Qualitative Research

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Qualitative research is a generic term for investigative methodologies described as ethnographic, naturalistic, anthropological, field, or participant observer research. It emphasizes the importance of looking at variables in the natural setting in which they are found. Interaction between variables is important. Detailed data is gathered through open ended questions. The interviewer is an integral part of the investigation (Jacob 1988). This differs from quantitative research which attempts to gather data by objective methods to provide information about relations, comparisons, and predictions and attempts to remove the investigator from the investigation (Smith 1983). Characteristics Purpose: Understanding - Seeks to…show more content…
• Keeps detailed records of what occurs, including those things characteristically taken for granted. • Periodically detaches self from the situation to review records from the neutral position of a social scientist. • Constantly monitors observations and records for evidence of personal bias or prejudice. • Five Types of Participant Observation 1. External Participation constitutes the lowest degree of involvement in observation. This type of observation can be done by observing situations on television or videotape. 2. Passive Participation means the researcher is present at the scene of action but does not interact or participate. The researcher finds an observation post and assumes the role of a bystander or spectator. 3. Balanced Participation means that the researcher maintains a balance between being an insider and being an outsider. The researcher observes and participates in some activities, but does not participate fully in all activities. 4. Active Participation means that the researcher generally does what others in the setting do. While beginning with observation to learn the rules, as they are learned the researcher becomes actively engaged in the activities of the setting. 5. Total Participation means the researcher is a natural participant. This is the highest level of involvement and usually comes about when the researcher studies something in which he or she is already a natural participant. Interviewing •
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