Qualitative research can take many forms. For example, four qualitative studies that are commonly used are listed for each below in relation to their purpose, sample, data and approach:
Types of Qualitative Studies
oPurpose: Discover the details of a life event for an individual or a group of individuals.
oSample: Convenient, recruited, representative, or purposive
oData: Interview, observation, questionnaire, and open-ended questioning
oPurpose: Provide a factual description and analysis of the way of life in a particular culture—ethnography—or social group—ethnomethodology.
oSample: Purposive; sampling of key, knowledgeable informants
oData: Participant observation; complete observer, observer as participant, participant as observer, or complete participant
oPurpose: Describe the experience or the perceived world as it is lived by people; uncover the meaning of humanly experienced phenomena by analyzing a subject’s descriptions. Describe the nature of the phenomenon and the meaning of the experience, to elucidate the essence of the phenomenon.
oSample: Purposive sample of volunteers
oData: Open-ended questionnaires or unstructured interviews
oAnalysis: Via contemplative dwelling, to achieve data reduction; investigating the particular phenomena by intuiting, analyzing, describing; investigating general essences; apprehending essential relationships
oPurpose: Develop a theory based on facts rather than the researcher’s inclinations; based on a symbolic, interationist perspective.
oSample: Theoretical sampling; purposive initially and expanded, based on findings until data saturation is achieved
oData: Intensive interviews
oAnalysis: Constant comparative
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