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

Volume 15 Number 1 January 2010
    Ronald J. Chenail, Ph.D., Sally St. George, Ph.D., Dan Wulff, Ph.D., Maureen Duffy, Ph.D., Laurie L. Charles, Ph.D., and Karen Wilson Scott, Ph.D., Editors
ISSN 1052-0147

Table of Contents

Arts Voices: Middle School Students and the Relationships of the Arts to their Motivation and Self-Efficacy (pp. 1-17)
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Heather Moorefield-Lang

Abstract: This study explores the question "Does arts education have a relationship to eighth-grade rural middle school students' motivation and self-efficacy?" Student questionnaires, focus-group interviews, and follow-up interviews were data collection methods used with 92 eighth-grade middle school students. Strong emphasis was placed on gathering personal narratives, comments, and opinions directly from the students. Content analysis was used to analyze the student interviews. Middle school students felt that there were both positive and negative relationships between their arts education classes and their motivation and self-efficacy. The students in this study had much to share on the arts courses offered in their school. Personal motivation, belief in self, creative thinking, and peer relationships are only some of the topics addressed in this article. Key Words: Arts Education, Student Motivation, Student Self-Efficacy, Content Analysis, Focus Group Interviews, and Open-Ended Questionnaires

Question Utilization in Solution-Focused Brief Theraphy: A Recursive Frame Analysis of Insoo Kim Berg's Solution Talk (pp. 18-36)
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Jeffrey Cotton

Abstract: Recursive frame analysis (RFA) was used to conduct a single case investigation of Insoo Kim Berg's question utilization talk in a solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) session. Due to the lack of process research that explores how SFBT questions facilitate change, the author investigated how Berg's solution language influenced a client to respond in session. The purpose of this case study was to explore how SFBT questions served as interventions to facilitate change. The research question for this study was twofold: (a) how does Berg's language influence conversation and (b) how is the client influenced by Berg's questions in a therapeutic context? The findings suggest that Berg's questions serve as interventions for change as noted by patterns in the therapeutic conversation. Key Words: Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, Recursive Frame Analysis, Couple Therapy, Question Utilization, Qualitative Research

A Qualitative Approach to Understanding Audience's Perceptions of Creativity in Online Advertising (pp. 37-58)
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Andrew McStay

Abstract: In this paper I seek to inquire upon audience's perceptions of creativity in online advertising - a heretofore poorly understood area. This paper initially outlines current academic understanding of creativity in online advertising, mainly derived from quantitative assessments. It then advances a qualitative methodology including diary-interviews and ethnographic online interviews across 41 participants. My starting point is a critique of the most comprehensive conceptual intervention in the area of advertising creativity - Smith and Yang's (2004) typology of "relevance" and "divergence". I assess to what extent this typology emerges from my participants' data. Two key features of relevance - contextual relevance and intrusiveness - are explored in depth, producing deeper insights into their nature as perceived by participants. Key Words: Online, Advertising, Creativity, Qualitative, Typology, Diary, and Relevance

(Re)constructing Reflexivity: A Relational Constructionist Approach (pp. 59-75)
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Diane Marie Hosking and Bettine Pluut

Abstract: This article distinguishes three discourses of reflexivity in relation to human inquiry. One of these arises from a post-modern, relational constructionist perspective which radically re-conceptualizes reflexivity: (a) as a local and co-constructed process oriented towards the question (b) how are we 'going on' together, and therefore paying attention to (c) the realities and relations we are co-creating during the research process and so (d) is concerned with local pragmatic and ethical issues (Gergen & Hosking, 2006; McNamee, 1994) rather than with the quality of truth claims. Regular reflexive dialogues as part of, and directed at, the research process can heighten the local use value of research for all participants and can facilitate new possible realities and relations. Key Words: Reflexivity, Relational Responsibility, Responsive Inquiry, Relational Constructionism, Postmodernism, and Ethics

Action Research in Practice: Issues and Challenges in a Financial Services Case Study (pp. 76-93)
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Peter Marshall, Phyl Willson, Kristy de Salas, and Judy McKay

Abstract: In this paper we give a direct and personal account of the issues and challenges that occurred in an action research study. The research team consisted of five researchers from two Australian universities. The action research case was carried out in a small financial services company and concerned the development of an information systems strategy. However, the focus of the paper is not on information systems, but on the general methodological issues and problems of action research. The authors hope that readers will benefit from the direct and transparent account of the practical methodological problems encountered in the study. Key Words: Action Research, Information Systems Strategy Formulation, Business Processes, Organisational Problem-solving, and Action Research Projects

A Case of One Professor's Teaching and Use of Nature of Science in an Introductory Chemistry Course (pp. 94-121)
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Mehmet Karakas

Abstract: In this article I provide a qualitative analysis of one faculty's teaching and answer the following research question: How does one chemistry professor who teaches introductory science incorporate aspects of the nature of science (NOS) into his course? This study concentrates on a single case in one private higher institution in the Northeastern United States. The participant's teaching style is presented through a combined presentation of interviews, classroom observations, and classroom activities. Six main themes emerged from the field notes in the areas of teacher actions, student teacher interactions, start of the lecture, incorporating NOS language in instruction, class size, and student actions These findings revealed that the participant preferred to use traditional teacher-centered lecturing as his teaching style; his main concerns were to cover more content, develop problem-solving skills of his students, and teach fundamental principles of chemistry without paying special importance to the aspects of NOS. Key Words: Nature of Science, Case Study, College Science Teaching, and Higher Education

