Category: qualitative research

Reflecting on discomfort in research

Feelings of discomfort can arise in research, especially research that works across differences in social power and status. In this post Rachelle Chadwick discusses the role of discomfort in research methods and how recognising and ‘staying with’ discomfort can positively shape qualitative research methods. I’ll start with a confession: I didn’t want to write this … Continued

The re-use of qualitative data is an under-appreciated field for innovation and the creation of new knowledge in the social sciences

The value and potential of data re-use and the associated methodology of qualitative secondary analysis (QSA) is often overlooked. Dr Anna Tarrant and Dr Kahryn Hughes propose, that as COVID-19 limits opportunities for qualitative research for the foreseeable future, now, more than ever the social sciences need to address the under-use of existing qualitative data. … Continued

Carrying out qualitative research under lockdown – Practical and ethical considerations

How can qualitative researchers collect data during social-distancing measures? Adam Jowett outlines several techniques researchers can use to collect data without face-to-face contact with participants. Bringing together a number of previous studies, he also suggests such techniques have their own methodological advantages and disadvantages and that while these techniques may appear particularly apt during the … Continued

Diary of an app! Will using mobile devices in qualitative research become the norm?

Researchers have been asking participants to record their experiences and thoughts in traditional, paper-based diaries for many years. But the advent of digital technologies, especially apps for mobile devices, has encouraged some to ask whether these could become the new norm for capturing diary-based data for qualitative research. Laura Radcliffe and Leighann Spencer have pioneered the use of diary apps […]

Ever wondered why practitioners treat researchers like a nuisance? The challenges of accessing expert knowledge, from both perspectives

The difficulty of reaching practitioners and experts is one of the main challenges faced by early-career researchers in particular, and one that can overshadow fieldwork experiences and attempts to produce new knowledge. While researchers might feel that they are being ignored or treated as a nuisance by experts, the latter often have a different view of researchers’ attempt to reach […]

Policymaking must become more empathetic rather than continuing its current overreliance on economic measures

In many cases policymaking is conducted without engaging with the public. It is economic measures, rather than any official public consultation, that inform monetary policy, for example. But does this contribute to the perception of policymakers as “out of touch”? Emmanuel Lee argues that policymaking must become more empathetic, with aggregate economic measures often failing to accurately reflect the wellbeing […]

Book Review: Ethnography for the Internet: Embedded, Embodied and Everyday

Ethnographers of contemporary Internet-infused societies consequently find themselves facing serious methodological dilemmas: where should they go, what should they do there and how can they acquire robust knowledge about what people do in, through and with the internet? Casey Brienza thinks Ethnography for the Internet is both a challenging and magisterial book by a scholar working at the fullest extent of her […]

Stand Up and Be Counted: Why social science should stop using the qualitative/quantitative dichotomy

Qualitative and quantitative research methods have long been asserted as distinctly separate, but to what end? Howard Aldrich argues the simple dichotomy fails to account for the breadth of collection and analysis techniques currently in use. But institutional norms and practices keep alive the implicit message that non-statistical approaches are somehow less rigorous than statistical ones. Over the past year, I’ve met with many doctoral students […]