College Papers

Qualitative understood or properly identified (for example before

Qualitative
research (QR) helps us to understand the societal realm of the creation of
things and to investigate in-depth how things became the way they are. If the study
question involves exploring experience of people something, or whatever their
views are, exploring a new area where issues are not yet understood or properly
identified (for example before developing questionnaire items), assessing
whether a new service is implementable, looking at ‘real-life’ context, or a
sensitive topic where one need flexibility to avoid causing distress and probably
needs to discuss using qualitative methodology.

Denzin
and Lincoln (2000: 3) claim that qualitative research involves an interpretive
and naturalistic approach. Qualitative researchers mine information from real
life settings and deduce meaning from the information given by people. QR’s
main concept is to explore people’s life and its approaches generate words
rather than numbers for research findings (Bowling 2002).Shank (2002:5) expresses
qualitative research as procedure that deals with methodical first hand survey
about life like situations. By methodical might mean strategic and well-ordered
method that is cast-off to source data grounded on the participant’s
experiences and to deduce meaning from the findings. Empirical, means that this
type of inquiry is stuck in the world of skill. Inquest into how other investigators
try to find out how other investigators evaluate their experience.

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DeVellis
(2006) stated that validity is whereby an apparatus measures anything intended
to be measured. Validity forces reliability of a tool, but a tool can be invalid
and reliable. For example, a clock might be five minutes ahead. The clock will
be reliable because it will constantly remain five minutes ahead but will be
invalid because it will be showing incorrect time.  

According
to Crocker and Algina (2001) Reliability refers to the extent to which studies
can be replicated. It requires that a researcher using the same methods can
obtain the same results as those of a prior study. This poses a titanic problem
for researchers concerned with superhuman stories. When carrying a research
using qualitative research most of the time it might be challenging to carry
out a research using a group of participants in 2017 and expect to get the same
group and then to get similar responses 2018. It is trick because with time
people might change their personality and transfer.

Qualitative
research is unreliable and inherently invalid when the findings of a research
fails to show authority and dependability. The researcher’s bias can also mystify
the interpretation of data which would cause the research to be regarded with
disbelief. According to Leininger (1991:92) the researcher need to be trusted
before they even try to come up with correct and trustworthy findings. The
researcher’s values might also hinder the outcomes and even the dressing can
result into falsification of the discoveries. Still researcher can undergo in-depth
and laborious training before attempting to carry out a research. QR can be
reliable and valid if it is combined with quantitative and secondary and
primary research which is called triangulation or methodology pluralism
(Brryman, A.2001). Triangulation has a lot of strong point which are: skill to
cross check research findings, may be used as a facilitating tool for example
data gathered can be used to plan and design a goal oriented questionnaires or
survey and may support and compliment the research carried out. Triangulation
can also be used to check and scrutinise information from different authors
(Thatcher, 2010).

Clandinin
and Connelly (2000) stated that in QR subjectivity is both outstanding strength
and a possible weaknesses. The research technics that can be used to draw
information sometimes has weaknesses it comes with and researcher try to
overcome it and reap the enormous benefits of setting subjective. Qualitative
work requires reflection on the part of researchers both before and during the
research process, as a way of providing context and understanding for readers.     Qualitative methods generally aim to
understand the experiences and attitudes of participant and the community. This
method aim to answer the what, why and how than to answer how many or how much
and to what extent? QR is interested in explaining real life stories. That is
to say, it targets to understand the world in which. It is concerned with the communal
features of our world and seeks to answer questions about: Why individuals
behave in certain way, how opinions and attitudes are formed, how people are
affected by the events that go on around them and reason cultures become the
way it has.

More
than that though, while not all qualitative researchers are on a mission to
produce ‘the general picture’ of how things work, the qualitative habit of
intimately connecting environment with explanation means that QR is capable of
producing very well-founded cross-contextual generalities, rather than aspiring
to more fragile de-contextual versions (Payne and Payne 2004). However qualitative
researching is exciting and important. It is a highly rewarding activity
because it engages us with things that matter, in ways that matter. Through
qualitative research one can explore a wide array of measurements of the social
world, including the texture and weave of everyday life, the understandings,
experiences and imaginings of our research participants, the ways that social
processes, institutions, discourses or relationships work, and the significance
of the meanings that they generate. can do all of this qualitatively by using
methodologies that celebrate richness, depth, nuance, context,
multi-dimensionality and complexity rather than being embarrassed or
inconvenienced by them.

