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Qualitative Social Research Methods SOCP0062 Leah Wild Week 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Qualitative Social Research Methods SOCP0062 Leah Wild Week 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Qualitative Social Research Methods SOCP0062 Leah Wild Week 1

2 Week 1 outline Overview of course - handbookOverview of course - handbook Review of qualitative methodsReview of qualitative methods Choosing a topic for the assignmentChoosing a topic for the assignment Working in groupsWorking in groups

3 Qualitative research Linked with phenomenologyLinked with phenomenology Gives in-depth insightsGives in-depth insights Explores the meaning people give to lifeExplores the meaning people give to life Explores agency rather than structureExplores agency rather than structure Concerned with `processes' rather than outcomesConcerned with `processes' rather than outcomes

4 Qualitative research - continued Involves topic guides – un/semi-structuredInvolves topic guides – un/semi-structured In-depth interviewsIn-depth interviews Participant observationParticipant observation Group discussionsGroup discussions Analysis of secondary dataAnalysis of secondary data Computer analysis of dataComputer analysis of data

5 Range of qualitative methods Marshall and Rossman (1999) Primary MethodsPrimary Methods –Participation –Observation –In-depth interviewing –Case studies –Reviewing documents Secondary Methods –Life Histories and Narrative Inquiry –Historical analysis –Films, videos and photographs –Vignettes. –Questionnaires and surveys

6 WEAKNESSES OF QUALITATIVE RESEARCH ReliabilityReliability Meaningless InformationMeaningless Information Time ConsumingTime Consuming Representativeness & GeneralisabilityRepresentativeness & Generalisability Objectivity & DetachmentObjectivity & Detachment EthicsEthics

7 ADVANTAGES OF INTERVIEWS FlexibilityFlexibility High response rateHigh response rate Observe non-verbal behaviourObserve non-verbal behaviour Correct misunderstandingsCorrect misunderstandings Record spontaneous answersRecord spontaneous answers Control over times, data and placeControl over times, data and place Complex questionsComplex questions

8 DISADVANTAGES OF INTERVIEWS Costly and time consumingCostly and time consuming Interviewer biasInterviewer bias Less anonymityLess anonymity Less effective at measuring trends, patterns etc.Less effective at measuring trends, patterns etc.

9 TRIANGULATION DataData InvestigatorInvestigator TheoryTheory MethodologicalMethodological

10 Choosing a topic for your assignment Isolate a new/interesting research issueIsolate a new/interesting research issue Not just descriptiveNot just descriptive Experts vs ordinary peopleExperts vs ordinary people People you know vs people you dontPeople you know vs people you dont Comparative analysis.Comparative analysis. Views on a policy or proposed legislation.Views on a policy or proposed legislation. Ethnomethodological inquiry.Ethnomethodological inquiry.

11 Isolate a new/interesting research issue Social/policy issue (not too sensitive)Social/policy issue (not too sensitive) Substantive/policy issuesSubstantive/policy issues –Fatherhood –Disability, ethnicity –Work-life balance –Workplace harassment –Employee participation –Political apathy/protest –Shopping and consumerism Narrow down the issue and consider new angleNarrow down the issue and consider new angle

12 Non Policy Oriented research. Subjects to consider. Lifestyle practices and Culture.Lifestyle practices and Culture. Identity.Identity. Belief and belonging.Belief and belonging. Responses to current events.Responses to current events.

13 Not just descriptive Conceptual frameworksConceptual frameworks –Risk and insecurity –Time and space –Identity and difference –Lifestage transition -rites of passage - critical turning points –Structure and agency - power Policy frameworks –The making of policy –From policy to implementation –Critiquing a particular policy

14 Example research questions What is the impact of marriage/parenthood on views of gender identity?What is the impact of marriage/parenthood on views of gender identity? To what extent has the Disability Discrimination Act changed employers practices?To what extent has the Disability Discrimination Act changed employers practices? To what extent does insecurity/risk affect attitudes to employment/family life/health/ identity?To what extent does insecurity/risk affect attitudes to employment/family life/health/ identity? An Examination of Attitudes to Female body hair in Contemporary Western Society.An Examination of Attitudes to Female body hair in Contemporary Western Society.

15 Choosing the interviewees Can be different types of peopleCan be different types of people Males and females.Males and females. Different age groups.Different age groups. Teachers and Students.Teachers and Students. Experts vs ordinary peopleExperts vs ordinary people –Experts give opinions at second-hand not individual in-depth experiences –Lay views likely to be very different. People you know vs peoples you dontPeople you know vs peoples you dont

16 People you know vs peoples you dont Advantages: –Easy to gain co- operation –Rapport and trust already established –Not starting from scratch –Respondent will be open and honest? Disadvantages: –Awkwardness –Prior bias –Prior knowledge –They will know your views –They will not want to look bad

17 Working in groups Forming a groupForming a group Group rulesGroup rules Group contractGroup contract Group journalGroup journal Behaviour in groupsBehaviour in groups Referee systemReferee system

18 Possible group rules Turn up to meetingsTurn up to meetings Start and end on timeStart and end on time Have an agendaHave an agenda No interrupting/putting people downNo interrupting/putting people down Encourage everyone to speakEncourage everyone to speak Everyone to do as agreed and keep to deadlinesEveryone to do as agreed and keep to deadlines

19 Week 1 review Overview of course - handbookOverview of course - handbook Review of qualitative methodsReview of qualitative methods Choosing a topic for the assignmentChoosing a topic for the assignment Working in groupsWorking in groups


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