Qualitative Methods Lesson 2.docx - SY281 Lesson 2: Field...

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SY281 Lesson 2: Field WorkIntroductionField research is the qualitative alternative to the quantitative dominance made possibleby the collection of numerical dataFocuses on the description and understanding of social relationshipsDiscovering the meaning of social events, not their causesResearcher must establish a role, overt or covert, that permits the study of actions andconversations in their natural environmentObservationValidity, in field research, concerns the relationship between the meaning of events tothose who experience the events and to those who read about themProphetic ResearchWhen Prophecy Fails: A Social and Psychological Study of a Modern Group that Predictedthe Destruction of the Worldby Leon Festinger, Henry Riecken, and Stanley Schachter(1964)The ProblemResearcher needs to specify as clearly as possible what problem is to be addressedA statement of purpose that rules out many possibilities leaving something that isfeasible may produce more effective researchFestinger et al set out their research topic and their expectationsinterested in the experience of unfulfilled propheciesReviewed a number of historical examples

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