QR
is subjective, unreliable and invalid. There are limits to the situations that can
be observed according to their natural settings. The presents of the researcher
can cause the participants to be uncomfortable, embarrassed, reserved, shy and
causing them to withhold true feelings. This move will cause the researcher to
come up with unreliable findings. The researcher may misunderstand people’s
behaviour and researcher may miss out while observing and note taking for
example Big Brother Africa group does not necessarily represent the majority of
people in Africa. However for observation to be reliable the observer need to
be part of the group to be observed in order for him to be accepted by the rest
of the group members which will make it possible for the researcher to
understand the social phenomenon and how it works. Observation can sometimes
produce reliable findings about certain things for example on how people behave
(Payne and Payne Ibid).

Use
of small groups can cause the researcher to generalise situations and limit the
amount of information collected from individuals and bigger group may make the
research more difficult and will be difficult for the researcher to make sense
of the information collected. Small groups will cause the researcher to find
idiosyncratic and it will be wrong for the researcher to judge majority of population
using this research method. However small groups make it possible to make use
of participant’s natural feelings, opinions and perceptions. This technique
requires the researcher to have knowledge and develop skills in the following
areas: group skills, moderating, listening or observing, facilitating and
analysis so that it will be easy to produce a research that will be reliable
and trustworthy.

QR
is subjective and inherently reliable and valid because collection of data is
time consuming. The reason why data is collected using small groups. QR is more
expensive because sometimes to get better results one need materials for
example when you want to carry out a research on the effects of poverty on
school children in rural remote areas in Zimbabwe. There is need to have
transport to go to those areas. The researcher need to carry food, cloth to
those children, stationary and arrangements to relocate children from very
serious scenario to children’s home. However QR is used to develop concepts and
theories that help us understand the social world. Which is called inductive
method. Information is gathered through face to face encounters through
observation or interview. Examples of method used for data collection in QR are
individual’s interviews, focus groups, observation and action research. Kirk,
J., and Miller, M. (1986) stated that QR is interested with the accuracy and
truthfulness of the information to show its validity.

QR
is subjective which causes it to be an invalid and unreliable procedures to use
when you want to carry out a research. Tycross and Shield, 2004 stated that QR has
tended to suggest stereotyped objectives for example Masvingo people are not
clever or women are best accommodated in the kitchen. Stereotyped objectives
does no bring out the truth and research based on this are invalid and
unreliable.   Reliability in QR is apprehensive with the dependability,
immovability and repeatability of the informant’s accounts as well as the investigations’
ability to collect and record information accurately (Selltiz, Wrightsman and
Cook 1976). The repeatability of the results whereby a researcher carried out a
research for example in 2016 about child headed families and recorded the
verdict and if the researcher goes back to the same environment to carry out
the same research in 2017 it might not be  possible to come up with the same discoveries.

However
qualitative research has extraordinary set of strength which is sometimes
forgotten in the face of criticisms. It is ‘merely’ circumstantial or at best explanatory,
and that it is practised in casual and random ways. Conversely qualitative
research devours massive potential, and its practitioners face some major tests.
It deserves to be done well so that it can make fully justified claims for its
own significance, effectiveness and meaning. Furthermore, it still has
arguments to win and a reputation to build and maintain in the social sciences.
Yet it cannot be done by rote or by recipe. It requires a highly active
engagement from its practitioners, and a great deal of effort – intellectual,
practical, physical and emotional.

 QR is to learn how to proceed, to build and
maintain its own reputation, in a manner which is sensitive to these important
issues, without getting hindered within an ultimately self-defeating debate. QR
should be systematically and rigorously conducted. I do not think there are any
excuses for a casual or ad hoc approach to qualitative research. This should,
however, be distinguished from a rigid or structured approach, which is usually
not appropriate for qualitative research. QR should be accountable for its
quality and its claims, or to use Clive Seale’s terminology it should be
‘fallibilistic’ (1999: 6).However according to Crocker and Algina (2001) the
test developer has a responsibility to “identify the sources of measurement
error that would be most detrimental to useful score interpretation and design
a reliability study that permits such errors to occur so that their effects can
be assessed.” Before booming out a research the researcher need to carry out a
pretesting or pilot testing and it gives a chance to test an instrument and
allows the identification of errors before the instrument is used in the
research. The instrument can be modified to lessening measurement error.