questions? – How many and why this many? (sampling) – How will these methods be designed? i.
that you want to investigate? • Epistemology: What might represent knowledge or evidence of the social reality that you want to investigate? • Research area: What topic is the research concerned with? • Research Question: What do you wish to explain or explore? .Deciding on a methodological approach • Ontology: What is the nature of the phenomena. or social reality.
beliefs. social relations. subjects. groups – Interactions. views – Texts. thought – Feeling. social relations • Some ontologies are better matched to qualitative research methodology than others (e. are you investigating: – Bodies. objects – Rationality. experiences etc. senses – Motivations.Ontology • What is the nature of things in the social world? • For example. interpretations. ideas. perceptions – Attitudes. emotion. discourses – Cultures.) . memory.g.. society. social processes.
Epistemology • What is your theory of knowledge? What are your presuppositions about the nature of knowledge? • Examples of epistemological perspectives – Positivist Perspectives (also called empiricism) • Fundamental claim is that reality is a fixed.” • Aims to find true. it doesn’t exist.” – Social Constructionism • Reality is constructed socially so rejection of “social facts” • Aim is to describe the subjective and consensual meanings that constitute social reality. precise and wide-ranging laws of human behaviour which we can generalise to the population as a whole • “If it can’t be measured. • Understanding of social world as “local truths” which cannot be evaluated by external criteria . measurable entity that is external to people. • There exist “social facts.
exploratory study? If so. • After you have decided upon your research question. you need to decide what approach you are going to take: – Quantitative? – Qualitative? Ask yourself are you seeking to prove or disprove a theory? Or are you trying to generalise your findings to a population? If so this will be a deductive approach. a qualitative approach . this will be induction. a quantitative approach Or are you hoping to elicit some understandings on what people think or feel about an issue? Is the topic an area that there is little information and so you must undertake an initial.At the start of your research project….
Deductive Theory Theory Hypotheses Data Collection Findings Hypotheses Confirmed or Rejected Revision of Theory .
Induction [General research question] Observation Theory Formulation .
Quantitative and Qualitative Methods Quantitative: • Deductive • Tests hypotheses • Positivism • Objectivism • Employs measurement • Macro • Detached researcher Qualitative: • Inductive • Produces theories • Phenomenology • Constructionism • Does not employ measurement • Micro • Involved researcher .
Quantitative and Qualitative Methods • Quantitative: Measures objective facts Focuses on variables Value free Reliability is key Independent of context Many cases Statistical analysis • Qualitative: Constructs social meaning Focus on interactive processes Values are present Authenticity is key Context constrained Few cases Thematic analysis .
5. 8. 2. 7. Theory Hypothesis Research design Devise measures of concepts Select research site(s) Select research subjects/respondents Administer research instruments/collect data Process data Analyse data Write up findings and conclusions . 4.Main Steps in Quantitative Research: 1. 6. 9. 10. 3.
9. 8. General research question Select relevant site(s) and subjects Collection of relevant data Interpretation of data Conceptual and theoretical work Tighter specification of the research question Collection of further data Conceptual and theoretical work Write up findings . 7. 3.Main Steps in Qualitative Research: 1. 2. 6. 5. 4.
.Examples of Quantitative Research Methods • Experiments • Social surveys – Cross-sectional – Comparative (cross-national) – Longitudinal • Content Analysis • Secondary Statistical Analysis • Official Statistics – Demography – Epidemiology • Field stimulations – Structured Interviews and Observation.
Examples of Qualitative Research • • • • • • • In-depth Interviews Focus Groups Ethnography/Field Research Historical-Comparative Research Discourse Analysis Narrative Analysis Media Analysis .
• Both can be also be combined in a project – Qualitative can facilitate quantitative research (1) can provide hypotheses (2) fill in the gaps. They can complement each other. .qualitative research may employ quantification in their work or may be positivist in their approach. help interpret relationships – Quantitative can facilitate qualitative through locating interviewees and help with generalising findings – Together they can give you a micro and macro level versions and so you can examine the relationships between the two levels. • But sometimes they blur . Some quantitative may employ phenomenology.Worth noting… • Quantitative and qualitative research are often cast as opposing fields.
Final words… • To make it easier to understand the two different approaches. . They have a hunch that someone murdered someone else and seek to prove it. Think Columbo.this is the method that CSI use. They find the evidence and then produce the theory on what happened. Murder She Wrote or even Inspector Morse.this is your more traditional detective. • Deductive logic . I sometimes tell students to think of TV detectives. • Induction .
and program evaluation). the large number of students and scholars who conduct qualitative studies may be part of different social science disciplines (e.g. management. sociology. political science. qualitative research has become an acceptable. . anthropology. qualitative research represents an attractive and fruitful way of doing research. urban planning.Qualitative Research By now. As a result. public administration.. form of research in many different academic and professional fields. or psychology) or different professions (e. if not mainstream.. nursing.g. In any of these fields. education.
Close to all of our lives. the changing role of women in American society has been the subject of a good number of studies. such as: • Ruth Sidel’s (2006) inquiry into how single mothers confront their social and economic challenges • Pamela Stone’s (2007) examination of why successful career women drop out to stay at home • Kathryn Edin & Maria Kefalas’s (2005) study of why women with low incomes “put motherhood before marriage” . They touch on all walks of life.Examples of qualitative research There are many other examples of qualitative research.
in a way.In the three examples above. . These and other studies follow. the researchers conducted extended interviews with many women and their families. also visiting their homes and observing family behavior. Carol Gilligan’s (1982) landmark study of a woman’s place in a man’s world—which argued that much of the so-called universal theories of moral and emotional development had been based exclusively on male perceptions and male experiences.
& Davies.Beyond these examples. such as human slavery in Thailand. 2001) settings • Studying how older people might have been admitted into a hospital or into long-term care in circumstances that could have been avoided (e. Tetley.g. such as: • Unearthing surprising but still existing forms of exploitation. 2009) ... Pakistan. whether in educational (e. Mauritania..Bales. 2004) • Analyzing the challenges of immigration between other countries and the United States. Valenzuela.g. Levitt. the range of topics covered by other contemporary qualitative works stretches from the rare to the commonplace.g. and India (e. Grant. 1999) or community (e. Brazil.g..
g. 2003) . Williams.g. reflecting not just the stores’ practices but also the families’ shopping and purchasing habits (e. Lareau..as opposed to working-class neighborhoods.. 2006) • Examining residential life and the differences in racial. 2003) • Contrasting the consumer differences between toy stores located in middle. Wilson & Taub.and middle-class families by making extensive observations in the homes of 12 families (e. Schein. or • Showing the different childhood experiences of working.g. ethnic.• Offering data and explanations on how a Fortune 500 firm in the computer business could go out of business in the 1990s (e.g.. 2006). and class tensions in four urban neighborhoods (e..
You even can study everyday life on the streets of your city or town. such as: • Duneier’s (1999) study of sidewalk vendors • Lee’s (2009) study of street interactions. and dealers who form part of the underground economy in some cities . thieves. or • Bourgois’s (2003) study of the addicts.
in plain and everyday terms.The allure of qualitative research is that it enables you to conduct in-depth studies about a broad array of topics. including your favorites. Moreover. •the difficulty in drawing an adequate sample of respondents and obtaining •a sufficiently high response rate (as in a survey) . •the unavailability of sufficient data series or lack of coverage of sufficient •variables (as in an economic study). qualitative research offers greater latitude in selecting topics of interest because other research methods are likely to be constrained by: •the inability to establish the necessary research conditions (as in an experiment).
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