Sunday, November 22, 2009

Yu kun's questions

From page 251 to 251, potter discussed the issue of barriers to enter the field of qualitative study. But the barriers he listed also could be found in the quantitative studies. In my opinion I would say the author had an assumption that quantitative studies dominated the field of mass communication. Based on this assumption, all scholars have quantitative backgrounds or must be familiar with the quantitative methods. However, if observed this issue from the historical pattern, we could find that qualitative methods were developed before their counterparts.
From page 265 to 266, the author quoted Toulmin’s argument that “In sciences and humanities alike, we must be prepared to consider the products of human imagination and creation---whether idea or artifacts, poems or theories---from a variety of different points of view”. In my personal opinion, the aim of our research is to solve the problem in this world. But I find quantitative studies can limit our imagination and the issues we can study. On the other hand, qualitative studies can give us more flexibility. Issues in the field of qualitative studies are more interesting.
In page 275 and 276, the author discussed the lack of guidance on methods. I believe that the qualitative methods or theories are so comprehensive that it is impossible to establish a framework to include every methods or theories. In addition, there are still a lot of debates about the communication theory which stand on the shoulders of other fields such as political science and sociology. In the field of qualitative studies, the evidence of borrowing the concepts from the other fields is more obvious.
In page 291, the author indicate generalizing is the direction that scholars in qualitative studies have to go. But I doubt how the qualitative studies can do this. Like what he mentions in page 292” This is a paradox to say that the more specific the descriptions, the more general the results”. In this issue, we need new thinking to deal with this paradox.
About the issue of convergence of those two fields, in my opinion, those two fields all have their own characteristics. Instead of using the term “convergence”, I would prefer to use the term “complement”. The research methods are different tools for me. Facing different issues, I will decide which tools I can use. Will you expect the convergence of the glut and the knife? Because their functions are totally different, the answer is no.

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