Qualitative Research Examples (Participant) Observation Unstructured Interviewing Oral testimony/history Conversation and interactional analysis Case Studies Focus group discussions Citizens Juries and Deliberative Democracy
Qualitative Research Epistemologies Naturalism –Undertakes research in the context of everyday behaviour Ethnomethodolgy –Seeks to understand the emic world in its own terms An "emic" account of behavior is a description of behavior in terms meaningful (consciously or unconsciously) to the actor or actress. An "etic" account is a description of a behavior in terms familiar to the observer Emotionalism –Seeks to gain access to the inner/emotional world Postmodernism –Critically discusses the expressions of life (deconstructs texts)
QuantitativeQualitative Principal orientation to the role of theory in relation to research Deductive; testing of theory Inductive; generation of theory Epistemological orientation Natural science model, in particular positivism Interpretivism Ontological orientationObjectivismConstructionism
Contrasts between Qualitative & Quantitative Research QualitativeQuantitative Captures reality byMain traitsCaptures reality byMain traits Extended interviewsinductionPhysical countsDeductive Photographs and maps, imagery, Sampling by value of informant/document Closed questionsSampling by statistical design Reported happeningsObservation recorded in image Reported rates and frequencies Observations recorded as pre-classified categories or numbers In-place observationAnalysis; free-form to suit investigator; isomorphic to context Emplys computed quantities (yields, prices per unit) Analysis: closed form to meet methodological criteria isomorphic to selected variables Reported meanings and major interpretive effort by interpreter Situationally drivenMajor procedural effort by data-handling team Procedurally driven epistemologyRepresenting systemic values and specific situations epistemologyDerives general knowledge from objective facts Difficult to generaliseGeneralisable
Direct Observation natural setting – but actingObserver biases; performance Non-verbal information; can validate other information Limited representativeness (time and space) Compare what is said with what is done (or appears)May be unsystematic (see labour data) Initial method – and continuously availableObserver presence biased Economical and rapidNeeds to be complemented by quantitative and verbal information Casual Conversations Captures the unexpectedperforming for and influencing the researcher - agency Validates other data: Possibilities of serendipity and casual revelations Builds rapport Rapid and flexible Need to record to avoid loss of detail and specificity Needs follow up Not quantifiable Time place Ethnographic interviews (after building relationships) In-depth and detailedNon-quantiative (unless very time consuming) Flexible, economical and rapid if experienced and already known to community Bias by: selection of respondent (key informant bias perceptions of researcher
QualitativeQuantitative minuses Random sampling not possibleLittle cross checking (response errors) Little statistical testing (no knowledge of precision or accuracy) report of ideal, normative, usual; proper information Not possible to generaliseProblems with sensitive information Time consuming of highly skilled peopleLittle time for direct observation Researcher biasStructural bias (and enumerator bias) Problem of replicabilityClosed investigation – little opportunity for probing Pluses Triangulation possibleRandom sampling May get at real versus ideal behaviourStatistical analysis (quantification of some errors) Can explore sensitive issues (if suitable skills and time) Attitudes and perceptions can be assesssed with care Attitudes can be observed (but interviewer bias)Large populations Observation possibleRelatively rapid (if well organised) Inter-relationships observableFewer problems of data analysis Open-endedReadily replicable (in principle)
TechnocraticParticipatory Modeextractiveelicitivesharingempowering Outsiders roles investigatorfacilitator Ownership of information outsidersmembers MethodsRRA/praPRA/rra Problems routinisation/professionalisation; impositionalism; understandings of participation Ladders of participation: Participatory Research
increasing participation Ladder of participation: Rungs on the ladder Nature of InvolvementDegree of Power Sharing Manipulationrubber stamp committeesnon-participation Therapytechnocrats educate or cure citizens Informingcitizens rights and otions identified Consultationcitizens heard but not necessarily heeded degrees of tokenism Placationadvice from citizens received but not necessarily acted upon Partnershiptrade-offs negotiate Delegated power citizens get power to control budget Citizen controlcitizens control, raise, and allocate resources citizen power
Problems in Action and Participatory Research Sample self-selection –the sad, the bad and the mad Agenda Capture –Action –Research Elite capture Mutedness of marginal groups Who controls the facilitators (guardians?) Routinisation
Ethical Issues in Qualitative Research Who speaks for the other –Reflexivity To objects/subjects To peers To the moral (and academic) community Confidentiality and Informed Consent –Covert observation Observation alters behaviour –Getting below the surface involves imposing external views Triangulation
communicatio n criticism variables population(Sample)Raw data Operationalisatio n Measurement theory sampling Survey/census responses Final data topictheoriesconcept s Coding, editing, inspection, and cleaning analysis Indicator of variable Research Information Flows
Validity in Qualitative Research Internal (reliability and validity) –Inter-observer agreement External and internal observers –Correspondence of observations/records/texts with concepts What is the test of correspondence? External validity –Standard criticism of ethnography – my village - not replicable –Explanatory constructs and generalisability –Generalise through quantitative research
Combinations and complementarities between Qualitative and Quantitative Research Multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary research Q-squared –http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/poverty/Q QZ.pdf#search=%22QQZ%22http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/poverty/Q QZ.pdf#search=%22QQZ%22 Sequential and mixed inter-disciplinarity?
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