Qualitative Research Essay

3380 WordsApr 12, 201314 Pages
BASIC CONCEPTS OF QUALITATIVE RESEARCH (An Essay) By Deborah Sitorus One of the ways to gain knowledge is by carrying out some research. As what Zacharia (2012) stated that in daily life most people conduct research to gain knowledge. A research can be carried out qualitatively or quantitatively depends on the research purposes and needs and the type of information the researcher is seeking. My concern in this essay is to briefly share my understandings about basic concepts of qualitative research that I gained from my readings on some books on qualitative research methods as well as from the class discussion with lecturer and colleagues on qualitative research course at the university. The basic concepts of qualitative research that…show more content…
Though there are various definitions of interpretivism, for brevity I like Walsham’s (1993) description, which posits that Interpretive methods of research start from the position that our knowledge of reality, including the domain of human action, is a social construction by human actors and that this applies equally to researchers. Thus there is no objective reality which can be discovered by researchers and replicated by others, in contrast to the assumptions of positivist science. (p. 5) In line with this, Geertz (1973) also states To look at the symbolic dimensions of social action—art, religion, ideology, science, law, morality, common sense—is not to turn away from the existential dilemmas of life for some empyrean realm of deemotionalized forms; it is to plunge into the midst of them. The essential vocation of interpretive anthropology is not to answer our deepest questions, but to make available to us answers that others, guarding other sheep in other valleys, have given, and thus to include them in the consultable record of what man has said. (p. 29) As such, an interpretive perspective is based on the idea that qualitative research efforts should be concerned with revealing multiple realities as opposed to searching for one objective reality. In Denzin’s words, “Objective reality will never be captured. In
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