NSU Home  The Qualitative Report
An online journal dedicated to qualitative research since 1990

Volume 11 Number 4 December 2006
    Ronald J. Chenail, Ph.D., Sally St. George, Ph.D., Dan Wulff, Ph.D., and Maureen Duffy, Ph.D., Editors
ISSN 1052-0147

Table of Contents

Discussing Laddering Application by the Means-End Chain Theory (pp. 626-642)
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Tania Modesto Veludo-de-Oliveira, Ana Akemi Ikeda, and Marcos Cortez Campomar

Abstract: This article aims at analyzing laddering as a technique of qualitative research, emphasizing the procedures for data collection, analysis and interpretation, and its main limitations as well. Laddering refers to an in-depth, one-on-one interviewing technique used to develop an understanding of how consumers translate the attributes of products into meaningful associations with respect to self, following means-end theory (Reynolds & Gutman, 1988, p. 12). The critical literature review shows that laddering is useful in studies on human behavior, especially those related to the Means-End Chain (MEC) model. For a successful application, highly trained interviewers, homogeneous groups of respondents, and the Laddermap should be taken into consideration. Key Words: Laddering, Methodology, Means-End Chain, Value, and Behavior

Dialectical Inquiry: A Structured Qualitative Research Method (pp. 643-664)
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Eli Berniker and David E. McNabb

Abstract: This paper presents Dialectical Inquiry (DI) as a structured qualitative research method for studying participant models of organizational processes. The method is applied to rich secondary anecdotal data on technology transfer, gathered by subject-matter experts in a large firm. DI assumes that the imposition of a dialectical structure will produce emergent theories in tacit use by organizational actors. As such, it serves as a meta-structure for grounded research. Three competing models were discovered in the data. Each model was analyzed in the context of other models to reveal governing assumptions and counter assumptions. It is demonstrated that each model grasps essential truths, but is necessarily incomplete, and would fail due to internal contradictions. The internal and external validity of the results were tested in a manner consistent with qualitative research. Key Words: Technology Transfer, Dialectic, Organizational Sensemaking, and Metastructure

Negotiated Boundaries: Conceptual Locations of Pregnancy and Childbirth (pp. 665-686)
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Shannon Houvouras

Abstract: Dominant notions of reproduction perceive childbearing as physical processes that take place within womens bodies. This perception undermines non-physical components and removes men from the process. This project uses social constructionism to explore the locations women describe pregnancy and childbirth taking place in their childbearing narratives. Based on in-depth interviews with 15 mothers, findings reveal that women conceptualize childbearing as taking place in multiple locations: (1) within the female body, (2) within both the female body and a non-physical realm (e.g., emotional) of one or both partners, (3) detached from any particular location, and (4) within both partners bodies. Conceptualizing childbearing as something other than a purely physical event acknowledges non-physical elements of childbearing and allows greater participation among men. Key Words: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Body, Gender, and Father

A Critique of the Capacity of Strauss Grounded Theory for Prediction, Change, and Control in Organisational Strategy via a Grounded Theorisation of Leisure and Cultural Strategy (pp. 687-718)
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Ali Bakir and Vian Bakir

Abstract: In this paper we critique grounded theorys ability to fulfil its aim of offering a practical vehicle for prediction, change, and control as stipulated in grounded theorys original formulation by Glaser and Strauss, and later developed by Strauss. We do this through a case study approach, whereby we develop a grounded theory of leisure and cultural strategy within a local authority, and critically reflect on the process of grounded theorisation, together with its implications for generating practical tools in that most practical of academic fields; organisational strategy. We demonstrate that despite generating good grounded theory on leisure and cultural strategy, here termed navigational translation, that offers sociological insight, its claim to offer practical tools is inappropriate to the strategy field. Key Words: Leisure and Cultural Strategy, Grounded Theory, Coding, Generalisability, Prediction, Change and Control, and Navigational Translation

The Pre-Conceptual Map Methodology: Development and Application (pp. 719-728)
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Shellie Hipsky

