Chapter 3: Methods of Research
Methods of Research
We can categorize the methods of research in terms of the following:
1. Qualitative methods are data-free. These are the methods used for the following: a. Usually researches with data from non-probability samples b. Researches that do not seek generalization of data c. Researches not concerned with inferring the characteristics of the population d. Used for special kinds of researches or studies such as the following: • Ethnographic
• Appreciative Inquiry (AI)
• Historical researches
2. Quantitative methods of research refer to methods that deal with: a. Researches that are not data-free, using all types of sampling techniques b. Researches that aim for generalization
c. Usually use probability samples
d. Infer the characteristics of the population
e. Concerned with:
• Descriptive methods
• Experimental methods
There have been so much discussions and much have been written about quantitative methods in research. The descriptive and the experimental methods used in general, sophisticated statistics, or ways of measuring quantities in their procedures. While most scientific researchers are not adequately prepared for these methods, so that there is a clamour for qualitative methods resulted. People doing research have to reckon sometimes with the sixty-four dollar question “to count or not to count,” for some say, numbers sometimes “blur results.” There are others who defend the use of other ways of measuring quantities, not just by number, but by identifying the degree or amount of its presence, through describing it as “enough,” “adequate,” “very much,” or “lacking.” There are also other researches that do not use numbers and are well interpreted and told, like anthropological and other social studies. Finch from Adanza’s article (2003) says that qualitative research can be reflected on two ways: • At the level of techniques, and
• At the level of epistemology
Qualitative Methods of Research
Qualitative methods have the major purpose of looking for meanings, not for causes, differences, or relationships.
The most common qualitative methods of research are the following: 1. Ethnographic
3. Appreciative Inquiry (AI)
In general, they are data and hypothesis-free and is not concern about population or sample. It is virtually narrating an event, a problem, or an experience.
The ethnographic method of research is seen by many as:
1. Concerned with the environment or setting where the behaviour occurred 2. The general frame of reference that directly influences current decision-making about specific issues (Carp, 1989) 3. Having the purpose of:
a. discovering and describing the culture of people or an organization b. understanding the social phenomenon from the perspective of the participants c. analysing the context of participants and narrating their “stories”
This method also has the following characteristics:
a) reflexive orientation of the ethnographer
c) No statistics
d) Ethnic data “on-going”
e) Thick description
f) Limited generability
Another qualitative method of research is the so-called phenomenological method. Its philosophy and methodology was founded in 1940 by Marvin Farber, a book which he edited for 40 years. Other contributors include John Findley, Morton White, and J.J. C. Smart. The openness tradition of the book continues to date, by receiving articles from interested readers.
The methodology offers ways of understanding and doing qualitative approach which other...
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