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You saying I'm in some kind of danger here partner?

Monday, January 19, 2004

I think I get the gist of qualitative research. I don't know if I necessarily agree with the idea of emancipation and empowerment. It seems to me that research is primarily done to observe and interpret in order to predict or understand certain behaviors. Emancipation and empowerment don't seem to enter into the picture so much for me. One thing I kept getting confused with is: Whom are we trying to empower here? If it's the subject of study, then I may have a problem with it. Relating it to a journalism perspective, it sounds a lot like civic journalism, which I also have severe issues with. Maybe empowerment and emancipation will make more sense as we move along. I also don't know if I agree that the elements of research, and the decision of which course to take in each one are as independent as the chapter would have us believe. It seems that, on some level, the choice of methodology would depend on the research design, etc. It seems like there would (sometimes at least) clearly be a logical method to pursue based on the design of your research. Again though, maybe this will all become clear later in the semester.
My initial impression is that qualitative research is much like quantitative, just a little more thorough in its desire to understand and interpret findings. I might be totally off base here, cause I think I was utterly confused by the end of the chapter. It is interesting though that qualitative research doesn't have a clearly defined set of rules. I think maybe it just goes with the territory, qualitative research is hard to define; I'm barely hanging on to a working concept of it right now.

As far as the article goes, I thought it was interesting. Even though it's a qualitative study, things are still represented by numbers. I suppose there's really no way to get around using numbers to make sense of data. Granted, there aren't those complicated regressions and tests and everything, but maybe it's easier now to understand why quantitative research is the favored child. I guess the logic is that if numbers are the most useful way to make sense of data and present findings, then more complicated numbers mean better analysis and presentation.
I do agree that both schools should be able to get along. I think there's the possibility for a much greater depth of research if they're both used in concert.
This reminds me of studying political science. That field is so desperate to quantify behavior that it's basically destroying itself. As soon as a researcher tries to advance a theory based on what seems to be completely arbitrary quantitative categorizations of things like "happiness" and "human rights," the other researchers immediately rip it apart. I once read a study by some poli. sci. researcher who conducted a quantitative study of something like 500 countries over 25 years with the aim of finding out whether conditions had improved or worsened based on a huge list of variables. When the study was finally published, other researchers jumped on it and completely discounted it as worthless because there was no set standard of measurement.

I think I get the gist of qualitative research. I don't know if I necessarily agree with the idea of emancipation and empowerment. It seems to me that research is primarily done to observe and interpret in order to predict or understand certain behaviors. Emancipation and empowerment don't seem to enter into the picture so much for me. One thing I kept getting confused with is: Whom are we trying to empower here? If it's the subject of study, then I may have a problem with it. Relating it to a journalism perspective, it sounds a lot like civic journalism, which I also have severe issues with. Maybe empowerment and emancipation will make more sense as we move along. I also don't know if I agree that the elements of research, and the decision of which course to take in each one are as independent as the chapter would have us believe. It seems that, on some level, the choice of methodology would depend on the research design, etc. It seems like there would (sometimes at least) clearly be a logical method to pursue based on the design of your research. Again though, maybe this will all become clear later in the semester.
My initial impression is that qualitative research is much like quantitative, just a little more thorough in its desire to understand and interpret findings. I might be totally off base here, cause I think I was utterly confused by the end of the chapter. It is interesting though that qualitative research doesn't have a clearly defined set of rules. I think maybe it just goes with the territory, qualitative research is hard to define; I'm barely hanging on to a working concept of it right now.

As far as the article goes, I thought it was interesting. Even though it's a qualitative study, things are still represented by numbers. I suppose there's really no way to get around using numbers to make sense of data. Granted, there aren't those complicated regressions and tests and everything, but maybe it's easier now to understand why quantitative research is the favored child. I guess the logic is that if numbers are the most useful way to make sense of data and present findings, then more complicated numbers mean better analysis and presentation.
I do agree that both schools should be able to get along. I think there's the possibility for a much greater depth of research if they're both used in concert.
This reminds me of studying political science. That field is so desperate to quantify behavior that it's basically destroying itself. As soon as a researcher tries to advance a theory based on what seems to be completely arbitrary quantitative categorizations of things like "happiness" and "human rights," the other researchers immediately rip it apart. I once read a study by some poli. sci. researcher who conducted a quantitative study of something like 500 countries over 25 years with the aim of finding out whether conditions had improved or worsened based on a huge list of variables. When the study was finally published, other researchers jumped on it and completely discounted it as worthless because there was no set standard of measurement.

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