1 Collaborate – Think Critically: Learn from researchers who have been in your shoes – use their examples and experiences to explore how their ‘lessons learned’ can improve your own research approach. Take it one step further with additional thought-provoking questions online.

7.1 Avoiding quantitative theorising

Like Angelos, have you formulated your research in terms of operational definitions and/or primary and secondary data? See his second and third research questions, in which he separates quantitative and qualitative data.

How can you reformulate your research in a way more appropriate to a qualitative methodology? Or should you really pursue quantitative research?

7.2 Applying different research models

Qualitative research can mean many different things. This article presents very different analyses of a single semi-structured interview transcript using different theoretical approaches: grounded theory, Foucauldian discourse analysis, interpretative phenomenological analysis and narrative analysis. The variation and agreement in the analysis of the data are discussed. The implications of the findings on the conduct, writing and presentation of qualitative research are presented:

Frost, N., Nolas, S. M., Brooks-Gordon, B., Esin, C., Holt, A., Mehdizadeh, L., & Shinebourne, P. (2010). Pluralism in qualitative research: the impact of different researchers and qualitative approaches on the analysis of qualitative data. Qualitative Research10(4), 441–460.

Try to apply TWO of these approaches to your data. Which approach seems most fruitful?

Did applying these different approaches to your data produce different interpretations or results? What remained the same?

7.3 Using a Constructionist Model

Does your research design, like Gunhild’s, follow a constructionist model? If so, in what ways? If not, how would you characterise your research model?

Consider the ways in which she analyses the production of statistical data and what aspects of the process she is interested in. How does her use of multiple sources of data impact her constructionist approach?