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Qualitative Research

Qualitative research
Rochelle Stewart-WithersGlenn BanksAndrew McgregorLitea Meo-Sewabu

Qualitative research has grown out of a plethora of ‘intellectual and disciplinary traditions’ (Mason, 2002: 2). Qualitative research should be viewed as both art and science, thereby ensuring that there is a balance between rigour and creativity (Patton, 2002). The term ‘qualitative research’ broadly encapsulates approaches to research which focus on the human experience and seek to understand the social world, recognising this world for its richness in context, detail and experience (Mason, 2002; also see Bailey, 2007; Denzin and Lincoln, 2011).

As a method of inquiry, qualitative research seeks to collect or generate data in natural settings. That is, qualitative researchers generally go to particular locations or sites (‘the field’) to study the people, communities and societies ...

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