Qualitative Methods Part I: Tips, Tricks, & Resources ACE ...
Qualitative Methods Part I: Tips, Tricks, & Resources ACE Award Symposium 12/10/15 Barret Michalec, PhD Dept. of Sociology University of Delaware Outline for Today & 1/14/16 My background in/with Qual Methods Initial Thoughts Traditional Qualitative Methods Qualitative Description Interviews, Focus Groups, Participant Observations, PAR, Ethnography Content Analysis
Approaching Your Qualitative Research Data Gathering Embodied Knowledge Analysis of Qual Data: Coding Interpretation and Your Argument Writing it up Background in Qual Methods Classes (ECU & Emory) Fundamentals Dissertation: The role of empathy in pre-clinical medical students Interviews, observations, content analysis
Various Projects: UD, TJU, CCHS Focus Groups Interviews Observations Content Analysis Advanced Qualitative Methods Aint no Makin It, Down on Their Luck..Into the Valley, Boys in WhiteRats, Among the Thugs. Initial Thoughts Reading/writing Intensive Practice and examples make perfect (or at least decent)
Use your own data, and outside data My approach is that qualitative data analysis (and writing) is all about feel and touch THERE IS NO ONE METHOD/APPROACH/FORMULA It all very much depends Some degree of self-teaching Heavy focus on critical/original thought This is harder than you think More than likely going to get frustrated Struggle with writing Expectations vs. Reality of Analysis REITERATE: THERES NOT ONE WAY TO CODE
Or write about your methods and/or findings Not all of you will be good qualitative researchers Fundamental feel and sensitivity to it that some of you will have and some will not Thats not to say you cant work on these qualities Some of you will choose not to Initial Thoughts Get outside of yourself Battle your over-reliance on traditional frameworks & approaches Push yourself out of your comfort zone Acknowledge your anxiety/self-consciousness (unfocused) and where it comes from Monkey Mind
Stay with something, dont abandon it and think why you wanted to Taking a step further (digging deeper) Body as a filter/conductor Initial Thoughts: Quant & (not vs) Qual Quantitative methods: seek to obtain information about the social world that is already in or can be converted to numeric form Then uses statistical analysis to describe the social world that those data represent Qualitative methods: attempt to collect information about the social world that cannot be readily converted to numeric form
Info gathered often used to document meanings that actions engender in social participants or describe the mechanisms by which social processes occur Types of Qual Methods: Qual Description Not really a method Some are posturing about phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography, and narrative study when theyre really just utilizing Qual Description Types of Qual Methods: Qual Description Qual Description: Straight up description
Comprehensive sum of events in everyday terms of those events Surface-level thick description Not necessary bad or lazy but need to take it much much further Its a start Good exercise/practice Do we take the Base-level for granted though? Are these social facts? Is it the Objective in a Subjective world?
Types of Qual Methods: Interviews Interviews: respondent is asked a series of questions related to research project Interviewer leads all respondents over the same issues but may not ask same specific questions to each respondent Structured, Semi-Structured, Unstructured Advantages: Can go into depth on issues, respondents may let you know of things that you would not have thought to ask Disadvantages: Time consuming, $$, limited sample, cannot be anonymous, individual accounts of behavior Types of Qual Methods: Interviews
Difficulties w/ interviewing Boundaries of study substantive frame = likely to shift as more is learned Should be less and less as move forward Substantive Frame dictates WHO gets interviewed and WHAT they should be asked Knowledgeable audience Know your studys audience therefore know what NEEDs to be included Types of Qual Methods: Interviews Value in using work of others to backup your efforts and reasoning Getting In
Med Students Nurse Students EMTs Types of Qual Methods: Interviews Asking Questions Should you Show your cards? Early interviews as learning experiences Even more important than pretests/pilot studies Interviewing Relationships sex/race/age/ses it can change Med students who cried (acknowledgement?) The art of self-deprecation
Talking about yourself Intimacy What if it goes poorly SIT & LISTEN!!! The value in verbal and nonverbal Part of it can NOT be trained Types of Qual Methods: FGs Focus Group(s) A (series of) small group of people (6-10) led through an open discussion by a (skilled) moderator Not too small, not too large Accepting environment
Advantages: large amounts of data at particular time points, open discussion/back & forth Disadvantages: group dynamics, time, planning & scheduling, out of context Types of Qual Methods: PO Participant Observation: The Researcher observes individuals or groups of individuals in their natural social setting POs may be very involved in group (becoming one of the group), or may remain a distant observer Letting people know they are a researcher Advantages: See people in natural setting, dont have to rely on individuals accounts
