Analysing Qualitative Data

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Epistemology. InterpretivismStress gaining an understanding of individual's perception of the social world. Ontology. ConstructionismSocial world is constructed, is an outcome of the interactions between individuals.Does not exist out there' independent of people.. Relationship to Theory. Quanti

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Analysing Qualitative Data

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1. Analysing Qualitative Data [email protected]

2. Epistemology Interpretivism Stress gaining an understanding of individual’s perception of the social world

3. Ontology Constructionism Social world is constructed, is an outcome of the interactions between individuals. Does not exist ‘out there’ independent of people.

4. Relationship to Theory Quantitative research - theory drives research question (Deductive) Qualitative research - theory (can often) be an outcome of social investigation (Inductive)

5. Types of Qualitative Research Ethnography / Participant Observation Interviewing Focus groups Conversational analysis Textual / Document analysis Can use multi-method approach

6. Main steps in Qualitative Research Define research questions Select site / sample respondents Use methods / collect data Analyse data in terms of research questions Conceptual / theoretical work Write up findings / conclusions.

7. Reliability / Validity Qualitative research involves different usage of these terms. Treat their accounts as one of a number of possible representations. Accounts supported by other techniques

8. Respondent Validation Researcher seeks confirmation / corroboration of his/her account of their findings by showing findings to subjects. Defensive reactions of subjects Reluctance of subjects to be critical Written for social scientists.

9. Triangulation Using more than one method or source of data thus giving more confidence in the reliability / validity of findings. Form of cross checking Compare interview material with observation, published material.

10. Qualitative Research Key assumption is that people can attribute meaning to their environment / actions. Qualitative research seeks to understand /see the world through the eyes of the people they study. Social world to be interpreted from the perspective of those being studied

11. Critique of Qualitative Research Subjective / Impressionistic Rely too much on researchers views of what is important Difficult to replicate Researcher is the main instrument of data collection Interpretation of data influenced by subjective leanings of researcher

12. Critique of Qualitative Research Scope of findings is restricted thus difficult to generalise findings Unstructured interviews / participant observation Small number of respondents.

13. Critique of Qualitative Research Less codified than Quantitative Research Lack of strict guidelines about data collection and analysis Lack of transparency - what did the researcher actually do / how arrive at the conclusions.

14. Contrasts between Qual and Quan Numbers v Words Point of view of the researcher v point of view of the participants Researcher is distant v Researcher is close. In Quan researcher has no or distant relationship with subjects - seen as a good thing.

15. Contrasts between Qual and Quan Theory and concepts tested in Quan research whereas (often) Theory and concepts emerged from the data Quan is highly structured use of precise concepts and tools of measurement - Qual is unstructured.

16. Contrasts between Qual and Quan Quan want their findings to be generalisable to wider population. Qual seeks understanding of behaviour, values, beliefs in terms of the context in which research is conducted.

17. Contrasts between Qual and Quan Macro v Micro Quan often concerned with large-scale social trends Qual often concerned with small scale aspects of reality.

18. Contrasts between Qual and Quan Behaviour v Meaning Artificial settings v Natural Settings.

19. Feminism and Qualitative Research Qualitative research is often associated with Feminism Allows women’s voices to be heard Women not treated as objects. Discrimination / Violence against women is uncovered / revealed. Research / Voices allows political goals of feminism to be realised

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