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Röster om kvalitativ forskning: En karaktäristik utifrån vetenskapliga texter
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2001 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Voices about Qualitative Research : A Characteristic based on Scientific Texts (English)
Abstract [en]

In this thesis the concept "qualitative research" is examined. As a scientific concept it can, for example, be related to and localized in different descriptions of Swedish educational research. The aim of this study is to characterize qualitative research by describing the content of that concept in some scientific texts, namely North American journal articles and research papers. This makes the study an example of meta-research.

The study has an explorative orientation and uses a perspective on scientific texts that have been generated from linguistic perspectives. A scientific text is seen as an argumentation process with several different argumentation stages. These stages are so-called miniature-texts, identified as topic sentences and other representatives of the text. The text as an argumentation process must be preserved when examining the content of the concept "qualitative research". Therefore, a hierarchy of miniature-texts was used as an argumentative context for the concept "qualitative research" in a text. By examining each sentence, in which the concept was included, the content of this concept was identified. This content was expressed in several and different so-called indexes for each text.

These indexes, for all the examined texts, were then divided into different groups, categories, at different levels of another kind of hierarchy. Therefore, the content of the concept "qualitative research" is described in a hierarchy of different categories, for example in terms of "foundations", "activity forms", and "results". The lowest level of this hierarchy contains parts of the original texts, and the hierarchy forms the characteristic of qualitative research as a phenomenon.

The content of the concept "qualitative research" was also related to the argumentation contexts mentioned above. The generation and examination of these contexts have been a second aim of the study. Additionally, different terms have been used to describe the types of

argumentation contexts and their content.

In accordance with the explorative orientation the examination of the texts selected was organized by using computer assistance software, HyperCard. This made it possible, among other things, to document the emerging categories, their relations to the original texts and the recursive processes that were used.

The diversity of the content of the concept "qualitative research" is striking. The conclusion drawn is that the use of different descriptors for qualitative research traditions and forms is a more valid way to communicate qualitative research as a phenomenon within different scientific communities, for example in descriptions of Swedish educational research.

But the use of the concept "qualitative research" can be seen as the use of special metaphors in a scientific community. Therefore, this concept perhaps is just but one example of such metaphors. It is important that these are examined and replaced by terms and concepts that are better suited to describe what is going on when researchers are engaged in, among other things, so-called qualitative research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2001. , 331 p.
Uppsala Studies in Education, ISSN 0347-1314 ; 97
Keyword [en]
Education, qualitative research, meta-research, linguistic perspectives, scientific texts, argumentation process, argumentation context, explorative study, recursion, conceptual hierarchy, scientific communities
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-1431ISBN: 91-554-5085-7OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-1431DiVA: diva2:160957
Public defence
2001-09-28, Universitetshuset, sal IX, Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 2001-10-15 Created: 2001-10-15Bibliographically approved

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