Abstract: The objective of this article is to present the Pre-Conceptual Map methodology as a formalized way to identify, document, and utilize preconceived assumptions on the part of the researcher in qualitative inquiry. This technique can be used as a stand alone method or in conjunction with other qualitative techniques (i.e., naturalistic inquiry). This document explains how to utilize the process and includes specific examples based on a formal study of the pilot of The Drama Discovery Curriculum. The article highlights the Pre-conceptual Map methodology for use by other researchers by examining: the need for the methodology, how it is related to the literature, the implications for other professions, and the contribution to the field of qualitative methodology. Key Words: Pre-Conceptual, Map, Qualitative, Methodology, Assumptions, Bias, and Research

Elaborating the Grounding of the Knowledge Base on Language and Learning for Preservice Literacy Teachers (pp. 729-748)
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Carolyn L. Piazza and Cynthia Wallat

Abstract: This purpose of this article is to present a qualitative inquiry into the genesis of sociolinguistics and the contributions of eight sociolinguistic pioneers. This inquiry, based on an historical interpretation of events, reformulates the concept of validation as the social construction of a scientific knowledge base, and explicates three themes that offer a set of sociolinguistic constructs, questions, and propositions that can provide aspiring teachers with a frame of reference and set of guidelines for teaching language and literacy. An implication section, at the end of the article, illustrates sociolinguistic components that can be added to course syllabi in the preservice language and literacy curriculum. Key Words: Knowledge Base, Sociolinguistics, Preservice Literacy Teachers, and Language and Learning

Southern Rural Public Schools: A Study of Teacher Perspectives (pp. 749-763)
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Leah P. McCoy

Abstract: This ethnography explores teachers perspectives of the cultural issues affecting academic performance in twelve public high schools in rural Mississippi and Louisiana. From a thematic analysis of the tape-recorded interviews of forty-one mathematics teachers, five categories emerged, each comprising a qualitative aspect of teaching high school in an economically depressed area of the deep South: society, race, students, families, and schools. Each of these categories is discussed and explicated using exemplars from the interviews to show how each category emerged from the data. In addition, the relationships among these categories, which form a destructive cycle of poverty, low expectations, poor academic achievement, and inadequate opportunity, are discussed. Implications of this research for teachers and policy makers are explored. Key Words: Poverty, Race, Expectations, Apathy, Achievement, and Public Schools

Qualitative Research and Quilting: Advice for Novice Researchers (pp. 764-770)
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Leigh Ausband

Abstract: This paper relates how the author, a novice qualitative researcher, uses the familiar process of quilting to help her clarify the research process. Other novice researchers are advised to look around for similar connections they can make in their lives to assist with their research. Key Words: Qualitative Research, Research Process, Advice, and Novice Researchers

Preservice Teachers' Professional Development in a Community of Practice Summer Literacy Camp for Children At-Risk: A Sociocultural Perspective (pp. 771-794)
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Janet C. Richards

Abstract: This inquiry applied an innovative sociocultural framework to examine transformations in preservice teachers' professional development as they worked with children at-risk in a summer literacy camp. The camp incorporated a community of practice model in which teams of masters and doctoral students mentored small groups of preservice teachers. The study examined preservice teachers' learning following Rogoff's (1995, 1997) notions of the personal, interpersonal, and community planes of analysis. The research also employed a postmodernist crystallization imagery to capture multiple perspectives on the preservice teachers' growth. The study assigns importance to the contextual dimensions in which learning takes place, and emphasizes that learning is nourished by interactions with others. Key Words: Children At-Risk, Community of Practice, Personal Interpersonal and Community Planes of Analysis, Sociocultural Theories, and Summer Literacy Camp

Meeting the Needs of a Latino English Language Learner through Teacher Research (pp. 795-811)
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Sylvia R. Taube, Barbara E. Polnick, and Jacqueline Minor Lane

Abstract: Over the years, Ms. Lanes third grade mathematics classroom had become increasingly diverse. Challenged by the growing population of English Language Learners (ELL) and her need to change her teaching practice to meet their needs, Ms. Lane selected to study how best to teach one of her greatest challenges, Ana, a Latino ELL who also had a learning disability. Ms. Lane and her two university mentors found that using a collaborative action research model provided a structure for researching, designing, and implementing strategies that helped Ana improve her mathematics performance. The university mentors found that they, too, benefited from working together as critical partners while assisting Ms. Lane in this collaborative action research. Key Words: Teaching Practice, Mathematics, Mentoring, Collaborative Action Research, and English Language Learners

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