introduction to qualitative

Coursework assignment

Answer ONE of the following questions. You have a maximum of 4000 words (including figures, tables etc, but excluding references). You should reference in the Harvard style.

  1. Predictive success is often cited as the most important indicator of the validity of a theory in the natural sciences. Should social scientists also attach so much weight to predictive success? Critically explore the case for and against this position.
  2. "Empirical material is an artifact of interpretations and the use of specific vocabularies." (Alvesson & Karreman, 2007). Drawing on relevant literature, say why you agree or disagree with this statement. If it were true, what would the implications be for research work?
  3. 'The story of our life is never an autobiography, always a novel…Our memories are just another artifice' (Julian Barnes, in Silverman 2007, p.45). Drawing on literature on research interviews, say why you agree or disagree with this statement. If it were true, what would the implications be for research work? 
  4. King, Keohane and Verba (1994) claim that "the differences between the quantitative and qualitative research traditions are only stylistic and are methodologically and substantively unimportant". Present an argument EITHER in support of, OR against, their position.
  5. Can ethnography produce true accounts? If not, what sorts of accounts should it aim to produce, and how might this affect the way that accounts are written? 
  6. Drawing on examples, contrast how ethnographers and conversation analysts render the courses of action that unfold in front of them.
  7. Drawing upon a tradition of discourse analysis, introduce its procedures and then produce an empirical treatment of a single document.
  8. Is the distinction between 'naturally occurring' and 'manufactured' data useful? (50%) Informed by this discussion, critically evaluate the usefulness and distinctiveness of video recordings as data (50%).

 

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