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SOWK 6003 Social Work Research Week 9 Qualitative Research and its Analysis

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SOWK 6003 Social Work Research Week 9 Qualitative Research and its Analysis By Dr. Paul Wong * * Qualitative research is not only a data-collecting activity, but also ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: SOWK 6003 Social Work Research Week 9 Qualitative Research and its Analysis


1
SOWK 6003 Social Work Research Week 9
Qualitative Research and its Analysis
  • By Dr. Paul Wong

2
Overview
  • Topics Appropriate for Qualitative Research
  • Prominent Qualitative Research Paradigms
  • Qualitative Sampling Methods
  • Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Standards for Evaluating Qualitative Studies
  • Research Ethics in Qualitative Research

3
Qualitative Research Methods
  • Qualitative research methods attempt to tap the
    deeper meanings of particular human experiences,
    generating theoretically richer observations that
    are not easily reduced to numbers
  • By going directly to the phenomenon under study,
    and observing it as completely as possible,
    researchers can develop a deeper understanding of
    it

4
Topics Appropriate for Qualitative Research
  • Qualitative research is especially appropriate to
    the study of topics for which attitudes and
    behaviors can best be understood within their
    natural setting
  • Qualitative research is especially appropriate
    for the study of social processes over time
    (e.g., rumblings and final explosion of a riot as
    events actually occur)

5
Topics Appropriate for Qualitative Research
  • Appropriate topics for field research include
  • Practices
  • Episodes
  • Encounters
  • Roles
  • Relationships
  • Groups
  • Organizations
  • Settlements
  • Social worlds
  • Lifestyles or subcultures

6
Prominent Qualitative Research Paradigms
  • Naturalism
  • An old tradition that emphasizes observing people
    in their everyday settings
  • E.g., Ethnography involves naturalistic
    observations and holistic understandings of
    cultures or subcultures
  • Grounded Theory
  • Attempts to derive theories from an analysis of
    the patterns, themes, and common categories
    discovered among observational data

7
Prominent Qualitative Research Paradigms
  • Participatory Action Research
  • Implicit belief that research functions not only
    as means of knowledge production, but also as a
    tool for education and development of
    consciousness as well as mobilization for action
  • Case Studies
  • Idiographic examinations of a single individual,
    family, group, organization, community or society

8
Qualitative Sampling Methods
  • Probability sampling is sometimes used in
    qualitative research, however nonprobability
    techniques are much more common
  • Nonprobability samples used in qualitative
    research are called purposive samples

9
Qualitative Sampling Methods
  • Purposive samples include
  • Quota sample
  • Snowball sample
  • Deviant case sample
  • Intensity sample
  • Critical incidents sample
  • Maximum variation sample

10
Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Depth of understanding
  • Flexibility
  • Cost
  • Subjectivity
  • Generalizibility

11
Standards for Evaluating Qualitative Studies
  • Given the variety of research methods and
    paradigms, a general agreement exists that one
    key issue in evaluating the rigor of qualitative
    research is trustworthiness
  • Three key threats to trustworthiness
  • Reactivity
  • Researcher bias
  • Respondent bias

12
Standards for Evaluating Qualitative Studies
  • Contemporary Positivist Standards
  • Strategies to minimize threats
  • Prolonged engagement
  • Triangulation
  • Peer debriefing and support
  • Negative case analysis
  • Member checking
  • Auditing

13
Standards for Evaluating Qualitative Studies
  • Social Constructivist Standards
  • This paradigm views trustworthiness and
    strategies to enhance rigor more in terms of
    capturing multiple subjective realities than of
    ensuring the portrayal of an objective social
    reality, the objective of contemporary
    positivists.

14
Standards for Evaluating Qualitative Studies
  • Empowerment Standards
  • Those who take a critical social science or
    participatory action research approach to
    qualitative research include empowerment
    standards in critically appraising qualitative
    research
  • Research must evoke action by participants to
    effect desired change and a redistribution of
    power

15
Research Ethics in Qualitative Research
  • Conducting qualitative research responsibly
  • involves confronting ethical issues that arise
  • from the researchers direct contact with
  • participants
  • Is it ethical to talk to people when they dont
    know you will be recording their words?
  • Is it ethical to see a severe need for help and
    not respond to it directly?
  • Is it ethical to pay people with trade-offs for
    access to their lives and minds?

