Ashford University Course Materials Understanding the Value of Qualitative Research

An important part of both analyzing other’s research approaches and reflecting on your own includes understanding the positive and negative aspects of varied forms of social research and how they can influence a researcher’s stance and tone. While quantitative data can provide a general overview of the impacts of public policy and systems which manage society, qualitative data can provide specific and important information regarding the causes of this impact, such as the how, why, and who. Therefore, qualitative research can provide beneficial information to aid public policy in regards to social problems. This is especially important to know when public policy and systems create negative impacts, such as profiling, inequality, limited access, and social exclusion. It is also important to be able to recognize the stance or informed viewpoint of the researcher reporting on this information.

One of the more immersive forms of social research methods available is one of the qualitative methods: ethnography. Ethnography allows a researcher to experience the impacts through living amongst the citizens who have to engage with public policy and its systems in their daily lives. The most intriguing aspects of this type of research is how the researcher maintains an ethical and neutral stance during and after the process of research and how the experience can impact their stance or underlying tone.

In this assignment, you will present the benefits of ethnographical research in terms of informing public policy, as well as understanding the researcher’s role in performing and reporting on ethnographic research. You will do this through your own research of immersive ethnographical approaches (including the course text), and also through analyzing Dr. Alice Goffman’s work on inner city people of color in Philadelphia. You will be provided with reporting and reviews of her work to help fuel your own analysis of Dr. Goffman’s approach. This will help you become better at discerning what useful research is in order to appropriately inform decision-making in society.

In your paper, you must address the following:

  • Explain the researcher’s role in qualitative research.      Discuss the unique issues that researchers should be concerned about in      regards to their role in research, and explain how this is specifically a      challenge in ethnographical research. Discuss specific actions researchers      can take to ensure they retain their ethical and neutral stance in      performing qualitative research and reporting their qualitative research      results.
  • Regarding Alice Goffman’s recent ethnographical work in      inner-city Philadelphia, and based on what you know from the text and your      own research on ethnographic immersion, determine whether or not Goffman      maintained an ethical and neutral stance, and provide justification of the      approach Goffman chose to take. Based on what you have been able to      ascertain from Goffman’s work, discuss the information that was gained by      performing a qualitative ethnography into the social problems of      inner-city Philadelphia. Explain whether or not this could have been      possible with a quantitative research study.
  • Discuss what you have learned in regards to qualitative      research and in particular ethnographic research in supporting decision      making and the creation of public policy.

The paper must be at least four pages in length (excluding title and reference pages) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. Support your written work with examples from the recommended material(s), the text, and at least two scholarly articles sourced from the Ashford University Library. Cite your sources in-text and on the reference page. For information regarding APA samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center.

    • 4 years ago
    SOC 333: Research Methods

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