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

Volume 13 Number 2 June 2008
    Ronald J. Chenail, Ph.D., Sally St. George, Ph.D., Dan Wulff, Ph.D., Maureen Duffy, Ph.D., and Laurie L. Charles, Ph.D., Editors
ISSN 1052-0147

Table of Contents

Palinode: The Heteronormative Re/production of Transsexual (pp. 151-151)
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Jodi Kaufmann

Abstract: This project began at the intersection of several conversations: Recently Jay Prosser (2005) wrote a palinode of his analysis of Del Lagrace's photograph of the genitals of a female-to-male transsexual. Recanting his original reading of the photograph as a referent directly linked to "male," Prosser re-read the photograph, suggesting "the referent [is] unsuturable with the signifier," in other words concluding that transsexualityisirreconcilablewithin gender representation" (p. 176). This idea of a palinode caught my attention. How could I re-read my data to realize what was lost in the original, to find that which exceeded the bounds of signification so I might further glimpse the real (Prosser, 2005)? Concurrently, I was reading Pink's (2004) call to use hypertext as a means to critically reflect on the way arguments are constructed, and MacDougall's (2006) discussion on how the mode of representation influences meaning. Swimming with these thoughts, I began to use writing in and through Storyspace, a self publishing hypertext program, as a method of inquiry (Richardson & St. Pierre, 2005) to write this palinode. Key Words: Narrative Inquiry, Transsexual, Hypertext, Poststructural Methods, and Data Analysis

Qualitative Research and Consumer Policy: Focus Group Discussions as a Form of Consumer Participation (pp. 152-172)
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Eva Heiskanen, Katja Jarvela, Annukka Pulliainen, Mika Saastamoinen and Paivi Timonen

Abstract:This paper describes our ongoing attempts to involve consumers in innovation and technology policy by means of a national Consumer Panel, using focus group discussions as the primary method of consumer participation. We evaluate our experiences of the usefulness of focus group discussions in this context by considering two examples of studies focused on product safety. We evaluate the usefulness of this method in promoting consumer empowerment, deliberation, and multivocality in the assessment of new technologies and innovations. We also raised some critical questions that require further analysis and discussion. Key Words: Focus Group Discussions, Consumer Participation, Empowerment, and Multivocality

Why Video? How Technology Advances Method (pp. 173-177)
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Martin J. Downing, Jr.

Abstract: This paper reports on the use of video to enhance qualitative research. Advances in technology have improved our ability to capture lived experiences through visual means. I reflect on my previous work with individuals living with HIV/AIDS, the results of which are described in another paper, to evaluate the effectiveness of video as a medium that not only collects data, but also produces knowledge. I have provided strategies for confronting specific technological barriers and concerns in research. I made sure to consider my own role within this research, and have chosen to share the personal insights and revelations that occurred in light of using this visual method. Key Words: Visual Research, Image-Based Data, Video Camera, and Audiovisual Analysis

First Love: A Case Study in Quantitative Appropriation of Social Concepts (pp. 178-203)
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Diederik F. Janssen

Abstract: Peer love is a highly invested autobiographical marker, and its scientific ascent can be studied in terms of its literatures motives, stated objectives, exclusions, and delimitations. In this article an overview of numeric and selected ethnographic data on the timing of first love is presented, to inform an assessment of the ontological underpinnings of milestone research common to quantitative sociology and developmental psychology. Complicating scientific normalization of loves initiatory connotation, selected ethnographic observations on the timing and notion of early/first love in non-Western societies are presented. These observations facilitate a critique of love as a heterosocial, propaedeutic event, and hence, as scientifically accessible and befitting the routines and metaphors of biomedical milestone monitoring. Key Words: Age of First Love, First Crush, Critique of Quantitative Methods, Ethnography, Literature Review, and Adolescence

Mixed Methods Analysis and Information Visualization: Graphical Display for Effective Communication of Research Results (pp. 204-225)
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Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie and Wendy B. Dickinson

Abstract: In this paper, we introduce various graphical methods that can be used to represent data in mixed research. First, we present a broad taxonomy of visual representation. Next, we use this taxonomy to provide an overview of visual techniques for quantitative data display and qualitative data display. Then, we propose what we call crossover visual extensions to summarize and integrate both qualitative and quantitative results within the same framework. We provide several examples of crossover (mixed research) graphical displays that illustrate this natural extension. In so doing, we contend that the use of crossover (mixed research) graphical displays enhances researchers understanding (i.e., increased Verstehen) of social and behavioral phenomena in general and the meaning that underlies these phenomena in particular. Key Words: Graphic Methods, Visual Techniques, Graphical Displays, Crossover Graphical Displays, and Mixed Research

