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Types of Qualitative Research Methods
- risky in terms of access to the group of people or organisations.
WHAT ARE THE STEPS INVOLVED IN ETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH?
(A) The “How” - Wolcott (1999) ethnographic research procedures require three things
themes or perspectives.
C) RESEARCH QUESTIONS
D) WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE RESEARCHER IN ETHNOGRAPY?
1) Open fieldsite and covert role
2) Open fieldsite and overt role
3) Closed fieldsite and overt role
4) Closed fieldsite and covert role
E) HOW DOES THE RESEARCHER GAIN ACCESS TO THE FIELDSITE?
HOW OFTEN and for HOW LONG
Where to POSITION yourself.
F) WHAT ARE FIELDNOTES?
1) surface level
2) observer’s comments
G) THE INTERVIEW IN ETHNOGRAPY
The following are some important points to consider when conducting interviews:
- she or he must keep the promise
- provide good explanations for departure.
- ethical commitments must not be forgotten e.g. confidentiality
I) IS ETHNOGRAPHY OBJECTIVE?
- subscribe to some form of “cultural relativism”.
- ethnographers are expected to be “reflexive” (note that it is different from ‘reflective) in their work. Tell the readers upfront your background and experiences!
- in depth view of people’s behaviours, beliefs, values and feelings over a long period of time - ethnographic conclusions are arrived at only over lengthy consideration.
Diagnosis of conceptions
Identify with the focus of the inquiryThe heuristic process involves getting inside the research question, becoming one with it, living it. Self dialogueSelf dialogue is the critical beginning, allowing the phenomenon to speak directly to one's own experience. Knowledge grows out of direct human experience and discovery involves self-inquiry, an openness to one's own experience. Tacit knowingIn addition to knowledge that we can make explicit, there is knowledge that is implicit to our actions and experiences. This tacit dimension is ineffable and unspecifiable, it underlies and precedes intuition and can guide the researcher into untapped directions and sources of meaning. IntuitionIntuition provides the bridge between explicit and tacit knowledge. Intuition makes possible the seeing of things as wholes. Every act of achieving integration, unity or wholeness requires intuition. IndwellingThis refers to the conscious and deliberate process of turning inward to seek a deeper, more extended comprehension of a quality or theme of human experience. Indwelling involves a willingness to gaze with unwavering attention and concentration into some aspect of human experience. FocussingFocussing is inner attention, a staying with, a sustained process of systematically contacting the central meanings of an experience. It enables one to see something as it is and to make whatever shifts are necessary to make contact with necessary awareness and insight. Internal frame of referenceThe outcome of the heuristic process in terms of knowledge and experience must be placed in the context of the experiencer's own internal frame of reference, and not some external frame
Merriam (1988) defines ‘a qualitative case study as an intensive, holistic description and analysis of a single instance, phenomenon, or social unit (p. 21). The case study can be:
According to Yin (1994),
Yin (1994) identified the following steps in conducting any case study.
Step2: Select the Cases and determine Data Gathering and Analysis techniques
Step 3: Prepare to Collect the Data
Step 4: Collect Data in the Field
Step 5: Evaluate and Analyze the Data
Step 5: Prepare the Report
Figure 5.2 Steps in Using the Case Study Method
[source: Tellis, W. 1997.
Application of a case study methodology. The Qualitative Report,
Volume 3, Number 3]
CHECKLIST FOR THE GENERIC QUALITATIVE METHOD [an adaptation of the Checklist by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, (2009, & Spencer, Ritchie, Lewis and Dillon, 2003]
1. Are you convinced that a qualitative approach appropriate?
2. Are you clear as to what your study seeks to do?
3. How defensible or rigorous is your research design or methodology?
4. How well was the data collection carried out?
5. Is the role of the researcher clearly described?
6. Did you clearly described the context?
7. Were the methods reliable?
8. Is the data analysis sufficiently rigorous?
9. Are the data „rich‟?
10. Is the analysis reliable?
11. Are the findings convincing?
12. Are the findings relevant to the aims of the study?
13. Are the conclusion adequate?
THREE core principles, originally articulated in National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioural Research., The Belmont Report (1979) form the universally accepted basis for research ethics.
- Respect for persons .
- respect for communities (Weijer, Goldsand & Emanuel, 1999).
- framing of research problem/questions (from general to specific)
- selection of sample (information-rich cases, access)
- collection of data (interviews, observations and documents – transcripts, photos, videos, field notes, journals, diary, log )
- analysis of data (simultaneously with data collection, different strategies depending on research design e.g. constant comparative method, narrative analysis, organising scheme/typology/framework for concepts/themes/categories/patterns
- validity and reliability – triangulation
- ethics in research – informed consent
- writing up (no standard format)
You decide and you tell your readers.