This assignment show how researchers collect variety of information to make a case study based on the personal experiences, workplace and the daily life of people. Qualitative research has the opportunity to explore facts or evidences or ask an open question as a "why" in significant time to investigate individual changes. Researchers also use qualitative research to explore behaviors, feelings, and analyze approach with their social life.
The purpose of this assignment is to explain what qualitative research means, the nature of qualitative inquiry in terms of ontology and epistemology, what variations exist in the paradigmatic assumptions ,what is the role of the researcher, how to use reflexivity and reflexive analysis, and the important values in qualitative research. Paradigms provide philosophical, theoretical, instrumental, and methodological foundations for conducting research. In addition, provide researchers with principles from which to interpret the world.
- Qualitative: implies an emphasis on the qualities of entities and on processes and meanings that are not experimentally examined or measures. (Denzin & Lincoln, 2005).
- Research: means gathering, processing, and interpreting data. It also means intelligently and cogently communicating the results in a report that describes what was discovered from the research. (McNabb, 2004).
- What is Qualitative Research?
A form of social inquiry that focuses on the way people interpret and make sense of their experiences and the world in which the live. (Holloway, 2005).
Qualitative Research is a situated activity that locates the observer in the world. It consists of asset of interpretative, material practices that make the world visible. The practices transform the world. They turn the world into a series of representations, including field notes, interviews, conversations, photographs, recordings, and memos to the self. Qualitative research involves an interpretive, naturalistic approach to the world. Qualitative researchers study things in their natural setting, attempting to make sense of, or interpret, phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them. (Denzin & Linconln, 2005).
Characteristics of Qualitative Research
- Takes place in the natural world
- Seeks answers to a question
- Uses multiple methods that are interactive and humanistic
- Focuses on context
- Produces findings that were not determined in advance
- Collect evidence
(Marshall,C & Rossman, G, 2006).
The important of qualitative inquiry for the study of human group life. ( Denzin, N.& Lincoln,. P.1, 2005).
When to Use Qualitative Research?
We conduct qualitative research because a problem or issue needs to be explored. This exploration is needed, in turn, because of a need to study a group or population, identify variables that can then be measured, or hear silenced voices. These are all good reasons to explore a problem rather than to use predetermined information from the literature or rely on results from other research studies. We also need a complex detailed understanding of the issue. This detail can only be established by talking directly with people, going to their homes or places of work, and allowing them to tell the stories unencumbered by what we expect to find or what we have read in the literature. We use qualitative research when we want to empower individuals to share their stories, hear their voices and minimize the power relationships that often exist between a researcher and the participants in a study. We can collaborate directly with participants by having review our research questions or by having them collaborate with us during the data analysis and interpretation phases of research, etc.(Creswell, 2007).
The Nature of Qualitative Inquiry
Five philosophical assumptions lead to an individual's choice of qualitative research: ontology, epistemology, axiology, rhetorical, and methodological assumptions. The qualitative researcher chooses a stance on each of these assumptions, and the choice has practical implications for designing and conducting research. In the choice of qualitative research, inquirers make certain assumptions. These philosophical assumptions consist of a stance toward the nature of reality (ontology), how the researcher knows what she or he knows (epistemology), the role of values in the research (axiology), the language of research (rhetoric), and the methods used in the process (methodology) (Creswell,2003,p.16).
These assumptions make claims about what kinds of social phenomena do or can exist, the conditions of their existence, and the ways in which they are related. ( Blaikie, N, 2009, pg. 92). When researchers conduct qualitative research, they are embracing the idea of multiple realities. Different researchers embrace different realities, as do also the individuals being studied and the readers of a qualitative study. When studying individuals, qualitative researchers conduct a study with the intent of reporting these multiple realities. ( Creswell,J, 2007,p.p.16,18) .
