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Lecture

Comm2001B.docx

22 pages63 viewsWinter 2014

Department
Communication Studies
Course Code
COMM 2102
Professor
Ira Wagman

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2014-01-13
Qualitative Research
- interested in answering the “why” questions
Why do people do this? Etc.
Communication research started with the quantitative approach  borrowing things from other
social sciences (studying human behaviour)
Features of Qualitative Research
Inductive relationship between theory and research
going through process of conducting research before connecting it to the literature/theory
connect to theoretical positions that exist and expand
Interpretivist epistemology
see the world from the subjects point of view
rather than using a process that is generalized to a large group of people
how individuals create meaning
Ex: talk to individuals, interview, investigate everything that is produced by the individual
(analyzing text, speech, media production, art, etc.)
Constructionist ontology
emphasis on words vs. numbers
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emphasis on “shining intense light” on a subject vs. generalization to a population
researcher plays a role in the research
how the individual creates meaning from the social forces – how we understand our sense of
identity, culture, religion, etc.
Main Preoccupations of Qualitative Researchers
seeing through the eyes of those studied
description and emphasis on context
emphasis on social process
flexibility and limited structure
- not many preconceived notions
- researcher analyses text without a preconceived structure
- try to figure out the different meanings within the text
concepts and theory emerge from the data
Research Methods Used in Qualitative Research
textual analysis
- ex: newspaper
ethnography/participation observation
- prolonged immersion in the field
- understand human behaviour by immersing ourselves in the context we’re trying to understand
interviewing
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- in depth, semi, or unstructured
- individual or focus groups
Main Steps In Qualitative Research
1) general research question(s)
2) selecting relevant site(s) and subject(s)
3) collection of relevant data
4) interpretation of data
5) conceptual and theoretical work
5a) tighter specification of research questions
5b) collection of further data
Concepts in Qualitative Research
Definitive Concepts (quantitative research)
measures and indicators
common features of phenomena
imposes theory on social world
Sensitizing Concepts (qualitative research)
general sense of reference and guidance
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