Hatch_Chapter1

Report
Deciding to Do a Qualitative Study
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“Any kind of research that produces findings that are
not arrived at by means of statistical procedures or
other means of quantification”
“A research paradigm which emphasizes inductive,
interpretive methods applied to the everyday world
which is seen as subjective and socially created”
“Research procedures which produce descriptive data:
people’s own written or spoken words and observable
behavior. [It] directs itself at settings and the
individuals within those settings holistically; that is,
the subject of the study, be it an organization or an
individual, is not reduced to an isolated variable
or to an hypothesis, but is viewed as part of a whole”
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Using qualitative studies in an educational
environment relatively recent development
• Rich history in anthropology and sociology
Ethnographies described “primitive” cultures
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Described in terms of deficiencies in relation to Western
culture and norms
Late 1800s: Franz Boas one of the first to attempt to
understand culture inductively
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Object of study is to describe the knowledge that members
use to make sense within their own culture
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1900-World War II
◦ Model of the “lone ethnographer”
 Spending extended periods of time doing participant
observations among natives in a distant land
 Utilized participant observation, interviewing, and artifact
gathering
 Malinowski, Margaret Mead, Radcliffe-Brown
◦ “Chicago sociology”
 University of Chicago
 Utilized their city as a social laboratory
 For three decades produced urban ethnographies that captured
human life in the city
 Slice-of-life approach
 Used ordinary language of participants (working-class and poor
migrants)
 Capture their point-of-view
 Criticized as romanticizing the participant and amount of social
change
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Post World War II-mid 1970s
Methods became more formalized, scholars
became more self-conscious about research
approaches
◦ Balance between positivist expectations for validity,
reliability, and generalizability and constructivist
models of doing research
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New theories associated with using
qualitative research with education,
ethnomethodology, phenomenology, critical
theory, and feminism began to be recognized
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1970s-early 1980s
Wide range of paradigms, methods, and
strategies
Boundaries between the social sciences and
humanities were becoming blurred
◦ Interpretive methods such as semiotics and
hermeneutics that were developed in the
humanities began being adapted for use in
qualitative analyses
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Qualitative work became legitimate form of
educational research
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1985-1994 (publication of Denzin and
Lincoln’s essay)
Critical anthropologists challenged norms of
classic ethnography
◦ Argued traditional methods and writings product
texts that do not and cannot represent lived
experience
 Understandings of experiences processed through
language, language is inherently unstable
 Accused of “creating culture” rather than representing
reality
 Paradigm shift: new ways of thinking about what
constitutes “Truth”
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Development of new perspectives and
methods has not meant abandonment of
perspectives and methods that came before
Deconstructivist and poststructuralist
perspectives are being taken seriously
◦ Critical, feminist, and other transformative
epistemologies are having a major impact as well
◦ There are still researchers who continue to do work
classified as “traditional” or “modernist”
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Natural Settings
Participant Perspectives
Researcher as Data Gathering Instrument
Extended Firsthand Engagement
Centrality of Meaning
Wholeness and Complexity
Subjectivity
Emergent Design
Inductive Data Analysis
Reflexivity
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Seek to understand how individuals make
sense of their everyday lives
When research settings are controlled or
manipulated…
◦ They tell us little more than how individuals act in
narrowly defined and inherently artificial contexts
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Individuals act on the world based not on
some supposed objective reality…
◦ But on perceptions of the realities that surround
them
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Qualitative data includes:
◦ Field notes from participant observation,
◦ Notes from or transcriptions of interviews with
informants, and
◦ Unobtrusive data such as artifacts from the research site
or records related to the social phenomena under
investigation
Data take on no significance until they are
processed using the human intelligence of the
researcher
◦ Human capacities necessary to participate in social life
are the same capacities that enable qualitative
researchers to make sense of the actions, intentions,
and understandings of those being studied
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Spend enough time with those participants in
those contexts to feel confident that they are
capturing what they claim
One of the hallmarks of high-quality
qualitative work
“Blitzkrieg Ethnography”
◦ Spending far too little time in research settings
◦ Serious flaw in qualitative work
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Describing the meanings individuals use to
understand social circumstances rather than
trying to identify the “social facts” that comprise
a positivist social theory
◦ Max Weber: “interpretive sociology”
 Stressed the importance of verstehen (understanding)
◦ Blumer: symbolic interactionist theory
a)
Human beings act toward things on the basis of the
meaning that the things have for them
b) The meaning of such things is derived from, or arises out
of, the social interaction that one has with one’s fellows
c) These meanings are handled in, and sometimes modified
through an interpretive process used by individuals in
dealing with the things they encounter
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Assumption that social settings are unique,
dynamic, and complex
◦ Contexts can be systematically examined as whole,
without breaking them down into isolated,
incomplete, and disconnected variables
◦ Qual. data are objects, pictures, or detailed
descriptions that cannot be reduced to numbers
without distorting the essence of the social
meaning they represent
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Including enough detail and actual data to
take the reader inside the social situation
under examination
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Required as researchers move from
description toward interpretation
Instead of pretending to be objective…
◦ Concentrate on reflexivity by applying their own
subjectivities in ways that make possible to
understand the tacit motives and assumptions of
their participants
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Studies change as they are being
implemented
◦ Research questions, methods, and other elements
of design are altered as studies unfold
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Moving from specifics to generalizations
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Bogdan & Biklen (1992): “You are not putting
together a puzzle, whose picture you already
know. You are constructing a picture that takes
shape as you collect and examine the parts”
Qual. researchers do not begin with a null
hypothesis to retain or reject
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To keep track of one’s influence on a setting,
to bracket one’s biases, and to monitor one’s
emotional responses
Goodall (2000): “The process of personally
and academically reflecting on lived
experiences in ways that reveal deep
connections between the writer and his or her
subject”
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Positivist
Postpositivist
Constructivist
Critical/Feminist
Poststructuralist
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Ontological
◦ What is the nature of reality?