Disadvantages: People behave different when observed. Time consuming. Dual observers. Potentially dangerous Methodology: Observations 23 8 25 7 24
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fresh tissue class room morgue Door B16 (# 7) Types of Qual Methods: PO Use your surroundings use what you know Dont reinvent the wheel
But Know Before You Dig Difficult settings What are some examples of difficult settings? Getting along Emo & phys challenges Info overload Distance Acceptable Incompetence & Selective Competence How do you Get Out Types of Qual Research: PAR
Participatory Action Research: PAR seeks to understand and improve the world by changing it. At its heart is collective, self reflective inquiry that researchers and participants undertake, so they can understand and improve upon the practices in which they participate and the situations in which they find themselves. The reflective process is directly linked to action, influenced by understanding of history, culture, and local context and embedded in social relationships. The process of PAR should be empowering and lead to people having increased control over their lives Differs from positivist paradigm PAR advocates that those being researched should be involved in the process actively
Baum, Fran, MacDougall, Colin, and Smith, Danielle. 2006. Participatory Action Research. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. 60(10): 854-857 Types of Qual Research: PAR Pros: Lived experience, interpretation, minimizes (if possible) power of researcher, objective data Cons: getting in, organizing, willingness of community, research/methodological design, cooks in kitchen Types of Qual Methods: Ethnography Ethnography: Can involve multiple methods think extreme PO Youre in it
Easier for Social Commentators (disclosure) Pseudo Ethnography Ethnography: Going Native How Far is Too Far? Bias value free Too close to subjects Too much data Danger (mental and physical health)
Why Qualitative Methods? When would be a good time to utilize interviews/PO/FGs? Why these over Surveys? How are these methods appropriate to attack your research question? NECESSARY to discuss this in your paper/proposal ALWAYS SHOW YOUR WORK!! QUESTIONS? Any questions pertaining to your specific projects/proposals? Approaching Your Qual Research
Getting in the right Head Space Approaching Your Qual Research Qualitative Research as: Bricoleur, quilter, jazz artist Bricolage: the construction or creation of a work from a diverse range of things that happen to be available, or a work created by such a process The quilter stitches, edits, and puts slices of reality together. This process creates and brings psychological and emotional unity a pattern to an interpretive experience Different voices, different perspectives, points of view angles of vision Denzin, Norman K., & Yvonna S. Lincoln. 2008. Collecting and Interpreting Qualitative Materials, 3 rd Edition. London, Sage Publications.
Approaching Your Qual Research Nor does qualitative research have a distinct set of methods or practices that entirely its own. Qualitative researchers use semiotics, narrative, content discourse, archival and phenomenology, hermeneutics, feminism, rhizomatics, deconstructionism , ethnography, interviewing, psychoanalysis, cultural studies, survey research, and participant observation, among others No specific method or practice can be privileged over any other Denzin, Norman K., & Yvonna S. Lincoln. 2008. Collecting and Interpreting Qualitative Materials, 3 rd Edition. London, Sage Publications. Approaching Your Qual Research
Qual research as ..what happens when a stranger approaches a social group which she wishes to join or to deal with The stranger questions the unquestionable Qualitative data gathering can be like herding cats Holliday: ..ideological minefield of qualitative research Making the familiar strange Discipline your perceptions Even when the scenario is familiar, the researcher must find ways of recovering the stranger position Dont be seduced by all the thinking as usual Holliday, Adrian. 2007. Doing and Writing Qualitative Research, 2 nd Edition. London, Sage Publications. Approaching Your Qual Research
Paradigm Naturalism (Postpositivism), even close to Positivism reality is straightforward, we can see it, we can measure it ..positivist and postpositivist traditions linger like a long shadow over the qualitative research project Postmodern
constructing there is no there (so you cant be there) until it is constructed Architect of data http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzm8kTIj_0M Researchers are part of the research setting Reality is socially constructed Every act of seeing or saying is unavoidably conditioned by cultural, institutional, and interactional contingencies Holliday, Adrian. 2007. Doing and Writing Qualitative Research, 2 nd Edition. London, Sage Publications. Approaching Your Qual Research Qualitative Research = Uphill Battle
My Opinion: it is harder to write up the methods/results sections of Qual research Always questionable especially in the health fields A substantial reduction of the verbatim quotations as a stand-alone element in the paper. Even when correctly reported and in context, a verbatim quotation tells one only that one person said one thing on one occasion, and forms no basis for rational policy-making. However, if the substance comes from their quantitative data then there are good reasons for them to illustrate and explain what those data mean and to do so by using relevant quotations in context. Approaching Your Qual Research Qual Research
