Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Writing a Qualitative Study

The task of "composing or writing the narrative report" as Creswell calls it, acts as the cohesive or connective tissue holding the pieces of a study together. The so-called "narrative" nature of the report is an intrinsic property of qualitative research and lies in almost polar contrast to the report writing in quantitative research. While the quantitative report strives to objectively explain the data, the qualitative report endeavors to reflectively and reflexively expose it.
The major criteria discussed here (for the author to decide on many stylistic choices) are the (target) audience, type of encoding, and quotes. It seems to me that former criterion there influences decisions on the latter two,
Within each of the five approaches, there is a fundamental difference in the function of writing, While Narrative approach inherently uses most narrative technique, grounded theory would likely stay away farthest from it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Data Analysis and Representation

As with data validation, analysis of data in qualitative research and its subsequent representation is distinctly different from its quantitative counterpart. Of course, this differential concept needs to have been realized and taken into account earlier when determining the nature and method of data collection-and consequently the nature of the data itself. While much of the classification of data is already in place during the data collection process in quantitative research, qualitative research requires the post-collection process of coding and organization of the codes regarding significance, frequency, and comparison and contrast.
In terms of Grounded Theory approach, the coding is derived primarily from the written transcripts of interviews. This may been done by color coding, notes in margins, or word frequency (clouds). Once the data has been organized in a way that explains or helps tointerpret it, it may be helpful to create a visual aid to assist in understanding, explaining, or clarifying the theory, Graphs, flow charts, pie charts, and diagrams are the most common visual devices used for this purpose.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Validation- Chapter 10

Determining what validation for qualitative research is is the heart of the issue in this chapter; and upon reflection is really not as contentious as it was presented at the start of the chapter. If we view validation of data as double-checking, corroboration, verifying, then it is as "easy" to do as quantitative or statistical validation. In fact, it should be easier. Since the data validation process precedes conclusion, which should be validated as well, we are not evaluating the interpretation of data, but the accuracy of the information gathered. While Wolcott doesn't find much purpose for validation (Creswell, pg 295), I feel there is importance in ensuring that (what I call) qualitative added-value factors are present in the data (lucid transferable terminology, assurance of meaning, trustworthiness, thick description, etc.). I don't agree with the concept that that validation is against the spirit of qualitative research, as is implied in Wolcott, but I agree that the nit-picking of models of many of the others is more about semantics and reflexive personal interpretations than about the broader spirit of qualitative research.
For me, the questions raised about data validation specifically for Grounded Theory approach provide a good guide as to how to manage this aspect/phase of my own project.
The most relevant issue for me seems to be about making certain that differences in interviewee's verbiage=the equivalent phenomenon. This will require member checking and peer review as the most effective method.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I am finding the more I look at the examples of the various approaches to Qualitative Research. the more I am understanding some of the various formats and flexibility within such areas as Lit Review, methods, and modelling from prior frameworks.....As Anderson and Spencer do here (on pg 269), one can look carefully at a prior models from the approach methodology (in this case they choose Merlau-Ponty, Streubert and Carpenter, and Colaizzi), and attempt to design one's study similarly, esp. when one, such as myself, is trying to create a project like this for the first time. While I obviously anticipate that my own thesis project (Grounded Theory) will entail much more writing than the Phenomenological Approach given here, though obviously not always the case, there is obvious room for expansion a phenomenologically-approached qualitative to be more elaborate, compendious, or intricate, depending on the phenomenon, design, or methods of data collection and analysis.
As compared to a case study, this approach looks at varying examples of the same phenomenon.
A case study examines a particular case from as many angles as possible. If we were to do a phenomenological study examining modern terrorist attacks on US property, we would examine the US Cole incident, the underground bombings in NYC, the Oklahoma City bombings, the African Embassy Bombings, as well the WTC 9/11 attacks. A case study would focus on one of these and look at not only unique time-related data, but would also need to place one of these incidents in context of all the others before and after.
As compared to the Grounded theory, there is analysis of all the data in the phenomenological approach without necessarily drawing or testing a new theoretical framework or explanation. In the example here (starting on page 271), rather than a "theory" the authors evolve "themes" from the coded data which stand as testimony to the input analysis.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Iceland Volcano:A Case Study of The Perspectives on Extreme Natural Events (ENE's)in the Modern World

Historical Reactions to Analogous Events in the Prehistorical and Historical Past:
Books and Articles documenting human reaction to past events
Study of artifacts in Museum(s) of Natural History and other extreme event collections
Myths evolving from ENE's ( Books by Joseph Campbell, C. Levi-Strauss, Mircea Eliade, CG Jung)

Technology Coverage and The Media:
24 hour coverage:
CNN Footage
Al-Jazeera Footage
New York Times Articles
Web Coverage from News Bureaus
Twitter Reaction
Social Networking Information (Facebook)
YouTube Videos

Scientific Reaction:
Scientific Journals and Periodicals
Expert Interviews with Seismologists, Volcanologists, and Meteorologistics (forEnvironmental Etymology and Impact of the Event)
Videos using Heat and Chemical Sensitive Scanning
Scientific Studies of Animal Behavior and ENEs

Sociological, Societal, and Psychological Effects:
Study of Behavioral Journals (for stress and fear effects)
Hospital Records for Psychological Trauma experienced pre-and poat-ENEs
Newspaper articles and e-articles from near and far locations from the epicenter

Religious and Philosophical Perspectives:
Interviews with Religious Leaders
Books by Environmental Philosophers (Gregory Bateson, et. al)

Business and Political Perspectives:
Business Week, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal
Studies of pre-and post- EPE business Statistics

Monday, April 19, 2010

(You've Got A) Case Study

From reading Appendix F, there were a number of insights I garnered from the work on Campus violence. Amongst other things, I was able to follow Creswells, et als.'s setting of parameters and clarification of how their study fit within the technical parameters of qualitative research. It was a bit more elaborate than my introduction is likely to be, but it at it set some kind of model framework. I was also impressed with the clarification of the "need" for the study, something I've been wrestling to explain, as well as the explanantion of ethics. I did feel there was a little less self-reflexion than in other studies. Overall, I felt like case study might be defined as "situational ethnography".......But instead of studying a "group" case it's a "situational" case with the multiple groups and sources as the "wild cards." I didn't have that sense going into the reading, but I came out with that sense. I have a feeling, with enough time and the right subject, I really might enjoy doing this approach to research some time in the future.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

(Finely) Grounded Theory

I've been looking at the Grounded Theory approach to Qualitative Research for about 5 months now, since Eric R brought it to my attention. Given my subject matter and the way I am looking into Shame and its impact on ESL education (investigative methods), Grounded theory seems to make the most sense, with Phenomenology a distant second choice. The idea of when and how to introduce the theory has been (and to some degree still is) what I am trying to evolve an understanding of. Between the appendixed Study in Creswell, a supplemental book Eric lent me, and various articles I've borrowed and read, the "standard" is slowly becoming clearer. What I am now also dealing with is adjunctive data that has been brought to my by my interviewees; ideas and data that expand, support, or contradict my original suppositions. arguments, and assumptions. I am learning how experienced researchers "deal with" surprises and corollaries to their research. The idea of seeking "Theoretical Sampling" as opposed to the more standard Quantitative "Random Sampling" is a whole new process. (I was an NP Tester for a Health Project using random sampling from 1999-2004). Especially with the semi-structured interview format most prevalent in GT approach. There is also a reiterative process where different aspects of the theory can be reviewed and re-tested for greater refinement, sophistication, or inticacy. Understanding "Formal Theory" is what I am really looking at now.