Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963909 | Print ISBN: 9781412941631 | Online ISBN: 9781412963909| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Jean J. Schensul
The term methods refers to the ways in which qualitative researchers collect data to build their argument. Regardless of paradigmatic preference, all qualitative research methods have common characteristics. They are conducted in an exchange between real people. They focus on meanings as conveyed by participants in the research setting in addition to behavior. And they take into consideration the social, cultural, and physical contexts within which individuals live, work, and interact. All forms of qualitative research including ethnography are most noted for their commitment to learning about and understanding the perspectives of others rather than imposing the researcher's own views, biases, and theories in explaining differences across populations or communities in beliefs and behaviors. Most qualitative researchers believe that people's beliefs and behaviors, no matter how different from their own, are understandable and make sense in the context in which they live. Sensemaking through the eyes and lived experience of ...