Qualitative Field Research
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Qualitative research is a method used when the research question necessitates the understanding of events, processes and the relationship in a cultural and social context. The aim of this kind of research is not to generate numerical data but produce factual descriptions based on interviewing individuals or social groups. Qualitative research is especially useful in obtaining insight into problems, situations which a person may have little knowhow on. It is used in providing beliefs, knowledge and procedures related to health issues or for exploring reasons for certain behaviors.
Unobtrusive Research is defined as a method of studying social behavior without upsetting the social behavior itself. This means that the methodologies used should not involve direct elicitation of data from the research subjects. Therefore, Unobtrusive research methods are contracted with questionnaires or interviews as they try to find indirect ways of obtaining necessary data. Unobtrusive research methods are used in seeking unusual data sources like obituaries, garbage and graffiti.
Evaluation research is defined as the systematic investigations into the nature and process of evaluation with such methods, practices and utilization of results. Evaluation research is undertaken to see whether a program or activity can be in a position to meet its objectives and it is used to characterize and appraise subjects of interest. It is used in a wide range of human enterprises like in computer science, criminal justice, in arts, business, engineering, non-profit organizations and in healthcare and other human services.
I must admit that before learning about the different types of research, I only used to know that research is just that: research. But with introduction to different types of research and by carefully using videos in explanation, the tutor was able to impart a lasting picture of different types of research and where they can be used. Babbie’s book The basics of social research was an eye opener to different types of social research and where they can be used. I only wished that they tutor sent us a copy of the videos that we may refer in future if necessary.
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