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Qualitative Vs Quantitative Research

  1. 1. Qualitative vs Quantitative Research<br />An Introduction<br />
  2. 2. Overview<br />The nature of quantitative research<br />The nature of qualitative research<br />The pros and cons<br />A tangent into feminism<br />
  3. 3. What do quant researchers worry about?<br />I really spend a lot of time wondering how to measure things.<br />I want to make sure others can repeat my findings.<br />I want to know what causes something else.<br />I wonder how small patterns generalize to big patterns.<br />
  4. 4. In short, quant researchers…<br />Use numbers to summarize their findings<br />Aspire to measure concepts accurately<br />Attempt to predict the likelihood of any social phenomena <br />Look for correlations between “variables”<br />
  5. 5. A “variable” varies…<br />
  6. 6. What is varying?<br />The amount of spice is varying. “Amount of spice” is a variable. “Spice” is not a variable.<br />
  7. 7. Independent vs Dependent Variables<br />Height<br />Age<br />?<br />
  8. 8. What is a concept?<br />Concepts must be transformed into measures or indicators<br />“…categories for the organization of ideas and observations” (Bulmer, 1984: 43)<br />
  9. 9. Concepts in social theory<br />“Definitive” concepts a “prescriptions of what to see”<br />“Sensitizing” concepts provide a “general sense of reference and guidance”<br />“Thus, with clear concepts theoretical statements can be brought into close and self-correcting relations with the empirical world” (Blumer, 1954: 5).<br />
  10. 10. What is a measure?<br />Something that can be counted.<br />Age<br />Height<br />Number of books<br />
  11. 11. What is an indicator?<br />Something that “indicates” the presence of something else.<br />GDP<br />IQ<br />Number of hospital visits<br />
  12. 12. Types of Quantitative Research Designs<br />
  13. 13. Classic Experimental Design<br />The “Will study for the final” Group<br />Midterm grade<br />Exam grade<br />Studies<br />The “Won’t study for the final” Group<br />Midterm grade<br />Exam grade<br />Doesn’t Study<br />December<br />September<br />
  14. 14. Classic Experimental Design<br />The “Will study for the final” Group<br />Midterm grade<br />Exam grade<br />Studies<br />Obs 1<br />Exp<br />Obs 2<br />The “Won’t study for the final” Group<br />Midterm grade<br />Exam grade<br />Doesn’t Study<br />Obs 1<br />No Exp<br />Obs 2<br />December<br />September<br />
  15. 15. Cross-sectional Design<br />“A” grades<br />Studied for hours or more<br />Studying “goes with” higher grades<br />All exam grades<br />“B” and below<br />Studied for less than 2 hours<br />
  16. 16. Steps In Quant Research<br />
  17. 17. What’s wrong with quantitative research?<br />Yeah and they treat people like they’re test tubes or something.<br />It’s the way they do things…it makes it hard for people to see their research as relevant to them.<br />Well their research is just so static. Real life actually changes.<br />They always seem to measure artificial things and say they’re really precise.<br />
  18. 18. An example…<br />Researchers want to study poverty in a small, urban housing unit. The property managers say that turnover in the apartments is high. Researchers wonder if the housing unit has some effect on poverty. <br />
  19. 19. An example…<br />Qual researchers would learn the experience of poverty.<br />Quant researchers would measure the effects of poverty<br />Researchers want to study poverty in a small, urban housing unit. The property managers say that turnover in the apartments is high. Researchers wonder if the housing unit has some effect on poverty. <br />Quant researchers would ask close-ended questions and search for correlations in quant data.<br />Qual researchers would interview and observe residents and search for themes in these observations and interviews.<br />
  20. 20. Qualitative vs. Quantitative<br />
  21. 21. What do qual researchers worry about?<br />I really want my research approach to be flexible and able to change.<br />I want to describe the context in a lot of detail. <br />I want to see the world through the eyes of my respondents.<br />I want to show how social change occurs. I’m interested in how things come to be.<br />
  22. 22. Types of Qualitative Research Methods<br />
  23. 23. Types of Qualitative Research Methods<br />Observational field research (ethnography; in situ; participant observation)<br />Interviewing (one-on-one; dyad; group or focus groups)<br />Unobtrusive<br />Discourse analysis<br />Hermeneutics<br />Content analysis<br />Semiotics<br />Conversation analysis<br />
  24. 24. Rapport<br />noun. 1. a close and harmonious relationship in which there is common understanding. 2. trust<br />Source: Compact Oxford English Dictionary. 2008. Oxford University Press: Oxford. <br />
  25. 25. What does feminism have to do with qualitative research?<br />Yeah but we kind of also want to know the numbers of discrimination.<br />We want our voices heard!<br />
  26. 26. What does interviewing have to do with feminism?<br />How many times have you committed a crime? <br />Tell me about your experience in the criminal justice system. <br />Well, it started when I was 15…<br />5 times<br />Unstructured<br />Structured<br />
  27. 27. What does interviewing have to do with feminism?<br />How many times have you committed a crime? <br />Tell me about your experience in the criminal justice system. <br />Well, it started when I was 15…<br />5 times<br />No empathy with participant. <br />Empathy with participant. <br />Unstructured<br />Structured<br />
  28. 28. Steps in qualitative research<br />
  29. 29. “Validity” in qual research is not about sample size<br />For more, see: Denzin, Norman and Yvonne Lincoln. 2000. &quot;Introduction: The Discipline and Practice of Qualitative Research.&quot; Pp. 1-30 in Handbook of Qualitative Research, edited by N. Denzin and Y. Lincoln. Thousand Oaks: Sage.<br />Dependability<br />Confirmability<br />Credibility<br />Transferability<br />“Trustworthiness”<br />
  30. 30. What’s wrong with qualitative research?<br />Well good luck trying to re-create those results!<br />That’s because they often don’t tell you how they did what that did.<br />You just can’t generalize it. How am I supposed to know how many people have the same experiences?<br />It’s just so subjective. <br />

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