For my research paper, I selected my mother as my interviewee. Apart from being close to me as the assignment instructed, I selected her is because she has continually served as a pillar of support for me. The level of confidence, respect, and resilience she exhibits everyday motivates me to find out more about her than I know. I am therefore confident that this research provides an opportunity for me to come up with new and unique findings. My mother rarely likes to discuss the past because she lives in the present and likes to plan for the future. She, therefore, offers unmatched suitability for my research paper. This paper provides detailed and illustrated findings from my interview as well as a conclusive section on my findings regarding a parents opinion.
Change is the first theme I generated from my interview. My subject stated that she turned out to be the total opposite of what she expected to be in ten years when she was in high school. My life now is extremely different that what I imagined, and my life becomes better than my imagination. The second part of this statement emphasizes just how great her life has changed with time. This is also one of the reasons as to why I chose to interview her. Her ability to transform her life into something more useful and contributive to society makes me believe that I am destined for much more than I imagine.
The theme of hard work is also relevant in my mothers responses. She heavily attributes her success to date to her hard work. I regret not learning more than two languages. I wish I had Internet access when I was a teenager, so I have the opportunity to learn and practice something interesting and improve my skills. This statement provides better insight into just how much she exploited every resource that was available. It also shows the level of longing she has for current resources that should encourage us to work even harder given we could achieve more with resources such as the internet.
Great hard work and sacrifice ensure one becomes successful in their future endeavors. Although I counter many obstacles in my life, I consider myself one of the successful people. Success is another major theme depicted by my mothers responses. It is also one of the things that make me appreciate the time I have to ensure I am a successful person by the time I have my family. Success makes one appreciate everything they did in life that ensured they get to enjoy whatever they have in the present. Being successful also means that one can develop a good understanding of events that could pose opportunities or failures in the future.
Respect for authority and those close us makes one a better person. It also makes our lives much easier than expected. My mother notes that she had great respect for her father when she was still in his care. Also, she has developed great respect for her husband and son. I cannot say one person has been the most influence in my life. In each stage in my life, there has been someone improved and changed my life and me. This kind of respect and appreciation for the people in her life has ensured that she has had a less complicated life. One that is characterized by positive influence and motivation to achieve more even during hard times. Having respect for others has also aided her in differentiating good people from bad. This way, she has been able to learn different lessons from both kinds of individuals.
The last and most evident theme I derived from my mothers responses is that of independence. I want to say that we should inspire ourselves and do not let our happiness depend on someone or something we may lose. This statement, the first in her last response, provides a clear insight into the real reason she was able to transform her life and become successful. Combined with hard work, her independence ensured she was able to distinguish reality from fantasy and imagination. This realization is greatly responsible for her success according to my opinion. She has been able to balance her obligations to family and work as a result.
Like every other qualitative or quantitative research, there was an emergence of common concepts in my research. With a clear focus on research in general, I shall discuss how three concepts namely trustworthiness, validity, and research evaluation and understanding appeared in my research.
The audience and the readers of the paper express the trustworthiness or worth of a research paper. My research provides a study of the universal opinions from the standpoint of one person. As Schmid identified in her description of qualitative research, the two principles featuring in this type of research did emerge. Obviously, the first is the environment. This property heavily influences the behavior of the person under study based on physical, sociocultural, and psychological surroundings. For instance, having interviewed my subject in our home provided her with easier ways of expressing her achievements in life. My presence also reminded her of the significance of the people in her life hence enabling her to quickly prioritize the most influential people in her life. Also, her psychological understanding aided her in identifying the different ways in which her family has encouraged her undertakings in life. In one way or another, my father and I are responsible for her everyday inspiration to work and ensure we have the best in life.
The second principle states that behavior goes beyond the researchers surface interpretation. This assumption came to mind as I was interviewing my subject. Using it, I was able to identify that the quick responses my mother provided to the questions in my interview were not random. Rather, they were greatly influenced by her experiences in life and her willing to communicate them to me in a parent to son way. For example, her sociocultural surroundings dictated that she had to mention her parents in some way because either way, they played a crucial role in nurturing her into the proud or successful lady she turned out to be. She also wanted to indirectly communicate to me the significance of parents in our lives. The opinions expressed by my interviewee provide an understanding to my readers about the responses most parents would provide to the questions in my interview. Using the responses of my interviewee, they can understand the worth of my research.
The concept of validity has been a tradition for many researchers. They have repeatedly used the term to express the uniqueness of their research and the invalidity of previous research on the same topic. This concept is relevant to date because if a researchs findings are to be used to derive an understanding, they must be reliable. What makes the findings reliable is the reality of the research subjects or the accuracy of data used in research. In the case of my research, this concept emerged as regards to my subject. My readers can rely on the findings of my research if my interviewee is indeed responsible for the responses I have to my interview questions. The question of validity comes up if it is established that I used a fictitious subject as my interviewee. In this case, my research findings are invalid and hence unreliable. Invalid and unreliable research are what motivates researchers to conduct their research on similar subjects to prove the invalidity of previous research.
However, there also other factors that dictate the validity of research such as researcher bias. This factor normally poses the highest threat to research validity. The reason it is the greatest threat is that most researchers find what they want to find and write the results. The threat is even greatly evident in qualitative research because qualitative research is more open-minded and exploratory. The findings in my research may be seen as biased mainly because I use my mother as my interviewee. However, apart from the fact that I am supposed to use someone close, I use negative case sampling which is one of the strategies used to reduce effects of research bias. Using it, I have been able to use examples in my findings that disconfirm my expectations at the beginning of my research.
By evaluating and understanding qualitative research, readers are led to establishing whether the findings provide a substantive contribution to empirical knowledge or whether they, in fact, advance the empirical knowledge. With this research paper, I was hoping to advance empirical knowledge on common opinions regarding specific questions. My research, like many more researches, however, only provides a different set of findings but a similar opinion regarding the questions I used. My research adds to common knowledge but fails to provide an adequate sample because the type of questions I used have obviously been used previously. They do not pose the required complexity that would make my research findings advance empirical knowledge. Apart from the set of questions I use, the very relation I have with my subject as well as her availability limits the size and extent of my research. My intention was to generalize an entire population of parents. However, according to the concept of evaluation and understanding, my sample is supposed to be larger for it to accurately represent universal opinions.
My small sample, nonetheless, is reliable in the case of generalizing the theory of a parents opinion. This is because my interviewee provides a clear explanation of cause-effect relationships between families. It provides an approach for probing the depth of multiple viewpoints, feelings, and context which make the family an ideal center for the approach I use in this study. A focused introduction enables the reader to keenly evaluate and understand my research without challenges. Clear and easy vocabulary ensures my readers go through the entire paper without the need to refer elsewhere to find out what I mean.
Though my research does not necessarily advance common knowledge, I have developed another understanding about the things that people think matter in their lives. Being closely related with my interviewee aids me in realizing that one is responsible for writing their destiny. This is, however, common knowledge. My thoughts regarding future research on the subject include the creation of more and complex questions to make the findings more unique.
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