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

Volume 13 Number 3 September 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

Creating Vocative Texts (pp. 316-333)
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Jennifer J. Nicol

Abstract: Vocative texts are expressive poetic texts that strive to show rather than tell, that communicate felt knowledge, and that appeal to the senses. They are increasingly used by researchers to present qualitative findings, but little has been written about how to create such texts. To this end, excerpts from an inquiry into the experience and meaning of music listening in the context of chronic illness (Nicol, 2002) are presented and used to illustrate five elements associated with vocative texts (van Manen, 1997). Further student examples of vocative writing are also provided. The intent is to make a pragmatic contribution to the growing literature on writing and qualitative inquiry, and to stimulate interest in experimenting with different ways of writing. Key Words: Vocative Text, Expressive Writing, and Qualitative Research

A Healing Echo: Methodological Reflections of a Working-Class Researcher on Class (pp. 334-352)
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Allison L. Hurst

Abstract: College students from the working class have interesting stories to tell about the meaning and operation of mobility through education. The author, herself a working-class academic, explores some of the issues and dilemmas of uncovering and presenting these stories. Specifically, the author addresses: (1) the effects of interviewing those similar to ones self; (2) the possibility of losing voice when interviewing too many participants; (3) the responsibility of the researcher to take seriously the importance of renaming interview participants to ensure both anonymity and integrity; (4) the question of audience; and (5) the issue of reliability. Key Words: Class Identity, Phenomenology, Insider/outsider Status, and Interviewing

The False Witness: Artistic Research on Stage (pp. 353-378)
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Orit Simhoni

Abstract: Sharing research findings with others is a fundamental concern of researchers. Qualitative research results may be disseminated in conventional (e.g., scholarly text or presentation) or innovative (e.g., art, drama, or poetry) forms. Given that researchers should select the best form of presentation of their work, it is worthwhile to explore creative options. One such option is theatrical performance. The purpose of this study is to describe one playwrights experience in creating a research-based drama, The False Witness. While focusing on the process of research-based drama, this article is intended to inform researchers and artists about the potential of a research-based theatrical production to re-present social research material--and to tell a story in a way that can transform social consciousness. Key Words: Holocaust, Anti-Semitism, Case Study, Autoethnographic Theater, and Emancipation

Unraveling Ethics: Reflections from a Community-based Participatory Research Project with Youth (pp. 379-393)
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Christine A. Walsh, Jennifer Hewson, Michael Shier, and Edwin Morales

Abstract: There is limited literature describing the ethical dilemmas that arise when conducting community-based participatory research. The following provides a case example of ethical dilemmas that developed during a multi-method community-based participatory action research project with youth in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Several ethical dilemmas emerged during the course of the study related to the community in which the research was being undertaken, the recruitment of participants, and the overall research process. As important are possible harms that may arise when the researcher is no longer involved. These ethical dilemmas and potential solutions are discussed in relation to social work research and community-based practice to raise awareness about the essential role of community in informing ethical research practices. Key Words: Ethical Dilemmas, Participatory Action Research, and Youth Engagement

Making the Connection between Prayer, Faith, and Forgiveness in Roman Catholic Families (pp. 394-415)
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Mindi Batson and Loren Marks

Abstract: This study examines meanings and processes associated with religious practices of prayer, building faith, and forgiving through in-depth, qualitative interviews with six highly religious Roman Catholic families with children. Families were interviewed using a narrative approach that asked participants to share experiences and challenges related to faith and family life. Three primary themes in the interviews included: (a) prayer helps piece the puzzle together, (b) faith builds a foundation, and (c) forgiveness allows unity to flourish. Key Words:Religion, Catholic, Prayer, Faith, Forgiveness, and Family

The Use of Complex Adaptive Systems as a Generative Metaphor in an Action Research Study of an Organisation (pp. 416-431)
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Callum Brown

