Continuing through Carspecken, the author delves into the ontological basis of critical research. These ontological questions and answers give the study its conceptual frameworks. Qualitative research doesn't use variables and operational definition like the traditional quantitative studies.The context of social issues does not translate to neat and objective variables. But without these traditional elements of research, how does one define the qualitative study?
Qualitative research does not to seek to address causality as actions are conditioned by the environment of the actor but not strictly determined. The research, especially one grounded in the parameters and models of social theory are meant to lay the ground work for further empirical investigation rather than test a hypothese empirically.
The three principals of social research are social actions, the subjective experience of the participants and the conditions that shape these actions. The settings and locals for these studies are greater than the location of an action or behavior, but the systems, settings and societal constructs that influence or restrain the actors in a system.
According to Carspecken, there are six steps in qualitative research. First a researcher needs to outline their research questions and subjects for study, as well as taking an inventory of their own value orientations. The researcher then creates a primary record by observing and reflecting. Carspecken refers to this as monologic, as it is not a dialogue between the participants and researchers. The researcher then analyzes the primary record for patterns of interaction and power relation, as well as the roles involved.
The researcher then moves onto gathering data from the participants through interviews and focus groups to then explore the relations between actors, systems and institutions. These relations are used to explain the findings of the researchers.
In my next entry I will begin to work with some of the preliminary research steps.