RAT: More things about qualitative research

October 22, 2012 – 5:17 pm

One of many posts on my Readiness Assessment. As a reminder of the ground rules, this is a solo assessment, so while I’m allowed to think out loud on my blog, I can’t ask for or get (intellectual) help. Cookies and emotional support are, however, welcome.

All righty. My other qualitative methods readings weren’t as useful as I’d hoped. I did find this snippet.

My response after reading a paper written by a critical theorist for the first time: “I’m bothered by the audience the paper is written for – the researcher isn’t writing in a way that’s understandable to the kids she’s studying, she’s writing for an elite privileged group.” Dr. Dolby’s response 5/16/2012: That’s what differentiates critical theory from constructionism. Critical theorists say “you can’t see why you’re oppressed, and I can because I’m privileged,” whereas constructionism gives more weight and validity to the perspective of the participant.

But that’s it, really. So I’m headed onwards to my research question design readings. Here’s (Agee, 2009). I really need to start writing in the form of my final paper instead of just shooting out memos — I’m always going to feel lost and imperfect, but if I start on the final product I can see where the gaps in it are.

Sigh. And meetings are getting shifted around on me, and I’m finding my project management skills are (1) higher than average around here in academia, which is SCARY AS HELL and (2) expected to magically produce results from undefined fuzziness halfway through the semester, and — ergh. I hereby set a moratorium on my life between now and Monday: if it ain’t about dancing, writing my Readiness, or taking care of myself to do those two things, and it’s not a calendared obligation like a class or meeting I’ve already committed to, I am specifically not doing it unless it makes me happy.

Anyway. Back to Agee.

Q 432:  Qualitative inquiries involve asking the kinds of questions that focus on the why and how of human interactions. Qualitative research questions, then, need to articulate what a researcher wants to know about the intentions and perspectives of those involved in social interaction.

Q 433: A qualitative study does not begin with a hypothesis or a presumed outcome as is the case in a quantitative study. However, as Richards (2005) noted, a qualitative study cannot begin without a plan.

Okay. A plan, a plan, a set of social rules about transparency…

Argh. My brain isn’t thinking well about this at the moment, so let me relax and allow myself to not formulate original thoughts right now, but instead to echo the thoughts of others. That I can do, yeah?

P 437: Theoretical frameworks interact with questions: they help you interpret data, suggest new questions, select parameters for participants, and so on.

Okay, so I guess I’ll be clearer on this after I spew out thoughts on CogApp and whatnot.

ONWARDS. The key is to keep going.

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