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Epistemological
◦ What can be known, and what is the relationship of
the knower to the known?
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Methodological
◦ How is knowledge gained?
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Products
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Ontology
◦ Realists who believe in an objective universe that
has order independent of human perceptions
 Reality driven by universal, natural laws
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Epistemology
◦ Claim to be objective in search for immutable truth
◦ Researchers and the objects of their study are
assumed to be mutually independent
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Methodology
◦ Careful measurement, manipulation, and control
 Experiments, quasiexperiments, correlational studies
and surveys
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Products
◦ Knowledge equals accumulated “facts” that have
been scientifically verified and generalizations,
theories, and laws based on those facts
 Cause-and effect-dimension
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Ontology
◦ Reality exists but…
 Because of the limitations of human inquiry, the
inherent order of the universe can never be known
completely
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Epistemology
◦ Researchers see themselves as data collection
instruments
 Use disciplined research techniques to ensure that
empirical data, and not their impressions, drive their
findings
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Methodology
◦ Qualitative methods that capture participant
perspectives but in rigorously disciplined ways
 Low inference, systematic procedures dominate data
analysis processes, and frequency counts and lowlevel statistics used
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Products
◦ Analytic generalizations, descriptions, patterns and
grounded theory
 Generalizations are induced from systematic analyses
of data that take the form of searches for patterns
 Deductive processes are used to verify the strength of
those patterns
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Ontology
◦ Universal, absolute realities are unknowable, and
the objects of inquiry are individual perspectives or
constructions of reality
 Multiple realities exist that are inherently unique
because they are constructed by individuals
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Epistemology
◦ Individual constructions of reality
◦ Researchers and the participants in their studies are
joined together in the process of coconstruction
 Impossible and undesirable for the researchers to be
distant and objective
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Methodology
◦ Naturalistic qualitative methods
 Interviewing participants and observing them in their
natural settings
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Products
◦ Case studies or rich narratives that describe the
interpretations constructed as part of the research
process
 Readers can place themselves in the shoes of the
participants
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Ontology
◦ The material world is made up of historically situated
structures that have a real impact on the life chances of
individuals
 Structures perceived as real
 Leads to differential treatment of individuals based on race,
gender, and social class
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Epistemology
◦ Knowledge is subjective and inherently political
◦ Guba & Lincoln (1994): “The investigator and
investigated object are assumed to be interactively
linked, with the values of the investigator inevitably
influencing the inquiry”
 Knowledge mediated through the political beliefs and
opinions of the researcher
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Methodology
◦ Raise consciousness for those being oppressed,
leading to social change
 Methods called “transformative”
 Require dialogue between researchers and participants
◦ Data collection and emphasis similar to
constuctivist research except
 Critical: improve life chances for individuals at the
bottom of the social hierarchy
 Feminist: making conditions better for women
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Products
◦ Critiques of the perceived material world
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Ontology
◦ “Antiparadigm”
 Deconstruct aforementioned paradigms
◦ Order is created in the minds of individuals in an attempt to
give meaning to events that have no “intrinsic or immanent
relations”
 Multiple realities, each with its own claim to coherence, and
none can be privileged over another
 Realities local, subjective, and in flux
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Epistemology
◦ Deconstructing the notion of universal Truth
 Grand narratives are constructed in particular social-historical
circumstances to serve the purposes of those in power
 Alternative forms of inquiry such as: queer theory, performance
theory, postcolonial theory, critical race theory, and cultural
studies
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Methodology
◦ Focus on understanding data as texts that represent one of
many stories that could be told
1. Deconstructivists
 Use deconstruction as a tool to examine representations of the
world, searching for aporia, inconsistencies, or gaps where the
internal logic of the text unravels
2. Genealogists
 Revealing “the ways in which the practice was historically
justified, the discourses that were used for justification, and the
assumptions underlying forms of representation that are part of
the practices”
3. Poststructuralists doing data-based research
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Products
Analyses that reveal the internal incongruities of
discourses and expose the consequences of actions taken
based on the assumed Truthfulness of those discourses
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Ethnographies
Microethnographies
Ethnomethodology
Participant Observation Research
Interview Studies
Focus Group Studies
Artifact Analysis
Historical Studies and Historiography
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Grounded Theory Studies
Naturalistic Inquiries
Symbolic Interactionist Studies
Narrative Studies
Educational Criticism
Phenomenological Studies
Case Studies
