Strenghts and weaknesses of qualitative research method.

1061 Words Dec 21st, 2013 5 Pages
Soma Sági
Strengths and weaknesses of different research methods

This semester my group was tasked with the conduction of a research about how the University of Bath 's great employability rates affected their University choice. We used qualitative research methods, every member of the group interviewed a first year Social Science student. We then later summarised the data, and looked for common points.

All the interviews were semi-constructed, we asked questions which let the interviewee make his/her own points about the subject, thus the answers were not narrowed to the generic ones one could receive when conducting a survey. The interviews were recorded and transcribed for easier summarisation and can be accessed online ( see
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I would prefer using the qualitative research method in the future when needing to acquire data. The quantitative methods, the survey questionnaire feels like it is narrowing down the possible answers too much and just by the wording of the question one can influence the subjects ' answers. There are some ethical issues with the qualitative method that need to be addressed. First of all, one always needs the permission of the subject to use the data acquired through the interviews in one 's research. Anonymity is often sought after subjects affected by trauma or when answering other personal questions, including but not limited to those about intimacy, physical and mental health. Qualitative research could require the researcher to participate in the subjects ' everyday life to a great degree, especially in those cases when the subject of the research is a closed group, for example a tribe, rather than a single person. Researchers need to know their boundaries and when not to push these, because that can lead to the subject group shutting out the researcher and to a loss of trust, thus making the research impossible to conduct. Another issue is the question of interception. Does one try to help a child suffering from domestic violence? Does one get involved in issues out of their authority? By doing so they destroy their own research subject. Is that such a great price for actually making an another human being 's

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