Abstract: Understanding the dynamic behaviour of organisations is challenging and this study uses a model of complex adaptive systems as a generative metaphor to address this challenge. The research question addressed is: How might a conceptual model of complex adaptive systems be used to assist in understanding the dynamic nature of organisations? Using an action research methodology, 6 Air Force internal management consulting teams were exposed to overlapping attributes of complex adaptive systems. The study shows that participants found the attributes valuable in understanding the dynamic nature of organisations; however they did present challenges for understanding. Despite being challenging to understand, using complex adaptive systems to understand organisations, particularly as dynamic systems, is of value. Key Words:Complex Adaptive Systems, Complexity, Metaphor, Organisation, and Action Research

How to be Happy by Calling for Change: Constructs of Happiness and Meaningfulness Amongst Social Movement Activists (pp. 432-455)
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Alice Mills and Jeremy Smith

Abstract: This paper focuses on how social movement activists view happiness in relation to their political involvement. Interviewers asked activists questions about their personal histories and feelings. The phenomenological strategy involved focused on interviews with subjects who could speak richly about their commitments and emotions. The data from the 11 subjects revealed that there was no simple relationship between a commitment to social activism and subjects experiences of happiness. Several subjects oriented their responses to the relationship between meaningfulness, activism, and happiness. In discussion of the analyzed data, the authors suggest that a relationship is evident between the positions articulated by interviewees and their levels of engagement in and withdrawal from activism. Key Words:Activism, Happiness, Commitment, Withdrawal, and Meaningfulness

A Qualitative Study Investigating Gender Differences in Primary Work Stressors and Levels of Job Satisfaction in Greek Junior Hospital Doctors (pp. 456-473)
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Alexander-Stamatios Antoniou, Cary L. Cooper, and Marilyn J. Davidson

Abstract: Primary work stressors and job satisfaction/dissatisfaction in Greek Junior Hospital Doctors (JHDs) are investigated to identify similarities and differences in the reports obtained from male and female hospital doctors. Participants in the study included 32 male and 28 female Greek hospital doctors who provided information through semi-structured, in-depth interviews. The findings revealed that a majority of Greek JHDs considered their profession very stressful, and that various differences were identified between male and female JHDs, with regard to perceived stress and satisfaction. The study has implications for the possible introduction of in-house stress management training programmes, both at a generic, and gender specific level. Future research aimed at increasing the individuals coping mechanisms, and identifying environmental sources of stress are recommended. Key Words: Occupational Stressors, Job Satisfaction, Junior Hospital Doctors, Gender Differences, Qualitative Research, and Content Analysis

Conceptualizing from the Inside: Advantages, Complications, and Demands on Insider Positionality (pp. 474-494)
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Christina Chavez

Abstract: The debate on insider/outsider positionality has raised issues about the methodological advantages and liabilities between the two, yet no clear account exists for what insider scholars can expect when they enter the field. First, I conceptualize how insider positionality can dually benefit and disadvantage the insider. Using a partial review of insider studies, including my study of my multigenerational Mexican American family, I also present a practical discussion on specific insider advantages and complications. In conclusion, I present a new approach to training novice insider scholars that will help them mediate between insider perspective and researcher position, an approach that promises greater rigor to insider research that will serve the goals of qualitative research for social justice in minority and indigenous communities. Key Words: Insider Positionality and Insider Research

Exploring the Enactment of Functional Curriculum in Self-Contained Cross-Categorical Programs: A Case Study (pp. 495-530)
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Emily C. Bouck

Abstract: Little research has been devoted to studying functional curriculum in secondary special education programs, self-contained cross-categorical programs, or curriculum enactment in special education, which warrants study of the culmination of these issues. This article presents a case study that attempts to answer, What is the nature of the enactment of functional curriculum in rural self-contained cross-categorical programs? The study occurred in two rural secondary self-contained cross-categorical programs with two teachers, four paraprofessionals, and 15 students. The findings suggest that the curriculum was enacted in the moment, was relative, and created tensions between special education and general education. The findings also suggest that the enactment had to be very encompassing and that it developed a community within each programs. Key Words: Special Education, Curriculum Enactment, and Functional Curriculum

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