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University of Toronto St. George

CHAPTER 1 Qualitative VS. Quantitative o Qualitative methods are usually dismissed as unscientific and inaccurate because it seems like it involves a lot of subjectivity, it takes longer, and research methods and analytical strategies can not be analyzed by high technology means. Qualitative as unscientific arises from the notion of empiricism is quantification o Quality - essential to the nature of things (what, how, when, where) Refers to the meanings, concepts, definitions, characteristics, metaphors, symbols and descriptions of things o Quantity - is elementally an amount of something (counts and measures of things) o Data gathering techniques are intentionally coupled with theoretical perspectives, linking method to theory. o Therefore, data gathering is not distinct from theoretical orientations o Seven ways to collect qualitative data: 1. Interviewing 2. Focus groups 3. Ethnography 4. Sociometry 5. Unobtrusive measures 6. Historiography 7. Case studies o Action research (participatory research studies) Examination of the basic theoretical assumptions of each technique and advice on how to start each procedure and how to resolve problems that may arise TRIANGULATION o Observations made by researchers are deeply affected by the actions of all participants, including themselves. o Researchers need to use different methods so they can observe from different perspectives directed at the same point. o Through this can obtain a better and more substantive picture of reality. o The use of multiple lines of sight is called triangulation. (three sighting lines intersect forming a small triangle called the triangle of error - true location of the object is the centre of the triangle, and the three lines are about equal in error.) o Lines of action (Denzin) - the use of multiple data collection technologies , multiple theories, researchers, methodologies, or combinations of these four categories. o Triangulation - use of multiple data- gathering techniques (usually 3) to investigate the same phenomenon Means of mutual confirmation of measures and validation of findings.
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