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Qualitative And Mixed Methods

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In research, there are mainly three approaches i.e. Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed methods. The importance of qualitative inquiry established first in Sociology (the work of Chicago school) and Anthropology (fieldwork of Malinowski and Radcliffe-Brown) in 1920s and 1930s. Qualitative research is primarily exploratory in nature and involves a variety of different approaches. It gives us understanding of underlying reasons, opinions and motivation. Qualitative research is a field of inquiry in which the observer studies a foreign setting other than his own culture, customs and habits. The existence of qualitative research was an issue in 1970s and 1980s. The paradigm war started for social justice that delegitimizes the assumptions of positivists. Critical and feminist theories were emerging which throws light upon poor, non-whites, marginalized and women. This paradigm war incapacitates the quantitative research in education. Qualitative research avoids or downplays quantitative methods.

Qualitative research has two faces. First, qualitative researchers are assumed to be competent observers
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It emphasizes on the qualities of entities and processes which are not possible to study experimentally or in terms of numbers. In contrast, quantitative research tries to establish causal relationship between the variables under study using statistical analysis and work is mainly done from value free framework. Both qualitative and quantitative researcher deals with individuals. Qualitative investigators tend to study individual‘s perspective through detailed interviews and observation, which quantitative researchers do not consider objective. In quantitative researches, individual is studied by using numbers, statistical tables and graphs. Qualitative researchers believe in rich descriptions of the everyday social practices whereas a quantitative researcher thinks rich descriptions hampers the process of
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