Qualitative methods Lecture 2

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					    Qualitative methods
         Lecture 2

            Malene Gram
Qualitative vs. Quantitative methods
    The miner and the traveler
• Miner                     • Traveler
  – Knowledge is buried       – We create knowledge
    metal                     – Postmodern
  – Knowledge is given          constructive
  – Knowledge exists            understanding
  – Knowledge is waiting
    to be uncovered,
    uncontaminated by the
    miner
                    Today
• Silverman’s points
• Differences between qualitative and quantitative
  methods
• Different methods for different purposes
• A combination perspective
• An example of a quantitative study “Effects of
  TV advertising on Chinese consumers”
• Exercise
       Silverman p. 31, 2001
• ”I conclude […] by observing that an
  insistence that any research worth its salt
  should follow a purely quantitative logic
  would simply rule out the study of many
  interesting phenomena relating to what
  people actually do in their day-to-day
  lives”
Problems with qualitative studies
    according to Silverman
• Lack of theoretical framework and too
  little theory building from the data – just
  data
• Too much ”putting one self in the
  interviewee’s situation”
• Ecclecticism
       Fundamental differences
• 1. Epistemological contradictions
   – Quantative methods. Developed with regard to objective, precise,
     correct and covering depiction of a reality and grounded in
     realism.
   – Qualitative methods. Developed to understand people’s
     construction of an image of society and their interpretation of the
     social relations they are a part of, and they are grounded in
     constructivism or idealism.
• 2. Subject/object
   – Fundamental contradictions in the perceptions of human beings
     in society.
   – Qualitative methods are often based on a perception of human
     beings as active agents, who through their consciousness of social
     relations take part in the creation and recreation and development
     of a society.
    Qualitative or quantitative
            methods?
1. The topic of the survey (the nature of the
  subject under investigation)
2. The way we look at the subject under
  investigation (the problem)
3. The purpose: what kind of knowledge do
  we want to generate?
4. Time and ressources
           Quantitative              Qualitative
Data       Calculations of           Identification of
           quantities                terms

Analysis   Argumentation is          Reasoning and
           based on numbers and      argumentation that
           on systematic,            are not based
           statistical relations     simply on
           between the numbers       statistical relations
                                     between variables
           Finding statistical
           regularites in the way    Riddle-solving
           different variables are
           associated with each
           other
                      Quantitative methods        Qualitative methods

Research design:      Low                         High
Flexibility
Standardisation and   High                        Low
structuring

Production of         Fragmented                  Holistic
knowledge
Assumptions on        Stable and static           Unstable and dynamic
coherence in real
life
Selection of          Representative              Who has most knowledge
respondents                                       and information

Expected use of       Formulation stage: big      Formulation stage: small
time                  Analysis stage: small       Analysis stage: big

        Source: Table collected by Susanne Jensen, AAU
  Preparation of a questionnaire
• Random sample or total population?
• Are the respondents in the sample representative
  for all relevant units?
• Necessary sample size: Rules of thumb
   – Smallest subgroup analysed in the sample must not be
     smaller than 35-50 units
   – If the smallest subgroup amounts to 5% of the
     population the sample must include at least 1.000 units
           Necessary sample size

• The necessary sample size depends on the
  size of proportion p in the population. P is
  the share of the population that for instance
  vote on a particular party or who has a
  particular attitude to the environment
Proportion p   Necessary sample size


0,50           30
0,40 or 0,60   50
0,30 or 0,70   80
0,20 or 0,80   200
0,10 or 0,90   600
0,05 or 0,95   1400
Areas to be careful about when doing a questionnaire, where

         the reliability of the study risks being reduced

• Sending out the questionnaire
   – Are the respondents sampled in an appropriate way?
• Do all relevant persons receive the questionnaire?
• Answers
    –   Which situation is the respondent in?
    –   Are the intentions with the questions understood?
    –   Are the answers placed correctly in the questionnaire?
    –   Are the possibilities to answer exhaustive?
• Data
    – How many respondents answered?
    – Persons and questions not answered: any pattern?
• Coding the data
   – Is it done precisely?
   – Is it the relevant categorizing?
• Presentation of the results
   – Is the data over-interpreted?

(source: Ib Andersen, Den skinbarlige virkelighed, 1999 and
   Susanne Jensen, AAU)
   Types of quantitative analysis
• Univariate analysis: analysis of a variable and its
  distribution on the units of investigations
• Bi-variate analysis: analysis of two variables and their
  mutual co-variation. The co-variation may be investigated
  by cross tabulation the two variables. The results is
  shown in a table of cross tabulation
• Multivariate analysis: analysis of the co-variation of more
  than two variables. Typically it is used to make probable
  one or several causal connections and to put forward a
  causal model
        Look at Tai and Pae’ text
• Table 1, p.60 – what does it show?
• From either quantitative or qualitative
• To a combination….
            Mix of methods
Can be used to
• supplement and
• Validate
Each other

Ex. Reddy concludes on the Danes from one
  village, Gundelach cannot confirm hypotheses
  about changes in the Danes’ values regarding
  materialism through questionnaires. A mix would
  have strenghtened both studies.
                Exercise
• You’ve been asked to study Danish and
  German families regarding their holidays
  by the Danish Tourism Board.
• Please consider how quantitative and/or
  qualitative methods can be applied, alone
  or as a mix of the two methods.