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5.2 ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS, 5.3 EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES, 5.4 SOCIOLOGY, 5.6 POLITICAL SCIENCE, 5.7 SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY, 5.8 MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS, 5.9 OTHER SOCIAL SCIENCES
This chapter presents a discussion on the nature of qualitative research. In it, a number of contributors to the book sit down for a general roundtable discussion on qualitative methodologies. Here they express their thinking in relation to a range of questions on qualitative methodologies put to them by the moderator, one of the editors of the volume. The objective of the chapter is to provide readers with an insight into a free flowing discussion amongst academics on the nature of qualitative research. This takes the readers outside of the carefully structured arguments of the authors, as set out in their various chapters, and presents their thinking on the topic at an instinctual level. This is also something that dissertation students are not often exposed to – an insight into the debates that occur between academics on the nature of research. Such an insight will show that, even amongst those utilising qualitative research as a tool, there are widely differing opinions as to how to approach this topic. Hopefully, readers will also be able to take from this chapter the idea that stimulating discussions amongst peer groups is a great way of teasing out the intricacies of complex subject matters. They will see that failure to reach consensus on an issue is not a bad thing, as in research, as with many other areas of life, there are often no right or wrong answers, only results that require interpretation. Most of all, this chapter presents a myriad of ideas on the ways in which qualitative research can be utilized in the search for answers to questions.
Crowley-Henry, M., Dolan, P., Donnelly, P., Freeman, O., Hogan, J., Horan, C. and O'Rourke, B. (2009) ‘Qualitative Methodology Discussion’, in J. Hogan, P. Dolan and P. Donnelly (eds) Approaches to Qualitative Research: Theory and Its Practical Application, pp. 261-82. Cork: Oak Tree Press.