According to Marshall (2006), “qualitative researchers typically rely on four methods for gathering information: participating in the setting, observing directly, interviewing in depth, and analyzing documents and material culture” (p. 97). Of these methods, observation and interviewing are considered the primary approaches. The following assignment will consider both methods of inquiry and data collection with regard to the proposed qualitative research. It will briefly discuss underlying assumptions and evaluate the appropriateness of each approach to the investigation of changes in democratic participation. In addition, it will provide a short review of useful data collection and management techniques.
Observation versus Interviewing
Before deciding on a data collection method, several factors have to be taken under consideration. Brantlinger (1997 as cited by Marshall, 2006) divides those into seven categories: “the nature of the research, [the researcher’s] positioning relative to the participants, the direction of the gaze, the purpose of the research, the intended audience, the researcher’s political positioning, and the exercise of agency” (p. 98). Since the proposed study seeks to understand changes in political participation – or more specifically the erosion of duty-based citizenship and the increase in the norms of engaged citizenship as well as possible consequences associated with citizen actions, a phenomenological approach has been deemed beneficial in exploring the phenomenon (Dalton, 2006). This choice was in part motivated by the nature of the research as it could be viewed as controversial with a political agenda. Moreover, it also tak...
... middle of paper ...
...es on interview data to explore a phenomenon and understand its essence, this assignment explored the appropriateness of interviewing as a form of data collection for the proposed study. It further considered benefits and drawbacks, ethical and legal, as well as other aspects related to the method. While the study is by far not fully developed, the assignment has contributed to a greater understanding concerning data collection, management, and storage.
Marshall, C. (2006). Designing qualitative research (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Retrieved from http://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/10985_Chapter_4.pdf
Creswell, J. W. (2013). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
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