Qualitative Research Methods

Reflecting on what I’ve learned in Qualitative Research Methods

When I worked on my master’s degree, it seemed like qualitative research was a better fit for me, but as I’ve gone through this class, I feel like I only scratched the service of what I need to understand. I found myself returning back to the textbook a lot, but even rereading sections for reference, I did not feel particularly secure in my knowledge. For instance, I can understand what grounded theory is supposed to be, and from one angle it seems like something I would want to tackle – since I always seem to be most interested in areas no one else has covered before but which seem obviously relevant to me – but I’m not sure I can ever have the confidence of feeling that I am doing something like this properly.  I have been working on an unrelated scoping review, and using the Arksey & O’Malley standard (2005), but it still feels very squishy to me. Generally, I think my confidence would be improved in this subject just by doing – just as I had no confidence in doing a quantitative study and improved as I did it.

The major thing I really learned here was how to do coding. I think this will probably be something I can learn to do well, but I very obviously tend to be someone who thinks in interdisciplinary and “waves” of connected ideas, narratives, and stories. I can certainly shift between more intuitive, creative ways of building a narrative, and very formalized analysis, but coding qualitative interviews – which would be ideal data for many of the things I want to look at – could get complex and big very fast unless I am careful to (as discussed) limit the scope of what I am doing.

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