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Philosophic Underpinnings of Qualitative Research. Assoc . Prof. Dr. Şehnaz Şahinkarakaş. Main differences between Qualitative and Quantitative Research. Quantitative :

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Philosophic Underpinnings of Qualitative Research

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    1. PhilosophicUnderpinnings of QualitativeResearch Assoc. Prof. Dr. Şehnaz Şahinkarakaş

    2. Main differencesbetweenQualitativeandQuantitativeResearch • Quantitative: • Based on observationsthatareconvertedintodiscreteunitsthat can be comparedtootherunitsbyusingstatisticalanalysis. • Based on a positivistposition • Qualitative: • Examinespeople’swordsandactions in narrativeordescriptiveways (closelyrepresentingthesituation as experiencedbytheparticipants) • Based on a phenomenologicalposition

    3. SomeTerminology:PositivismandPhenomemology • Positivism (positiveorobservablefacts): • objective inquiry based on measurable variables and provable propositions. • Forpositivistresearch, science is andshould be concernedwiththeexplanationandtheprediction of observableevents. • Phenomenologicalapproach: • understandingthemeaningeventshaveforpersonsbeingstudied. • Seestheindividualand his/her world as co-constituted. • Theperson is viewed as havingnoexistence apart fromtheworld, andtheworld as havingnoexistence apart fromtheperson.

    4. Some Terminology:ParadigmandPostulates • Paradigm: • Interconnectedassumptionsaboutthenature of reality (a typicalexampleor a patternorsomething) • A paradigmprovidesthelargestframeworkwithinwhichresearchtakesplace • Postulates: • An assumptionstatedpositively (a startingpoint of reasoning) • Postulatesaretheindividualassumptionsthatarestipulatedto be true. • A set of postulatesmakeup a paradigm

    5. Whyarethesetermsimportant? • Researchquestionsmust be carefullymatchedwithmethods of collectingandanalyzing data. • One set of postulatesconstitutes an alternateparadigmandthephenomenologicalapproachtoinquiry • Another set of postulatesframesthe dominant paradigmandpositivistapproach.

    6. A PhilosophicPerspectivetoQualitativeResearch • Quality research is (was!) in the minority status! • Why? • Quantitativeresearchconstitutesobjectiveobservation, quantifiable data andverifiabletruths. • Quantitativeresearchermakes a guessorforms a hypothesiswhich is thenusedto test the data. • Qualitativeresearch is a kind of socialinquiryand it focuses on thewaypeopleinterpretandmake sense of theirexperiencesandtheworld in whichtheylive. • Qualitativeresearcherseekspatternswhichcomeout of oremergefromthe data. • Thus, if the underlying philosophy is not understood, this research is seen as a less rigorous a lessvaluedway of doinginquiry.

    7. A briefhistory of qualitativeresearch • Cultural anthropologists: among the first and best known qualitative researchers • Freud: casestudiesusingtheknowledgegainedfrom his patients • Rogers: transcripts of therapy • Piaget: clinicalinterviews



    10. ParadigmShift in ResearchMethods

    11. ParadigmShift in ResearchMethods Can be examinedandbroken apart properly Interconnected

    12. ParadigmShift in ResearchMethods Sth. is always at the bottom and sth. is always at the top There is a ‘web of meaning’

    13. ParadigmShift in ResearchMethods One-wayflowchart Multi-dimensional reproduction

    14. ParadigmShift in ResearchMethods Potentiallyidentifiable Not identifiable

    15. ParadigmShift in ResearchMethods AandBcauseeachother AcausesB

    16. ParadigmShift in ResearchMethods Changeoccursbyreplacingparts – individualanddiscreteparts Change is affectedbythenextchange in a connectedmanner

    17. ParadigmShift in ResearchMethods No way of seeingtheworld is definitelytrue (differentperspectives) Instruments areobjective

    18. The importance of understanding the philosophical underpinnings of the research: • a) understanding similarities and differences between words and numbers • b) perspectivalobserverversusobjectiveobserver • c) discoveryversusproof

    19. WordsandNumbers • The major difference between quantitative and qualitative approaches is the meaning given to the words. • Qualitative research looks closely at people’s words, actions and records. • Quantitative research quantifies such observations (using statistics). • Qualitative researcher does not have to challenge statistics; however, understanding and presenting qualitative research is as demanding as understanding statistics. • Qualitative researcher tries to understand what people say and do (products of how people interpret the world); thus, an emphaticunderstanding is needed.

    20. PerspectivalvsObjectiveObserver • Whywouldsomeoneuse a perspectival (subjective) view in researchratherthan an objectiveview? • To be objective is to be cold and distant so the knower stands outside; to be perspectival requires to get at the world of the agent/subject so the knower and the known are interdependent.

    21. DiscoveryvsProof • The goal of qualitative research is to discover patterns which emerge after close observation, careful documentation and thoughtful analysis of the research topic. • In the process of discovery, we keep in mind that reality is multiple, events are simultaneously and mutually shaped and the goal of this approach is to discover not to prove. • Hypotheses (quantitativeapproach) areformedafterobservations, not before!