Issues in the Analysis of Focus Groups: Generalisability, Quantifiability, Treatment of Context and Quotations (pp. 122-141)
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Lilla Vicsek

Abstract: In this paper I discuss some concerns related to the analysis of focus groups: (a) the issue of generalisation; (b) the problems of using numbers and quantifying in the analysis; (c) how the concrete situation of the focus groups could be included in the analysis, and (d) what formats can be used when quoting from focus groups. Problems with respect to generalisation are discussed; types of generalisation are presented which can be used in focus group research. Arguments are made against using a primarily quantitative perspective in the evaluation of focus group data. It is argued that the situation of the particular group discussion should be taken into account in the analysis. A scheme for analysis that has been developed by the author is presented. Suggestions are made for the characteristics of the quotations in the analyses. Key Words: Focus Group, Analysis, Methodology, Generalisation, Quantifiability, Quotations, and Context

Theoretical Versus Grass-Roots Development of a Community Partnership (pp. 142-155)
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Socorro Escandón

Abstract: The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine Bracht, Kingbury, and Rissel's five-stage community development model as applied to a grass-roots community action group. The sample consisted of low-income, predominantly Hispanic women in a community action group in a Southwestern barrio, some of whom were experiencing domestic violence. The community group organizer was interviewed, and a content analytic table was constructed. Results showed that the community group's efforts would have benefited from a theoretically organized approach. The window of opportunity continues to be open for community development researchers to offer theoretical assistance to groups that are forming and to those already formed to help them realize their goals. Key Words: Community Development Model, Grass Roots, Community Action, and Hispanic Women

Depression: The differing Narratives of Couples in Couple Therapy (pp. 156-175)
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Eija-Liisa Rautiainen and Jukka Aaltonen

Abstract: How does the spouse of a person with depression take part in constructing narratives of depression in couple therapy? In this study we examined couples' ways of co-constructing narratives of depression in couple therapy. Three couple therapy processes were chosen for the study, one spouse in each couple having been referred to an outpatient clinic for treatment for his/her depression. Four sessions from each systemic couple therapy process (Jones & Asen, 2000) were analyzed using narrative analysis. According to our findings, couples co-constructed narratives of depression, each in their own way. It is crucial to focus not only on the patient's individual narrative of depression, but also on the depressed spouse's narrative as an interactive part of the non-depressed spouse's narrative, and a shared narrative created by the spouses about depression. Key Words: Couple Therapy, Depression, Shared Narratives, and Narrative Analysis

Parents, Teachers and the "Community of Practice" (pp. 176-196)
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Jackie Laluvein

Abstract: Raffo and Gunter (20087) argue that there is insufficient research which has "systematically examined, categorised and synthesised the types of leadership in schools that might assist social inclusion" (p. 397). In this paper I argue that Wenger's concept of a "community of practice", when applied to the parent-teacher relationship, provides a framework for future qualitative research agendas which explore "how social inclusion/exclusion can be defined in terms of access, recognition and meaningful participation issues ('equity')" (Raffo and Gunter, p.397). Key Words: Social Inclusion, the "Community of Practice", Partnership, Participation, Parents and Teachers, and Special Education Needs.

Dialoguing with Body: A Self Study in Relational Pedagogy through Embodiment and the Therapeutic Relationship (pp. 196-214)
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Chantale Lussier-Ley

Abstract: This article emerges from a self-study (Baird, 2004; Bergum, 2003; Grumet, 1990; Ham & Kane, 2004; Kitchen, 2005a, 2005b; Loughran, 2004) conducted as a requirement for a doctoral class at the University of Ottawa in the Faculty of Education. In this study, I reflected on my embodied experiences and the role of the body in my consulting practice in sport and performance psychology with athletes and dancers. Inspired by the work of Chehayl (2006), I engaged in a narrative analysis (Sands, 2002; Sparkes, 2002) of my own emerging autobiographic tale, and actively worked towards re-storying my body through a multi voiced dialogue between various "bodies" at play, both mine and those I interacted with. In light of my own personal experiences, combined with my growing understanding of the philosophy of the flesh (Lakoff & Johnson, 1999) and notions of embodiment in the therapeutic relationship, this study aimed to examine a) how I experienced my body in different domains of daily practice, b) what meaning I derived from these embodied experiences, c) what tensions, congruencies, and divergences existed within my embodied experiences, and d) what implications emerged relating to my consulting practice. Emerging from this self-study is the importance of learning to trust feel, learning to let go, and learning that I/matter. An embodied perspective appears to be an important part of a relational pedagogy and has the potential to facilitate healthy therapeutic relationships when integrated into a reflective, consulting, educational practice. Key Words: Embodiment, Body, Feel, Relational Pedagogy, Therapeutic Relationship, and Self-study

Incorporating Mythic and Interpretive Analysis in the Investigation of Hearing Loss on the Family Farm (pp. 215-231)
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Mark Meister, Theresa Hest, and Ann Burnett

Abstract: Despite knowing about the dangers of hearing loss, farmers typically choose not to protect their hearing. Examining the myth of farm life, this study aims to discern whether rhetorical myths influence farmers' decisions to wear hearing protection. Researchers conducted 40 interviews with farmers regarding farm life and hearing loss. Results suggest that farmers typically do not use hearing protection; their answers reflect the myths of sacrifice and safety. Analysis demonstrates that knowledge of the relationship between myth and practice should impact future attempts to change farmers' behaviors Key Words: Agrarian, Agriculture, Hearing Loss, Informant-directed Interviews, Myth, Risk, Content Analysis, and Critical Interpretive

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