Discussion1: Qualitative Research: Making it Real

Qualitative research is “…a strategy for the systematic collection, organization, and interpretation of textual information…” (Yale University School of Public Health, 2015). The results of qualitative research are descriptive rather than predictive due to an individual researcher’s interpretation and reporting of the data. Qualitative research, like most other forms of research, begins with a researcher asking a question and expressing an interest in a subject (Ravitch & Carl, 2016).   Qualitative research helps researchers to understand and explain the meaning of social phenomena, while at the same time, doing very little to disrupt their subjects natural setting. Researchers conducting qualitative research do so because they recognize the human condition and want to think differently and learn more people and how they think.

Qualitative research methods are probably the oldest of all scientific techniques; beginning with ancient Greek philosophers qualitatively observing the world around them and trying to come up with answers which explained what they saw (Erickson, 2011). Denzin and Lincoln (2013), indicate that qualitative research operates in a complex historical field that crosscuts five historical moments. Denzin and Lincoln (2013) describe these five moments as, the traditional, the modernist, the blurred genres, the theory of representation, and the postmodern or present.

When applying qualitative research methods, the emphasis is put on the natural setting and the points of views of the research participants (Roller, 2013). In addition, the researcher is considered equally as important as the subjects. The researcher is not the independent observer in the white lab coat conducting an experiment. In qualitative research, self-reflection about one’s own attitude and position and role in society or the researcher’s positionality is vital (Ravitch & Carl, 2016).

Qualitative research is a very fluid process that is highly dependent on the evaluator and the context of the study. It consists of a set of interpretive, material practices, that make the world visible and transforms it (Denzin & Lincoln, 2013). When attempting to analysis qualitative research data, it is important to understand that the data will not follow a simple straight line where point “A” will automatically lead to point “B.” Qualitative inquiry seeks to discover and to describe in narrative reporting what everyday people do in their everyday lives and what their actions mean to them and that is not something that will fit into a neatly checked box of with yes or no as the only r References

Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (2013). Chapter 1: Introduction: The discipline and practice of qualitative research. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The landscape of qualitative research (4th ed., pp. 1-44). Retrieved from  http://www.sagepub.com/sites/default/files/upm-binaries/17670_Chapter1.pdf

Erickson, F. (2011). Chapter 3: A history of qualitative inquiry in social and e3ducational research. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of qualitative research (4th ed., pp. 43-58). Retrieved from  http://www.waldenu.edu

Ravitch, S. M., & Carl, N. M. (2016). Chapter 1: Qualitative research. In Qualitative research: Bridging the conceptual, theoretical, and methodological (pp. 1-31). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

Roller, M. (2013). 10 distinctive qualities of qualitative research. Retrieved from  https://researchdesignreview.com/2013/07/

esponses (Erickson, 2011).

Yale University School of Public Health. (2015, June 23).  Fundamentals of Qualitative Research Methods: What is qualitative research (Module 1) [Video file]. Retrieved from  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbdN_sLWl88

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