Popular Film Viewing

Selected popular films and TV series include scenes that illustrate characters in analytic life dilemmas (see Saldaña, 2009, Qualitative Inquiry, 15(1), pp. 247-261). These conflicts are artistic metaphors, comparable to what the qualitative researcher encounters. View and reflect on relevant scenes from the titles below with peers to discuss how certain principles of qualitative inquiry are depicted and can transfer to your own work. Access imdb.com for more information.

Research Genres

  • Case studies: The Final CutThe Truman Show56 Up (and the entire Up series)
  • Survey research: Kinsey
  • Quantitative (and qualitative) research: π [Pi], A Beautiful Mind, The Big Bang Theory: The Friendship Algorithm
  • Longitudinal research/change: The Truman Show56 UpHalf NelsonBoyhood
  • Action research: Dangerous MindsKindergarten Cop
  • Life course research: The Final Cut56 Up
  • Phenomenology: Silence of the Lambs
  • Field experiments: Super Size Me, Experimenter: The Stanley Milgram Story
  • Critical ethnography: Bowling for Columbine
  • Mixed methods: Super Size Me, The Good Doctor: Point Three Percent
  • Performance ethnography, ethnodrama: Twilight: Los AngelesThe Laramie ProjectThe ExoneratedUnited 93Howl, The Stanford Prison Experiment

Research Methodology and Methods

  • Epistemology, ontology, axiology: The MatrixInceptionSource CodeInterstellar
  • Positionality, standpoint, subjectivity, perspective, point of view: Rashômon
  • Research design, conceptual frameworks: Super Size Me, Experimenter: The Stanley Milgram Story, The Big Bang Theory: The Herb Garden Germination
  • Research ethics: The Truman ShowKrippendorf’s TribeMiss Evers’ Boys, Experimenter: The Stanley Milgram Story, The Stanford Prison Experiment
  • Participant observation/fieldwork: The Truman ShowGorillas in the MistLooking for Comedy in the Muslim WorldKitchen StoriesWALL-EAvatarArrival, Following (1998), Dark Mysterious Austria [available on YouTube]
  • Interview techniques: Kinsey49 UpThe Laramie ProjectThe GuysLooking for Comedy in the Muslim WorldThe Help, The Milagro Beanfield War
  • Inductive, abductive, substructive, deductive, and retroductive reasoning: MementoFargo, π [Pi], Silence of the Lambs, A Beautiful MindSherlock Holmes (2009), Sherlock Homes: A Game of Shadows
  • Codes and categories: The Final Cut
  • Diagramming and display: The Big Bang Theory: The Friendship Algorithm
  • Photovoice: Born Into Brothels
  • Triangulation: Minority Report
  • Cause and effect, influences and affects: The Butterfly EffectWorld War Z
  • Correlation, interrelationship: An Inconvenient TruthThe Number 23
  • Data analysis: A Beautiful MindContactThe Final CutSilence of the LambsThe Imitation Game
  • Theory: Experimenter: The Stanley Milgram Story