t13 - Geography 231 Introduction to Geospatial Methods...

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1 Geography 231 Introduction to Geospatial Methods Topic 13: Introduction to Qualitative Methods Goals To understand the role of “qualitative methods” in the geospatial toolkit The difference between quantitative, qualitative, and mixed models of enquiry To review the major categories of primary and secondary sources of data for qualitative analysi analysis To understand the basics of interviews and questionnaires To very briefly introduce the strategies for analyzing qualitative data
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2 The Many Faces of Geography Physical Geography Human Geography Geospatial Methods -Cartography, GIS, remote sensing, quantitative methods, qualitative methods -B iogeography, climatology, hydrology, geomorphology, landscape ecology, soils, etc. - Cultural, economic, political, social, urban, religious, health, tourism, etc. Investigating the Human World Traditional science approaches to knowledge Traditional science approaches to knowledge formulation (hypothesis-testing) is based largely on the measurement and testing of empirical evidence Related to the positivist and empiricist schools of philosophy that focus on things that can be measured objectively Focus on quantitative methods: measurements
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3 Investigating the Human World, Cont… Can we understand the human world using Can we understand the human world using the same techniques applied to the physical world? Many schools of philosophy suggest no ! The traditional focus on quantitative and empirical data fails to acknowledge the role of thoughts, desires, values, etc. Focus on qualitative methods: interviews and observations Quantitative vs. Qualitative Approaches Quantitative Qualitative Focus on structured observations that are easily measured or quantified If you can’t measure it, you don’t know it” Focus on unstructured observations – words, sounds, pictures, etc – that are not easily converted into numeric format Variables can be identified and Variables are complex, relationships measured. Reality is single and fragmentable interwoven, and difficult to identify. Realities are multiple and holistic Data is “broad” and efficient, suitable for modeling, but may miss contextual details Data is “rich”, time-consuming to collect, and less suitable for generalization
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Quantitative vs. Qualitative Approaches Quantitative Qualitative The researcher is an outsider, who maintains objectivity and impartiality. Inquiry is value-free The researcher is an insider who seeks involvement and empathetic understanding. Inquiry is value-bound Aim is on generalizing: breadth instead of depth. Theories and Aim is on describing: depth instead of breadth . Theories hypotheses often come first and are tested and hypotheses often emerge at the end Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods of Inquiry Don’t be confused: there is a difference between data and analytical techniques Method of Inquiry Data Analytical technique “Quantitative Quantitative Quantitative methods” “Qualitative
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This note was uploaded on 02/04/2010 for the course GEOG 158 taught by Professor Dobson,j during the Spring '08 term at Kansas.

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t13 - Geography 231 Introduction to Geospatial Methods...

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