Week 9 10/30/2013
Involves an inductive view of the relationship between theory & research.
Begins with collection of data used to develop theories, hypothesis, & concepts.
Interpretivist – seeks to understand the social world through people’s interpretations of it.
Constructionist – understand social life to be an outcome of the interactions & negotiations
Naturalistic approach – minimize the disturbance they cause to the social world they study.
Ethnography/participant observation – 2 approaches – researcher immerses in a social
setting. Observing, listening to gain an understanding of their culture.
Qualitative interviewing – indepth, semistructured interviewing.
• Unstructured interviewing.
Focus groups – several people interviewed together.
Discourse – analysis of talk + other communications.
The way language can create versions of reality.
Conversation analysis – analysis of talk (in naturally occurring situations) to uncover the
underlying structures in interaction that make social order.
• Ethnomethodology – concerned w/the way social order is established & maintained
Analysis of texts & documents.
Steps in qualitative research
a. General research questions
b. Selecting relevant site(s) & subjects
c. Collection of relevant data
i. Tighter specification of the research question.
ii. Collection of further data.
d. Interpretation of data
e. Conceptual & theoretical work.
f. Write up findings/conclusions. Important for qualitative research – how the theory & concepts of the study relate to the research data.
Grounded theory – common approach – use data to generate theory.
• Data collection & analysis proceed in a recursive fashion.
External reliability – degree to which a study can be replicated.
Internal reliability – members of the research team agree about what they see & hear.
Internal reliability – good match between the researcher’s observations & the theoretical ideas
• Strength of qualitative research.
External validity – degree to which findings can be generalized.
• Difficult b/c relying on small sample.
• Credibility – parallels internal validity – different people may interpret the social world in
o Ensure that the interpretations in the study ring true to the people observed.
Respondent/member validation – provide the participants w/