Designing Qualitative Research by Uwe Flick

By Uwe Flick

Offering a finished consultant to devising an efficient examine layout, Uwe Flick discusses each one degree of the method of designing qualitative learn intimately, together with formulating a learn layout, deciding upon a suitable technique, conceptual framework and knowledge resource, and amassing and interpreting facts.

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G. Maxwell, 2005, p. 88). But in qualitative research, we of course face the problem addressed with this term as well: we have to select the ‘right’ cases, groups and materials in a somehow defined way – so that we can do our study with limited resources – from a more or less infinite horizon of possible selections. And with what we select, we want to make statements that we can generalize in one way or the other – in most cases at least beyond the research situations and beyond the four or forty people we interviewed, for example.

One reason is that areas that have not been studied empirically or subject to theoretical analysis are more and more difficult to find compared to the period when Glaser and Strauss set up their research program of developing grounded theories. A second reason is that ‘theory’ has become much more differentiated since then – there are a lot of middle-range or even small-range theories (sometimes resulting from qualitative research) available. Also in qualitative research we have to build on existing theories and results from empirical research, unless we want to risk being naïve when starting our research.

In most studies, we are interested in the variety of experiences and concerns, so that we should not only have comparably central or core cases, but also the variance in the field and the differences in the links to the issue. This calls for looking for cases at the edge of the field under study, extreme cases, cases with different intensity, etc. These different goals are perhaps difficult to take into account at the same time – for example, when a sample structure is defined at the beginning of a research project and then just applied.

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