Biomed/Clinical Perspective So what does this mean for you? DOT YOUR is and CROSS YOUR tS SHOW YOUR WORK!!!! Approaching Your Qual Research The paradigms for conducting social research are always shifting beneath our feet To us, research is more a craft (and sometimes, an art) than a slavish adherence to
methodological rules. No study conforms exactly to a standard methodology, each one calls for the researcher to bend the methodology to the uniqueness of the setting or case Miles, Matthew B., Huberman, Michael A., and Saldana, Johnny. 2014. Qualitative Data Analysis, 3 rd Edition. London, Sage Publications. Data Gathering: Sampling/Setting Who do you need Why do you need them why are they valuable How many should you recruit data saturation Where/how do I recruit them
All answers should stem from your RQs Approaching Data Gathering Getting in the right Head Space Approaching Data Gathering Embodied Knowledge ..deeply rooted in the awareness that knowledge is produced not by the disembodied voices that speak in official recounts of research in professional journals and books but
by researchers, whose bodies unavoidably influence all aspects of the research process Researchers have used the power of academic discourse to define their bodies as essentially irrelevant to the production of knowledge The performance of disembodied researcher has been repeated for so long that it functions as a set of naturalized norms that privilege a masculine mode of being Ellingson, Laura. 2006. Embodied Knowledge: Writing Researchers Bodies Into Qualitative Health Research. Qualitative Health Research. 16: 298-310. Embodied Knowledge we do not have bodies, we are our bodiesWe
write-think and fell- (with) our bodies rather than only (with) our minds or hearts Moving away from a wholly optical knowing to one that values smell and touch, for example, invokes the reality of (messy, uncontrollable) bodily experiences and disrupts the researchers privilege of the power of disembodied viewing Ellingson, Laura. 2006. Embodied Knowledge: Writing Researchers Bodies Into Qualitative Health Research. Qualitative Health Research. 16: 298-310. Ellingsons Suggestions 1.) Pay more careful attention to all their senses as they conduct research and include relevant details in the thick description of their qualitative findings NOT JUST SEEING number of emotional and experiential states while observing, interviewing, focus grouping
2.) Interrogate the specific ways in which bodily inscriptions affected a researchers process Gender, class, race, sexuality = a starting point, but must dig deeper How are you understood in the field? ..unearned social privilege 3.) Wrestle with the semantics of the body, including framing the body as self rather than as property of the mind-self and portraying the body as fluid and changeable. Ellingson, Laura. 2006. Embodied Knowledge: Writing Researchers Bodies Into Qualitative Health Research. Qualitative Health Research. 16: 298-310. Moving Beyond
Yes, its about race, gender, SES, etc but your Body is more than that Vision, in the traditional sense, also includes what you hear Few acknowledge what they feel (and how/why their bodies produced those feelings) And even fewer explore how those feelings interact with their surroundings and impacted data What you see/hear during data gathering will impact what you see/hear in analysis AND what you write YOU Data Gathering
Analysis of Data ?????? Writing Up Findings Approaching Data Gathering Questions to Ask Yourself BEFORE going into the field and WHILE IN the field: Is my project really worth doing Am I potentially exploiting people with my research Do the respondents (or those granting permission to be observed/recorded) have a right to see my
report Am I fostering too much intimacy What good is anonymity if people and their colleagues can easily recognize themselves in my report When they do, might it hurt damage them in some way What do I do if I observe harmful actions during my fieldwork Who owns the data Who owns the report Tools of Data Gathering
Audio Recorder Video Recorder(?) Camera Pen & Paper Yourself YOU ARE A FILTER What else might you want to think about before stepping into the setting? Hint: Think about you as a mechanism Approaching Data Gathering Some areas go unexplored b/c of ethical dilemmas or conflicts (personal,
institutional, political) IRB Difficulties w/ qual-based studies? WRITING be specific Informed Consent Necessary? When? Boltons perspective Audio Taping/Video Taping Participatory Action Research Presentation of data Honesty of the data how do we protect that? Are you a member of that place (data ownership)
are you kicking a hornets nest? Are you poking the bear Are you letting sleeping dogs lay? SHOULD YOU!?!? Explicit Understanding at beginning (ownership agreements) Approaching Data Gathering Notions of closeness, intimacy
Figuratively and Literally I have noted the value of getting intimate with your data Range of intimacy and engagement Building relationships with participants (and gatekeepers) Pros Cons Ethical Issues Notion of distance YOU
Data Gathering Analysis of Data ?????? Writing Up Findings QUESTIONS? Any questions pertaining to your specific projects/proposals?
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