Week_10_qual2 - ScWk 240 Research Methods and Design Week...

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ScWk 240 Edward Cohen Page 1 ScWk 240 Research Methods and Design Week 10 October 31, 2008 San José State University Edward Cohen, Ph.D. Qualitative Research Questions and Methodological Approaches “Listening with the third ear…” I. Quantitative and qualitative research questions A. First, let’s review quantitative research questions. They can be about 1. Descriptive research, e.g. “What is the proportion of homeless people who have a mental illness?” or “How do San Jose public school test scores compare with other cities?” or 2. Explanatory research, e.g. “Is there a relationship between self esteem in adolescents and their school performance?” or “Does CBT help older adults in long term care maintain cognitive functioning?” B. Qualitative research comes from… 1. A reaction against positivist thinking. Positivism is a) The view that an external, objective reality exists apart from our perceptions though we may never fully understand it b) Which allows us to generalize to the “unknown” population from our know sample 2. The growth of relativism, interpretivism, constructivism, feminism, queer theory, etc. a) They share the view that reality is self- and culturally- determined (sometimes forced on others by the majority’s viewpoint ) 3. The tradition of scientific inductive observation a) Observed the world b) Tried to make generalizations from these observations c) Built theory on these generalizations d) Where would we be without the inductive observations of scientist John Snow that led to eliminating cholera (discovered to be linked to contaminated water pump handles in 19 th century Europe)?
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ScWk 240 Edward Cohen Page 2 II. The Five Qualitative Approaches (a.k.a. Qualitative Research Designs) Note: qualitative research questions will mirror one of the following types of research. A. Narrative research —focuses on stories of individual How does a Somali immigrant woman describe her life events leading up to the decision to come to the U.S.? What were the significant developmental milestones of an adolescent involved with the juvenile justice system? What is the life history of a Mexican curandero (healer) as related in his own words? B. Phenomenological research —focuses on the meaning (or essence) of experience with a phenomenon for several individuals. What they experienced, how they experienced it What is the experience of transition to the U.S. by Somali women? How do adolescents describe their experiences negotiating the juvenile justice system? How do Mexican Americans compare their experiences with natural healers to the U.S. formal healthcare system? C.
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This note was uploaded on 09/08/2010 for the course SCWK 242 at San Jose State University .

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Week_10_qual2 - ScWk 240 Research Methods and Design Week...

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