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Ch 1 Quality Methods Health Research.docx

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Ch 1 Qualitative Methodology and Health ResearchIntroductionHealth and illness have long been topics of interest for social science disciplines such as sociology social anthropology and history sociology is the study of human society It has traditionally focused on developed countries with the sociology of health and illness addressing such issues as concepts of health and illness inequalities in health experiences of health and health care systemssocial anthropology the study of ppl in the context of culture and society has traditionally studied cultures other than that of the researcher Medical anthropologists have focused on how a soceitys beliefs and practices relating to health and illness including healing systems and folk practices are embedded in other aspects of its culturehistory of medicine has contributed to understanding the history of medicine and medical knowledge understanding the role of health and illness in social history and to policy studies in the health arenamaintaining health and dealing with ill health are universal challengesWhat is qualitative researchperhaps impossible to characterize qualititave research in a way that is completely separate from quantitative researchqualitative research tends to use language data written or oral and quantitative research numerical data But this is not always the casemany qualitative studes use simple frequency counts whereas language data can be used in quantitatve studiesit might be more useful to characterize qualitatice research not by the kind of data produced or the methods used to produce them but by the overall aims of the study the most basic way of charcterizeing qualitative studies is to describe their aims as seeking answers to questions about the WHAT HOW or WHY of a phenomenon rather than questions about HOW MANY or HOW MUCHQualitative typically look to examine or explore rather than measureTheoretical approachestheory is central to research even the most applied researchtheoretical assumptions about how the world works and how health care illness behavior or doctorpatient interaction are organized do frame the kinds of questions that are considered important to ask and how we choose to answer themMacro TheoryMacro theoretical perspectives frame particular issues as questions requiring research because they entail particular assumptions about the way the world is and how people behave within itthese might include questions such as is it inevitable that wealth is unequally distributedOne well known example of macrotheory is the materialist approach built on an assumption that material sphere of lifesuch as economic realtions determines other aspects such as culturein this tradition Karl Marx developed his theory of class relations to explain both the contemporary situation and to predict future social pattern The basis of his theory was the inevitable conflict produced between those who own the means of generating wealth means of production and those who have to sell the labor working class
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