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Chapter 15  Qualitative Research Traditions

Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 10 months ago

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Chapter 15 Complete

p. 475: #1(Describe the characteristics of a qualitative research tradition)

(From test, p. 476-477)

A research tradition may be defined as " a group of scholars who agree among themselves on the nature of the universe they are examining on legitimate questions and problems to studey and on legitimate techniques to seek solutions." These traditions may be mixed, borrowed from each other, continually transformed, and are most often developed in a particular academic discipline. Research traditions include:

I. Investigation of lived experience:

1.. Cognitive psychology: study of mental structures and processes used by individuals in different situations

2. Life history: study of individuals' life experiences from their perspective

3. Phenomenography: study of individuals' conceptions of reality

4. Phenomenology: study of reality as it appears to individuals

 

II. Investigation of society and culture:

1. Cultural studies and critical theory: study of oppresive power structures in a culture

2. Emancipatory action research: study of practioners' self-reflective efforts to improve the rationality and justice of their work

3. Ethnography: study of characteristic features and patterns of a culture

4. Ethnomethodology: study of the rules that underlie everyday social interactions

5. Event structure analysis: study of the logical structures of social events

6. Symbolic interaction: study of the influence of social interactions on social structures and individuals' self-identity

 

III. Investigation of language and communication:

1. Ethnographic content analysis: study of the content of documents in cultural perspective

2. Ethnography of communication: study of the process by which individuals arrive at the meaning of a text

3. Ethnoscience: study of a culture's semantic systems

4. Hermeneutics: study of the process by which individuals arrive at the meaning of a text

5. Narrative analysis: the study of organized representations and explanations of human experience

6. Semiotics: the study of signs and the meanings they convey

7. Structuralism and poststructuralism: study of the systematic properties of language, text, and other phenomena

 

#2(Describe the types of phenomena that cognitive psychologists investigate and the research methods that they use)

 

(From text, p. 478):

Cognitive psychologists have developed research traditions that focus on the inner experiences of people, particular types of people, or of individuals as they interact with each other, such as examiniation of perception, memory, and attention.

Research methods used:(p. 481)

1. Phenomenology: the study of the world as it appears to individuals when they place themselves in a state of consciousness that attempts to be free of everyday biases and beliefs.

2. Phenomenography: a specialized method for describing the different ways in which people concpetualize the world around them.

3. Life history research: the study of life experiences of individuals from the perspective of how these individuals interpret and understand the world around them.

 

"Table 15.1 presents 17 qualitative research traditions organized into three categories. The traditions within each category are related in that they study similar phenomena. Some focus on understanding the nature of lived experience (type I), others seek to understand cultural and social phenomena (type II), and still others seek to understand language and communication phenomena (type III)." Pg. 477

 

#7(Describe the characteristics of ethnography and the steps involved in conducting an ethnographic study)

Ethnography involves the intensive study of features in a given culture and patterns found in those features. 3 major characteristics:

1. Focus on discovering cultural patterns in human behavior

2. Focus on emic perspective: how the culture itself defines reality

3. Focus on studying the natural settings in which the culture is manifested.

 

Steps involved in ethnographic study:

1. Formulating a research problem and selecting a case

2. Gaining entry

3. Collecting data

4. Analyzing and interpreting data.

 

 

#8(Explain the strengths and weaknesses of ethnographic research)

Strengths:

1. Ability to examine the complex phenomenon known as culture

2. Holistic orientation and ability to identify diverse elements of a culture and develop patterns.

 

Weaknesses:

1. Use of emic perspective does not provide for discovering the laws of social life

 

2. "Ethnology has come under increasing critical scrutiny in recent years. This scrutiny has revealed several unresolved issues in the way it is used to understand culture. One issue concerns ethnography's status as a science." Pg. 495

 

3."Another unresolved issue is whether ethnography should subscribe to the goal of the natural sciences to develop universal laws or to the goal of the humanities to understand the unique and particular case." Pg. 495

 

4."Still another issue concerns the validity of reports of ethnographic findings." Pg. 495

 

5. Typical use of traditional male viewpoint that involves non-reciprocal relationships with and distance from the culture studied

 

6. "...it requires a lengthy apprenticeship to learn how to do ethnography well; furthermore, the data-collection process for an ethnographic study can take many months, a year, or even longer." Pg. 495

 

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