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Liberabit

versión impresa ISSN 1729-4827versión On-line ISSN 2233-7666

Resumen

GURTLER, Leo  y  L. HUBER, Günter. Ways of thinking and strategies of the quality investigation. Liberabit [online]. 2007, vol.13, n.13, pp. 37-52. ISSN 1729-4827.

From an outline of the historical background of qualitative research in the social sciences this article underlines the "added value" of qualitative investigations by describing the profile of typical research questions and their context, which demand qualitative approaches. The central research question defines both the starting point and the goal of every study. Therefore, decisions about methods follow only later in the research process and must not determine goals and conditions of a study, although this process usually does not proceed in a strictly linear way, but with iterations or repetitions of various phases. As examples of methodological approaches the article selects the development of grounded theory, replication of studies, and triangulation. In any case, qualitative methods produce a large amount of data (texts, sound or video recordings, photos, drawings, etc.), which has to be reduced to its meaning by interpreting the content. Coding, the most effective mode of data reduction, and the analysis of sequences of meaning are described in detail. Additionally, it is recommended to use computers and suitable software as tools that contribute to facilitate the researchers‘ work, to maintain an overview on their decisions, and to modify them easily. Finally some actual tendencies related to "mixed methods" are discussed, that is, the article does not recommend to follow a particular paradigm, but to select research methods according to the demands of the research question.

Palabras clave : Thougth; Qualitative research.

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