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SOC244H1 (11)

Ch 2 Developing Qualitative Research Designs.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
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Ch 2 Developing Qualitative Research DesignsIntroductionnumber of tasks associated with research designin qualitative qork research design has traditionally been very loose in that precise aims of the study may not be known from the outset and decisions about how to collect data or what the will be about may emerge as the research progressesfor most studies you will need a research proposal or protocol early on which sets out the key elements of the study what you want to know how you will find out and whyprotocol is a kind of map of the studythis will need to be much tighter than merely an outline of why a particular topic looks like an interesting one to exploreResearch Questionsthe first element of research design is the what the question you want to answeruncommon to have a formal hypothesis for qualitative workproductive sources of potential research questions includepuzzles about the social worldprofessional practiceliteraturecommissioned researchIs this a problem that research can addressHealth care throws up daily problems for those delivering and manging it but not all of those are research problems If drugs are too expensive locally for most ppl to afford you may not need to wast time and resources researching itcommon senseIs aqualitative approach appropriateif you want to understand the perspectives of participants explore the meanings they give to phenomena or observe a process in depth then a qualitative approach is probably appropriateWhat are the key concepts of interestconcepts are the building blocks of theory1 What are the different components of these concepts For something like patient compliance with prescribed medication these might include understanding the doctors instructions collecting the prescription taking all the medicines at the time of day the doctor recommended2 What are the assumptions you are making in using them As discussed in CH1 theoretical assumptions are always made in research whether explicit or not and it is worth unpacking those that frame your particular questions Refining indicators for these conceptsabstract or theoretical concepts are good for thinking with but need refining for usein empirical research that is research that relies on primary data being collected or generated Once the components of each concept have been identified indicators can be developed for those that are crucial to the research questionindicators are events or phenomena that reflect or provide evidence of components of the underlying concept of interestthe concepts used in qualitative work are often less easily measurable and indeed the aim of the research may well be to unpack the concept to further our udnerstadning of it rather than to pin down components for measurement This may make it difficult to define at the outset what the research will look forrefining indicators helps specify what questions the research can and cant answerDefining a research question
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