Myths, Methods, and Messiness: Insights for Qualitative Research Analysis
The Qualitative Research Symposium (QRS) is a one-day event which facilitates interdisciplinary discussion of common features, challenges, and changes in qualitative research. These include methodological approaches, innovative methods, sampling techniques, theoretical integration, or enhancing quality. This year’s event focuses on Analysis.
The analytical process in qualitative inquiry is challenging. Unlike the mechanics followed in quantitative research, there are countless ways to conduct qualitative analysis. Analytical approaches range from structured step-by-step processes, through more flexible frames, to those without pre-determined form.
Regardless of approach, for many reasons ( for example growing acceptance, rigour, trustworthiness, and others), qualitative researchers are being encouraged and required to communicate their analytical approach in detail. Yet, several challenges arise from this expectation for all writers and readers of qualitative inquiry.
First, general and disciplinary specific qualitative research texts share excellent practices, processes, and examples, but in our research endeavours the analytical process very much becomes our own.
Second, expectations for describing analytical approaches vary considerably in relation to the specificity of a named approach, disciplinary norm, theoretical or interpretive orientation, different data form, or publication style and structure.
Third, despite advances in qualitative education and training, the limits of preparation and training provision compared to quantitative research leave many scholars new to qualitative inquiry adrift. We are all therefore challenged with how we recognise, understand, appraise, and engage with a potentially endless variety of analytical processes.
For the symposium this year, we invite researchers to explore and share their past, current, or future analytical practice. We aim to provide space for researchers to:
- Engage with a variety of forms of analysis from colleagues across multiple disciplines
- Delve deeper into and discuss their orientations and processes of analysis
- Challenge simplistic understandings of qualitative analysis
- Consider the aspects of the qualitative research process that inform our thinking on and approach to analysis, quality, rigour, and trustworthiness
We welcome theoretically inspired, methodologically oriented, and/or empirically grounded inquiries that link to the symposium themes, which undoubtedly overlap and intersect.
Download the full programme for the event.
The symposium will be organised around the following three major themes:
Analytical Processes: This theme focuses on the various aspects of the research process that inform analysis (for example paradigmatic orientations, disciplinary expectations, or methodological choices).
Practicing Analysis: This theme provides space for authors to explore and exemplify analytical practices in their work.
Interpreting and Representing Analysis: This theme focuses on the relationship and interplay of interpretation and representation.
Call for abstracts
We invite researchers to submit abstracts on the three themes of the symposium. Please note there is an opportunity for publishing short papers in the edited conference proceedings.
Find out how to submit your abstract
A few bursaries available to postgraduate students who are unable to afford the £10 participation fee. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gary Goertz is a Professor at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame University, Indiana, USA. He has published widely on issues of international conflict, institutions, and methodology. His methodological books include:
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