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References on Interpretive Research

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❶Few studies provided an accurate description and rationale for using a qualitative case study approach.

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Edited by Jeremy Miles and Paul Gilbert

Second, and more importantly, the significant differences between interpretive and traditional research are not in the kind of data they work with, but in their underlying assumptions. Interpretive research is an approach to research in the human sciences that recognizes the paradigmatic character of all research.

These assumptions are literally embodied in the practices of a scientific community, and in what this community takes to be the exemplars of paradigmatic inquiry. In periods of upheaval, however, the assumptions get called into question and become contested. Interpretive research operates in a paradigm that differs from traditional research in the human or social sciences; it operates with different assumptions about knowledge and being.

But by no means all. Because interpretive research is not the norm, practitioners of interpretive researchers are continually being called to justify and explain their approach and its assumptions. The empirical-analytic paradigm, in contrast, is the historical product of two apparently opposed conceptions of knowledge and investigation that turn out, on closer examination, to share a common, underlying ontology, an ontology of two separate realms: These two are rationalism and empiricism.

In this conception, knowledge is the product of reflection and reasoning, based in fundamental formal and hence indubitable principals or axioms, from which subsequent truths are logically derived. In this conception, knowledge is the product of perception, observation, based in sense-data that are combined to form complex conceptions.

These sense-data are interpretation-free facts that provide a foundation to knowledge, guaranteeing its validity.

In both rationalism and empiricism it is believed that an objective epistemological foundation can be found that will justify claims to valid knowledge, without reference to authority divine or otherwise , or to speculative metaphysics. For rationalism the foundation is provided by reason, rationality, logic. For empiricism it is provided by the brute data of sensation, of experience.

The empirical-analytic conception of inquiry appeals to both of these foundations. Inthis conception, knowledge comes from systematic testing of hypotheses, through experimentation or quasi-experimentation. Measurement including psychological testing provides an objective, interpretation-free record of empirical regularities.

Formal logic, especially the rules of statistical inference, allows both summary descriptive statements and testing of explanatory causal models. But these conceptions of inquiry founder on epistemological conundra that have their source in underlying--and often denied--ontological assumptions. A mental-material dualistic ontology introduces problems that cannot be overcome. Knowledge mental is about things in the world material.

Valid knowledge corresponds to the way things really are: Neither observation nor reasoning can provide this guarantee--they are not the interpretation-free foundations they have been claimed to be.

What is the difference between quantitative and qualitative research? In a nutshell, quantitative research generates numerical data or information that can be converted into numbers. Qualitative Research on the other hand generates non-numerical data.

Only measurable data are being gathered and analyzed in quantitative research. Qualitative research focuses on gathering of mainly verbal data rather than measurements.

Gathered information is then analyzed in an interpretative manner, subjective, impressionistic or even diagnostic. The primary aim of a Qualitative Research is to provide a complete, detailed description of the research topic.

It is usually more exploratory in nature. Quantitative Research on the other hand focuses more in counting and classifying features and constructing statistical models and figures to explain what is observed. Qualitative Research is ideal for earlier phases of research projects while for the latter part of the research project, Quantitative Research is highly recommended.

Quantitative Research provides the researcher a clearer picture of what to expect in his research compared to Qualitative Research. The researcher serves as the primary data gathering instrument in Qualitative Research. Here, the researcher employs various data-gathering strategies, depending upon the thrust or approach of his research. Examples of data-gathering strategies used in Qualitative Research are individual in-depth interviews, structured and non-structured interviews, focus groups, narratives, content or documentary analysis, participant observation and archival research.

On the other hand, Quantitative Research makes use of tools such as questionnaires, surveys, measurements and other equipment to collect numerical or measurable data. The presentation of data in a Qualitative Research is in the form of words from interviews and images videos or objects such as artifacts.

If you are conducting a Qualitative Research what will most likely appear in your discussion are figures in the form of graphs.

However, if you are conducting a Quantitative Research, what will most likely appear in your discussion are tables containing data in the form of numbers and statistics. Qualitative Research is primarily subjective in approach as it seeks to understand human behavior and reasons that govern such behavior. Researchers have the tendency to become subjectively immersed in the subject matter in this type of research method.

In Quantitative Research, researchers tend to remain objectively separated from the subject matter. This is because Quantitative Research is objective in approach in the sense that it only seeks precise measurements and analysis of target concepts to answer his inquiry. Qualitative research , Quantitative research. Debates have been ongoing, tackling which method is better than the other.

The reason why this remains unresolved until now is that, each has its own strengths and weaknesses which actually vary depending upon the topic the researcher wants to discuss. If your study aims to find out the answer to an inquiry through numerical evidence, then you should make use of the Quantitative Research.

However, if in your study you wish to explain further why this particular event happened, or why this particular phenomenon is the case, then you should make use of Qualitative Research.


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Interpretive research methodologies and methods are not new but are today in a minority position in political science disciplinary training and mainstream journals. Over the last decade, there has been increasing interest in, and recognition and support of, "qualitative" methods in the social sciences broadly and in the discipline of political science, in particular.

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Chapter 11 Descriptive and interpretive approaches to qualitative research Robert Elliott and Ladislav Timulak Qualitative research methods today are a diverse set, encompassing approaches such as.

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Qualitative research is designed to explore the human elements of a given topic, while specific qualitative methods examine how individuals see and experienc. Duquesne University has established a reputation as a locus for interpretive and qualitative research in the humanities, with phenomenological, hermeneutic, post-structural, critical theory and feminist research in departments such as philosophy, communications and English literature.

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Although interpretive research tends to rely heavily on qualitative data, quantitative data may add more precision and clearer understanding of the phenomenon of interest than qualitative data. The basis of qualitative research lies in the interpretive approach to social reality." (Holloway, , p.2) "Qualitative research, also called naturalistic inquiry, developed within the social and human sciences, and refers to theories on interpretation (hermeneutics) and human experience (phenomenology).