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Lecture 9

Lecture 9 (Chapter 8)

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Western University
Sociology 2206A/B
Don Kerr

Chapter 8 The Nature of Qualitative ResearchKinds of Qualitative Research y Ethnographyparticipant observation the researchers is almost like a participant in what is being observed making detailed observations of what is going on y Qualitative interviewingfocus groups group interview where the sociologist will discuss a specific topic with several subjectsy Qualitative analysis of conversation texts and documents any symbolic material y Typically involved a combination of all of the above Basic Points y Qualitative research does not seek to use numbers and statistics in studying social research except perhaps to provide some context y It is usually inductive the process starts with field research then concepts and theories are developedy It tends to be interpretivist concerned with finding out what an action or event means to the people involved y It is often constructionist social life is not seen as fixed but as an outcome of interactions and negotiationso Ie the research is not the objective observer y It takes a naturalistic perspective when doing research the social world should be left as undisturbed as possibley The terms ethnography and participant observation are essentially synonymous although we will consider ethnography to be the more inclusive term o Participant observation will refer to the observational component of this sort of workmore specific than ethnographyy With both the researcher is immersed in a particular social setting for a long period of time sometimes even years y Behaviour is observed in an unstructured way and often indepth unstructured discussions and interviews are held with the people studiedo Ex Fosters research on crime in a housing complex in Britain textbook
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