16
Qualitative Research Specific Methods
  • PowerPoint presentation developed by
  • E. Roberto Orellana Lin Fang

17
Overview
  • Preparing for the Field
  • The Various Roles of the Observer
  • Relations to Participants Emic and Etic
    Perspectives
  • Qualitative Interviewing
  • Focus Groups
  • Life History
  • Feminist Methods
  • Recording Observations

18
Preparing for the Field
  • Search of relevant literature
  • Use key informants
  • Discuss the group/community with others who have
    already studied it
  • Discuss the group with one of its members
  • Establish initial contacts with the group to be
    studied

19
The Various Roles of the Observer
  • Four different positions on a continuum of
    participant observation roles are
  • Complete participant
  • Participant-as-observer
  • Observer-as-participant
  • Complete observer

20
The Various Roles of the Observer
  • A complete participant may either be a genuine
    participant in what she is studying or pretend to
    be a genuine participant. People will see her
    only as a participant, not as a researcher
  • A participant-as-observer would participate fully
    with the group under study, but would make it
    clear that he is also undertaking research

21
The Various Roles of the Observer
  • The observer-as-participant is one who identifies
    herself as a researcher and interacts with the
    participants in the social process but makes no
    pretense of actually being a participant
  • The complete observer observes a social process
    without becoming a part of it in any way. The
    participants in a study might not realize they
    are being studied because of the researchers
    unobtrusiveness

22
Relations to Participants Emic and Etic
Perspectives
  • Qualitative researchers should learn how to
    simultaneously hold two contradictory
    perspectives
  • Trying to adopt the beliefs, attitudes, and other
    points of view shared by the members of the
    culture being studied (the emic perspective)
  • Maintaining objectivity as an outsider and
    raising questions about the culture being
    observed that wouldnt occur to members of that
    culture (the etic perspective)

23
Qualitative Interviewing
  • Qualitative researchers often engage in in-depth
    interviews with the participants, interviews that
    are far less structured than interviews conducted
    in survey research
  • Qualitative interviewing tends to be open-ended
    and unstructured. Three forms of qualitative,
    open-ended interviewing are
  • The informal conversational interview
  • The general interview guide approach
  • The standardized open-ended interview

24
Qualitative Interviewing
  • An informal conversational interview is an
    unplanned and unanticipated interaction between
    an interviewer and a respondent that occurs
    naturally during the course of fieldwork
    observation
  • With the interview guide approach to qualitative
    interviewing, an interview guide lists in outline
    form the topics and issues that an interviewer
    should cover in the interview, but it allows the
    interviewer to adapt the sequencing and wording
    of questions to each particular interview

25
Qualitative Interviewing
  • The standardized open-ended interview consists of
    questions that are written out in advance exactly
    the way they are to be asked in the interview.
    Probes are to be limited to where they are
    indicated on the interview schedule

26
Focus Groups
  • To conduct a focus group, researchers bring
    participants together to be observed and
    interviewed as group
  • Focus groups are based on structured,
    semi-structured, or unstructured interviews. They
    allow the researcher to question several
    individuals systematically and simultaneously

27
Focus Groups
  • offer several advantages
  • Inexpensive
  • Generate speedy results
  • Offer flexibility for probing
  • The group dynamics that occur in focus groups can
    bring out aspects of the topic that the
    researchers may not have anticipated and that may
    not have emerged in individual interviews

28
Focus Groups
  • Focus groups however, also have disadvantages
  • Questionable representativeness of participants
  • The influence of group dynamics to pressure
    people to say things that do not accurately
    reflect what they really believe or do
  • The difficulty in analyzing the voluminous data
    generated

29
Life History
  • Life histories or life stories involve asking
    open-ended questions to discover how the
    participants in a study understand the
    significant events and meaning in their own
    lives. AKA Oral history interviews
  • Because life histories provide idiographic
    examinations of individuals lives, they can be
    viewed within the case study paradigm

30
Recording Observations
  • Tape recorders are powerful tools for qualitative
    interviewing. It ensures verbatim recording and
    frees interviewers to keep their full attention
    focused on the respondents
  • The field journal is the backbone of qualitative
    research, because that is where the researcher
    records the observations. Journal entries should
    be detailed, yet concise.

31
Recording Observations
  • Note-taking in qualitative research should
    include both the investigators empirical
    observations and the investigators
    interpretations of them. You should record what
    you know has happened and what you think has
    happened.
  • If, possible observations should be recorded as
    they are made otherwise, they should be recorded
    in stages and as soon as possible. Dont trust
    your memory any more than you have to.
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