Qualitative research design is continually evolving. It is not only more established in disciplines beyond the traditional social sciences in which it is a standard choice, but also just as impacted by the changes in what data, technologies, and approaches researchers are using. This Handbook takes readers through the foundational theories, functions, strategies, and approaches to qualitative research design, before showcasing how it negotiates different data and research environments and produces credible, actionable impact beyond the study. Containing contributions from over 90 top scholars from a range of social science disciplines, this Handbook is not just an anthology of different qualitative research designs and how/when to use them; it is a complete exploration of how and why these designs are shaped and how, why, and into what they are evolving. This is a valuable resource for Master's and PhD level students, faculty members, and researchers across a wide range of disciplines such as health, nursing, psychology, social work, sociology, and education. Volume One: Part I: Concepts of Designing Designs in Qualitative Research; Part 2: Theories and Epistemological Contexts of Designing Qualitative Research; Part 3: Elements of Designing Qualitative Research; Part 4: Basic Designs and Research Strategies in Qualitative Research; and Part 5: Mixing Methods in Designing Qualitative Research. Volume Two: Part 6: Designing Qualitative Research for Specific Kinds of Data; Part 7: Designing Qualitative Online and Multimodal Research; Part 8: Designing Qualitative Research for Specific Groups and Areas; Part 9: Designing Qualitative Research in Disciplinary Fields; and Part 10: Designing Qualitative Research for Impact.
Chapter 43: Designing for Observation
Designing for Observation
‘So, you want to do observation? What will you look for?'
‘Ehm … I will look for … what's going on there'.
To design a project in qualitative research using observational data often entails a paradox. Good practice in this area equals data dense with meaning, ‘being there’ emotions, and data that are both nuanced and precise. These qualities can hardly be imposed. Rather, they may emerge when and if the setting accepts the researcher who, on his or her side, must work up an embodied sensitivity for what is going on, without being locked into a scheme.
These circumstances make it hard to design an observational study, at least in the meaning of predicting and planning ...