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Qualitative Methods For Fun & Profit I203: Social & Organizational Issues of Information
Looking Forward to Thurs. • Reading Responses Due • Assignment 1 Distributed
Qualitative Stereotypes Qualitative methods… • generate a bunch of stories. • aren’t rigorous. • aren’t scientific. • produce data that are too vague to be useful. • are only useful for exploratory research. • are too specific, never generalizeable.
Why Use Qualitative Methods? We don’t know the right questions.
Why Use Qualitative Methods? We know the questions, but we don‘t know how to ask them.
Why Use Qualitative Methods? We want deep & rich data.
Why Use Qualitative Methods? We need to understand the context that surrounds our questions.
Why Use Qualitative Methods? We want to understand an issue from another point of view.
Alternative Points of View Emic Etic
Qualitative Methods • Interviews • Focus Groups • Direct Observation • Participant Observation
Grounded Theory Pros: Glaser, Barney G., and Anselm L. Strauss. 1967. The discovery of grounded theory; strategies for qualitative research. Chicago,: Aldine Pub. Co. Cons: Thomas, G. & James, D. (2006). Re-inventing grounded theory: some questions about theory, ground and discovery. British Educational Research Journal, 32 (6), 767–795. Dey, I. (1999) Grounding grounded theory—guidelines for qualitative inquiry (London, Academic Press).
Reliability in Qualitative Work See: Lincoln, Yvonna S., and Egon G. Guba. 1985. Naturalistic inquiry. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage Publications.
Good Questions to Ask About Qualitative Work • What are the empirical claims? • What theoretical claims are made? • How does this contribute to the corpus? • What was the context of production? Adapted from Anderson & Dourish (and thanks to Jenna Burrell!)
Less Good Questions to Ask About Qualitative Work • Is that a representative sample? • How can you tell if what people told you is right? • Didn’t you affect things by being there? • What should I build? Adapted from Anderson & Dourish (and thanks to Jenna Burrell!)
Reading Guidelines • Limitations Section • The Researcher Appears • Surprises • Sample Description & Defense • Well Scoped Claims
Next Time • Understanding, Reading, Evaluating Quantitative Research (for fun and profit). • Reading response papers are due!