Sunday, November 8, 2009

Yonghwan's Questions

1. It has been stated that interpretation is a part of all aspects of qualitative research; however, when we talk about interpretation as a purpose signaled in the writing, we expect to see a high degree of “self-reflexivity” where the author illuminates the decision points in the interpretive process (Potter, Chapter 10, p. 172). What seems to be examples of a high degree versus a low degree of “self-reflexivity” in journal articles? In other words, how can we demonstrate a high degree of self-reflexivity when it comes to writing a qualitative research paper?

2. Is qualitative approach horizontal? It has been described that quantitative research can be viewed as a “vertical” movement from specifics to abstract explanations; in contrast, the qualitative approach is much more horizontal—that is, a premium is placed on examining a wider range of meaning making and the exceptions to the norm; therefore, qualitative researchers require a wider range of expressive tools in order to help them capture the greater variety in the phenomenon and to communicate this in such a way as to make it interesting and useful to the readers. This makes sense to me, but it seems to me that qualitative approach could be vertical as well in a sense that qualitative research seems to be the case of a vertical movement from specifics to abstract explanations (note, for instance, ideological analysis).

3. Contextualization seems interesting and important to me when it comes to doing qualitative research. What is difference between the contextualization and description of background of the study? I can see some (especially case) studies describe the background of research (e.g., a certain countries’ specific historical background, a certain events’ background). Describing “the background of study” is one of ways of contextualization or different one from contextualization mentioned here?

4. If it is the case that describing the background of study, what seems to be differences between quantitative research and qualitative research in terms of contextualizing in each studies. In other words, there are descriptions of background of the study in quantitative research; then what seem to be different aspects of this description in qualitative research?

5. What seems to be examples of “conceptual leverage,” which is one of the things the external quality of qualitative research raises? It has been stated that “conceptual leverage is the concern about the degree to which the researcher can extend his or her results from the concrete evidence to more abstract explanations.” Isn’t this “vertical” movement, which was mentioned in question # 2, and characterized as quantitative research?

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