Qualitative research methods are some of the oldest scientific research in the world. Ancient Greek philosophers used qualitative research methods to observe the world around them and make conclusions. The qualitative research design refers to a description of all the stages in a qualitative study. Since qualitative research methods are applied in many studies, expounding on qualitative research design will simplify the research processes.
The qualitative research design gives the purpose of conducting the research and methods of data analysis. Qualitative research designs are used to explore the depth, complexity, and richness embedded in a given phenomenon. The research design is interested in how a given event is understood, interpreted, experienced, and produced (Glesne, 2016). Unlike quantitative research design, the approach is concerned with problems in society and how given people handle them. The research design is based on social constructivism, and the methods are sensitive and flexible to social context. Also, the design seeks to answer the 'why' and 'how' questions, unlike quantitative methods. A qualitative design is therefore viewed as subjective, and the collected data is gathered in written form, rather than using numerals (Roller & Lavrakas, 2015)). The interpretations are based on results and perspective of the researcher, since the researcher leads the research in the preferred direction, encouraging them to expound on their points. There are several types of qualitative research design.
The grounded theory is used in discovering problems in society and how different groups of people handle them. The method allows interpretations to be made as data is being collected (Glaser & Strauss, 2017). The propositions are formulated, tested, and then reformulated until a theory is developed.
Phenomenology, as a qualitative method, refers to a description of something existing as an essential part of our world (Roller & Lavrakas, 2015). The technique examines how the individual lived situations are unique. The phenomenon is looked at from an individual's point of view.
Ethnology provides an accurate description of peoples' society. Also, the method involves the researcher identifying a culture, becoming part of the culture, and describing it as one of the members (Roller & Lavrakas, 2015).
A case study is an in-depth analysis of a person's experience, a group's experience, events, and relationships. The case studies can be explanatory or descriptive, and usually involves direct interaction between the researcher and the subject (Roller & Lavrakas, 2015)).
Benefits of a Qualitative Research Design
Qualitative techniques provide vibrant data and give more insight into underlying patterns within a given phenomenon. Also, qualitative research is more practical when the researcher has a smaller budget and a small sample size (Glesne, 2016). Qualitative data, therefore, paints a clear picture of a particular phenomenon.
The whole research process requires careful planning. Also, qualitative research processes may consume time, and a lot of resources compared to qualitative study (Roller & Lavrakas).
My research topic is "The Impact of Religion on Slavery." In the United States, slavery was practiced as early as the 16th century. There, the slaves were faced with many challenges. They were often mistreated and overworked. One of the things that helped to acquire slaves was religion. Also, religion was used to justify the immoral practice of slavery (Schneider & Schneider, 2017). From my topic, the main research question will be; what is the impact of religion on slavery?
- How did American slave-owners use aspects of religion, such as the bible to justify their activities of owning slaves?
- How did slave traders use religion to entice different people into slavery, and what role did missionaries and religious leaders play in bondage?
- How did slavery affect the African Americans, their beliefs, and American society as a whole, and how was Africa impacted?
- How has religion been used to justify other wrong activities, such as slavery in modern times?
Conclusions about Personal Questions
An interviewer should aim to try and avoid personal questions. However, the issues may be inevitable in a given research. In such a case, the researcher has to keep several considerations in mind. One has to consider the confidentiality of the interviewee; hence, they should not be named unless they permit (Haahr, Norlyk & Hall, 2014). Also, the researchers should consider their safety since interviews may get angry. The researcher, therefore, has to consider the interviewee's feelings and emotions before asking a personal question. Also, while interviewing, the researcher has to avoid any gender bias, racial and ethnical bias, and sexual orientation bias. Issues with these biases may lead to less cooperation (Haahr, Norlyk & Hall, 2014). Some ethical considerations should be addressed in an interview. Researchers should, therefore, be careful when asking personal questions.
Qualitative research methods show how events occur, concentrating on subjective data. The technique can, therefore, be used in different studies. Besides, there are several types of qualitative research methods, such as grounded theory. While interviews can be used in qualitative studies, the researcher should consider some things before asking personal questions. Qualitative research design is crucial in different studies.
Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (2017). Discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Routledge.Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203793206
Glesne, C. (2016). Becoming qualitative researchers: An introduction. Pearson. One Lake Street, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458.
Haahr, A., Norlyk, A., & Hall, E. O. (2014). Ethical challenges embedded in qualitative research interviews with close relatives. Nursing Ethics, 21(1), 6-15. Retrieved from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0969733013486370
Schneider, D., & Schneider, C. J. (2017). Slavery in America. New York: Facts On File.
Roller, M. R., & Lavrakas, P. J. (2015). Applied qualitative research design: A total quality framework approach. Guilford Publications.
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