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Research methods for dissertation- Qualitative Research/ focus group - Essay Example

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Qualitative Research/ focus group Introduction Research can be defined as a systematic process aimed at increasing knowledge. This knowledge can be that of humanity, culture, society or science and can be used to check for the ‘truth’ of facts, check the findings of work done earlier, find answers to new or prevailing problems, strengthen scientific principles, or form new scientific principles (Abramson, 3:1990; Moser & Kalton, 21:1979)…
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Research methods for dissertation- Qualitative Research/ focus group

Download file to see previous pages... Research Methods When carrying out research, it is vital that a person opts for a methodology depending on the subject of study. In essence, there are two approaches to carrying out a research: qualitative approach and quantitative approach (Babbie, 82:2010). These two research methods vary by their application of measurements and statistics in deductive reasoning (Dey, 67:2003). A quantitative methodology employs measurements and numbers during the analytic process to make deductions that apply to the whole population of interest. On the other hand, a qualitative methodology is a non-numeric method of analysis and often uses quality, opinion, or feelings during the analytic procedure (Strauss, 12:2009, Denzin & Lincoln, 122:2005). Qualitative researchers mainly rely on participation in the process/observing directly, undertaking interviews (direct interviews, in-depth interviews or focus group discussions), and studying documents and materials (Debus & Porter, 12:1986). These primary research methods form the core of inquiry and are sometimes supplemented by secondary research (Babbie, 19:2010). Both of these research methodologies methods have distinct advantages and disadvantages. A research approach depends on epistemologies, which vary significantly both within and between disciplines in the vast fields of humanities and sciences. Ontology and Epistemology in research Ontology and epistemology are two core elements of qualitative research. According to Lewis and Ritchie (23: 2007), ontology focuses on the nature of the social world and we can learn about it. It is concerned with identifying, in the most general terms, the kinds of things that actually exist. Generally, ontology answers questions such as "what makes up the universe?" or “what does the universe contain?” or "What happens when man dies?" or "What rules govern the properties of matter?" Epistemology, on the other hand, is concerned with the nature of knowledge and how it is acquired, its possibility, scope, and general basis (Lewis & Ritchie, 23: 2007). It explores the process we undergo in knowing new things. In general, epistemology answers questions such as "How does the process of determining what is true and false proceed?" or "How can we be so sure when we have come upon 'truth'?" In summary, both ontology and epistemology try to explain the existence of an entity in the universe (Moser & Kalton, 33:1979). Consequently, a qualitative researcher has to explore both of these stances in the process of establishing the ‘truth’. Qualitative Research Qualitative research methodologies have a long history in the social sciences field among other fields of research (Denzin & Lincoln, 4:2005). Disciplines particularly in the social sciences and humanities, as well as many others in the health sciences, have employed qualitative research for thousands of years. The use of qualitative approaches is increasing, whether in health research or in social sciences and humanities disciplines. Within these fields, guidelines have been established to ensure ethics is upheld at every stage and this concerns the use of, for example, certain technologies, methods and environments. Qualitative resea ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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