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Exercise #3 (DUE March 3 2pm) Qualitative Field Research

work on exercise 2


You will complete Parts I-IV for each of your three qualitative research articles. The issues you need to address are outlined below, and your critical analysis will be approximately two typed pages for each article.


Theoretical Orientation.

What is the research question/topic? What theory is presented? Why is the research important? What are the hypotheses (if any)?



What is the unit of analysis? What is the time dimension? What sampling procedure was used (if any)? Was it appropriate for the research question/ the population under consideration? Discuss the sample size (and demographic characteristics), and representativeness. What was the research setting? Was it appropriate for the research question?


Data Collection and Analysis Critique

1. Has the research set out to test hypotheses or generate theory? How are the main

concepts/variables defined and measured? How does the study assess reliability and validity? How were people interviewed/observed? How does the author discuss relationships with participants and reflexivity? How much did the researcher participate- observe, or reveal their identity (overt-covert)? How might the researcher’s feelings or background have influenced the observations and interpretations?

2. What form of qualitative analysis does the author apply? Are the analytic techniques (e.g., coding) adequately described? Does the analysis lead to an in-depth understanding of the topic? Does the author discuss member checking and/or negative cases?


Conclusions and Reporting .

Is the method used appropriate, or well-suited, to addressing the research question or testing the hypothesis? How do the researchers address ethical concerns? Are procedures implemented that adequately protect participants’ rights and welfare? What substantive conclusions are drawn from the study? Are the conclusions appropriate to the design and the representativeness of the sample? Does the author discuss alternative explanations of findings or results? Does the research replicate,

modify, extend, or contradict previous studies?Has the researcher reported any shortcomings in the study design or execution? Does the author discuss the implications of study results for future research? What do you think of the quality of the research?

B. Proposed Research Design

This section will be approximately three-four typed pages.

First, provide a brief integration (compare and contrast) of the articles to summarize “what is known” about the topic. You might note important similarities or differences in theoretical orientation, sampling/methods, data analysis/results, conclusions, strengths/limitations. Taking the articles together, what do you now know overall about your research topic, and what gaps in existing knowledge still remain?


Then, based on these gaps, propose an alternative qualitative design to replicate, extend, or improve upon the studies you reviewed, particularly addressing any noted errors, limitations, or deficiencies. What population/sampling procedure would you use; why? What qualitative design will you use; why? How will your qualitative design (intensive interview plus participant-observation) differ from the studies you reviewed? What type of individual will you interview; why? What research setting will you use; why?


Include your tentative interview guide (an introductory statement, prepared general questions/probes) and your tentative field guide (who/what you will observe in what setting). After these are approved, you will pilot test them (one brief interview and one observation), and you will include the results (your interview transcription and your field notes) in your final proposal paper.

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