Extending the Conversation: Qualitative Research as Dialogic Collaborative Process (pp. 226-243)
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Trena Paulus, Marianne Woodside, and Mary Ziegler

Abstract: Collaborative research often refers to collaboration among the researcher and the participants. Few studies investigate the collaborative process among researchers themselves. Assumptions about the qualitative research process, particularly ways to establish rigor and transparency, are pervasive. Our experience conducting three collaborative empirical research studies challenged and transformed our assumptions about qualitative research: (a) research planning taught as concrete and linear rather than as emergent and iterative, (b) data analysis conceptualized as individual discovery rather than collaboratively-constructed meaning, and (c) findings represented as individual product rather than as part of an ongoing conversation. We address each assumption, including how our collaborative research diverged from the assumption and how this divergence has impacted our own practice. Key Words: Dialogue, Collaborative Research, Group Meaning-Making, and Rigor in Qualitative Inquiry

Madhubani Art: A Journey of an Education Researcher Seeking Self-development Answers Through Art and Self-study (pp. 244-261)
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Kavita Mittapalli and Anastasia P. Samaras

Abstract: This study is situated within a self-study research methods course to scaffold doctoral students explorations of the intersections of their culture, and research interests using arts as a tool. Embracing the arts as a research method, the first author painted a self-portrait using the vibrant colors of Madhubani art which holds cultural significance to her. She utilized Blumers (1986) and Meads (1934) theory of symbolic interactionism to explain the process of her self-development as a researcher. Combining her self-portrait with an earlier research study proved valuable as a conduit for understanding and interpreting her work as a research methodologist. This study is valuable to others interested in studying their practice and research identity through an arts-based research method. Key Words: Self-study, Arts-based Self-study, Madhubani Art, and Learning Qualitative Research

Physical Activity in Intermediate Schools: The Interplay of School Culture, Adolescent Challenges and Athletic Elitism (pp. 262-277)
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Colleen MacQuarrie, Donna Murnaghan, and Debbie MacLellan

Abstract: The intervention potential of physical activity programs for intermediate schools (grades 79), could be enhanced by an understanding of how students engage with and disengage from physical activity. This study provides an interpretation of how adolescents, parents, teachers, and principals perceive students involvement in physical activity within their intermediate school environment. Thematic analyses of eighteen interview transcripts resulted in an interpretation of students continuum of engagement with or disengagement from physical activity. The continuum is reflective of a social process that is grounded in three key themes: school culture, social valuing of athletic elitism, and adolescent challenges. Key Words: Physical Activity; Intermediate Schools, Adolescence, Athletic Elitism, and Qualitative Methods

The Unexpected Rewards of Qualitative Research in Assessment: A Case Example (pp. 278-300)
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Penny Singh

Abstract: This paper reports on the inclusion of an oral component of assessment in science at two tertiary institutions in South Africa. The purpose of this paper is not to report on the results of the assessments conducted, but to focus on some of the unexpected rewards of conducting qualitative research in assessment. Using focus group discussions within a qualitative framework allowed me insights into the thoughts and experiences of the students and assessors, making the benefits of oral assessment apparent. These benefits included how assessment can be used as a learning opportunity, the advantages of homogeneous versus heterogeneous groups, and the benefits of face-to-face interaction, all of which led to improved relationships between students and assessors. Key Words: Action Research, Assessment, Focus Group Discussions, and Oral Assessment

Using Technology to Enhance Qualitative Research with Hidden Populations (pp. 301-315)
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John Matthews and Elizabeth P. Cramer

Abstract: Advances in technology provide researchers with increased opportunities to locate and conduct research with populations that have historically been inaccessible. This manuscript describes the development of private, voluntary web-based groups, and the process for using web cameras to conduct individual web-based interviews as a method of data collection in qualitative research. Also contained within are detailed steps for utilizing each of these technological innovations as well an exploration of the ethical issues related to using technology to enhance the research experience with members of hidden populations, using the GLBT population as a referent group. Key Words: Technological Innovation, Videoconferencing, Internet-based Groups, Data Collection, Participant Engagement and Hidden Populations

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