The Epistemological assumption, conducting a qualitative study means that researchers try to get as close as possible to the participants being studied. In practice, qualitative researchers conduct their studies in the "field" where the participants live and work- these are important contexts for understanding what the participants are saying. The longer researchers stay in the field, they know more from firsthand information. All researchers bring values to a study, but qualitative researchers like to make explicit those values. This is the axiological assumption that characterizes qualitative research. The inquirers admit the value- laden nature of the study and actively report their values and biases as well as the value-laden nature of information gathered from the field.
Qualitative researchers tend to embrace the rhetorical assumption that the writing needs to be personal and literary in form. The procedures of qualitative research or its methodology are characterized as inductive, emerging, and shaped by the researcher's experience in collecting and analyzing the data. The logic that the qualitative researcher follows is inductive, from the ground up, rather than handed down entirely from a theory or from the perspectives of the inquirer.
Paradigm: A basic set of beliefs that guide action. (Holloway,I ,2005,p. 56). Asks "How do I know the world?" . A paradigm encompasses four terms: ethics (axiology), epistemology, ontology and methodology. Ethics: in research relates to moral standards. Ethical concerns have to be considered in all research methods and at each stage of the research design. Ethical issues are important in relation to the aim or the research questions. Researchers apply the principles that protect the participants in the research from harm or risk and follow ethical guidelines and legal rules. ask, "How will I be as a moral person in the world?
Epistemological assumptions: are concerned with what kinds of knowledge are possible - how we can know these things- and with criteria for deciding when knowledge is both adequate and legitimate. (Designing Social Research)
(Blaikie, N, 2009). Epistemological considerations depend on beliefs about the nature of knowledge. ( Holloway, I ,2005). Asks "How do I know the world?" "What is the relationship between the inquirer and the known? Every epistemology, as Christians indicates, implies an ethical-moral stance toward the world and the self of the researcher. Ontology raises basic questions about the nature of reality and the nature of the human being in the world. Methodology focuses on the best means for acquiring knowledge about the world.
"These paradigms and perspectives are positivism, post positivism, constructivism and participatory action frameworks". (Denzin&Lincoln, 2005, P. 183).
The role of the researcher
The role of the researcher, the person reading a textual passage, and the individuals from whom qualitative data are collected play a more central role in researchers' design decisions (Denzin&Lincoln, 2005).
Qualitative research requires reflexivity on the part of the researcher. By this is meaning that as a researcher, you need to reflect on the nature of your involvement in the research process, and the way this shapes its outcomes. Reflexivity is required throughout the research process - for instance, in trying to be aware of how your own assumptions about the phenomenon under investigation might influence the way you formulate your research question, and the issues you highlight in your interview topic guide. The process of personally and academically reflecting on lived experiences in ways that reveal deep connections between the writer and his or her subject.(Goodall,2000,p.137), is essential to the integrity of qualitative research.
In conclusion, qualitative research is a good plan of study case because it focuses in the views of people involved their experiences in specific place and their perceptions about human behaviors. Besides, it may explore many of field's important questions and illustrate strong set of values. The researchers can collect the data; they make the process and then study accessible and write descriptively so knowledge may best be communicated through the use of descriptions. In answering questions, what counts as a question depends to a large measure upon the assumptions made by the research.
- Blaiki,N.( 2009). Ontological and Epistemological Assumptions. Designing Social Research (2nd ed.).(pg. 92). Cambridge: Polity Press.
- Creswell, J.W. (2007). When to use Qualitative Research. (Pg. 39-40). Qualitative Inquiry Research Design Choosing Among Five Approaches. United States of America: Sage publications.
- Denzin,K.N & Lincoln, Y. S. ( 2005). Definitional Issues.The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research.(3rded.,pp.3,183-234).United State of America: Library of Congress Cataloging- in- Publication Data.
- Hatch, J. A(2002).Reflexivity. Doing Qualitative Research in Education Setting,p.12 Albany: State University of New York Press.
- Marshall,C & Rossman, G (2006). A Data Collector's Field Guide. Designing Qualitative Research(4d ed.,p.1).United State of America: Library of Congress Cataloging-in Publication Data.