Action Research Projects
Collaborative Studies
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Ethnographies
◦ Describe culture or parts of culture from the point of
view of cultural insiders
 Make sense of everyday experiences
◦ Developed by anthropologists
◦ Involves participant observation, informant interviewing,
and artifact collection
◦ Used within postpostivist paradigm
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Microethnographies
◦ Sociolinguists or others interested in verbal and
nonverbal communication
 Analyses of face-to-face interactions within specific social
contexts
◦ Used with postpostivist paradigm
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Ethnomethodology
◦ Studies the methods that people use to navigate their
everyday lives
 Interested in assessing an individual’s stock of knowledge
◦ Use observation and interview techniques
 Rigorous discourse analysis procedures to produce
generalizations and theories
◦ Used within postpositivist paradigm
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Participant Observation Studies
◦ Interviewing, artifact collection, and especially direct
observation
◦ Not ethnographies because they are much narrower in
scope and involve less time in the field
 Researchers enter with specific interests and/or specific
questions
◦ Used within any paradigm
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Interview Studies
◦ Create special kind of speech event during which they
ask open-ended questions, encourage informants to
explain their unique perspectives, and listen intently for
special language
 Enter with questions in mind but will generate questions
during the interview
◦ Used within any paradigm except positivist
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Focus Group Studies
◦ Sets of individuals with similar characteristics or having
shared experiences who sit down with a moderator to
discuss a topic
◦ Used to supplement other qualitative data
◦ Used within any paradigm
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Artifact Analysis
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Historical Studies and Historiography
◦ Unusual for artifacts to be primary data source
◦ Advantage: does not influence the social setting being examined
◦ Disadvantage: Interpreting the meaning and significance of
objects without social context is difficult
◦ Used within postpositivist paradigm
◦ Involve the collection and analysis of data for the purpose of
reconstructing events or combinations of events that happened in
the past
◦ Primary sources: oral or written testimony, original documents,
photographs, diaries, journals, drawings, mementos, or other
original artifacts
◦ Secondary sources: elements created by others that relate to the
event (i.e. textbooks, journal articles, etc)
◦ Used within several research paradigms
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Grounded Theory Studies
◦ Constant comparison
 Researchers engage in detailed analytic processes that
require repeated confirmations of potential
explanatory patterns discovered in the data
◦ Used within postpositivist paradigm
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Naturalistic Inquiries
◦ The goal of capturing naturally occurring activity in
natural settings
◦ Used within constuctivist paradigm
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Symbolic Interactionist Studies
◦ Comprised of “exploration” (i.e., collecting
observations, interviews, life histories, letters,
diaries, public records, and group discussions) and
“inspection” (discriminating analytic elements and
isolating relations between elements)
◦ Used within postpostivist paradigm
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Narrative Studies
◦ Include life histories, life story research, biography,
personal experience methods, oral history, and
narrative inquiry
◦ Used within constructivist and critical/feminist
paradigm
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Educational Criticism
◦ Observe, interview, and collect artifacts and documents like other
qualitative researchers
 From this, researchers construct stories or portraits of what they experienced
and understood in the settings explored
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Findings look more like the essays of art critics than the “objective” reports found in
positivist journals
◦ Used within constructivist paradigm
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Phenomenological Studies
◦ Combines both interpretive/hermeneutic methods and
descriptive/phenomenological methods
 Phenomenology: how one orients to lived experience
 Hermeneutics: how one interprets the ‘texts’ of life
◦ Attempt to keep biases and preconceptions in check by exploring own
experiences and understandings
◦ Methods: Protocol writing, interviewing, observing, studying experiential
descriptions of literature and art and examining diaries, journals, and logs
◦ Used within constructivist paradigm
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Case Studies
◦ A special kind of qualitative work that investigates a
contextualized contemporary (as opposed to historical)
phenomenon within specified boundaries
 Defining the boundaries, or specifying the unit of analysis is
the key point in case study design
◦ Used within several paradigms
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Action Research Projects
◦ Concerned with activity and change
 Identifying a problem through careful observation, reflecting
on the dimensions of the problem, designing a change that
addresses the problem, implementing the change, and
assessing its effectiveness through careful observation
 Used within critical/feminist paradigm
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Collaborative Studies
◦ Work that is distinguished from action research
because its principal aims are the generation of
knowledge and understanding
 Research participants as full partners in the research
process
◦ Used within constructivist paradigm
Research questions central to the inquiry
process; but they ought not be the starting
point
 Essential steps to qualitative research
1. Recognize and accept one’s ontological and
epistemological beliefs
2. Find a place among the qualitative
paradigms
3. Ask research questions
4. Choose a method based on what you want
to find out
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