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

Volume 15 Number 3 May 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


A Qualitative Research on Portfolio Keeping in English as a Foreign Language Writing (pp. 475-488)
PDF Full Text

Selami Aydin

Abstract: Little attention has been paid to the problems about portfolio keeping in English as a foreign language (EFL) writing, while the existing literature mostly focuses on the effects of portfolios on writing skills of learners, rather than those of teachers or pre-service teachers. This study aims to investigate the problems encountered and contributions of portfolios to the language skills of EFL pre-service teachers. The sample group consists of 39 pre-service teachers; a background questionnaire, interviews, a survey, and essays were used for data collection. The results indicate that portfolios significantly contribute to the writing skills, and that there exist potential problems. It was concluded that teachers and teacher trainers should use portfolio as a learning tool after solving the problems. Key Words: English as a Foreign Language, Pre-Service Teachers, Writing Skills, and Portfolio

A Meta-Summary of Qualitative Findings about Professional Services for Survivors of Sexual Violence (pp. 489-506)
PDF Full Text

Donna S. Martsolf, Claire B. Draucker, Christina B. Cook, Ratchneewan Ross, Andrea Warner Stidham, and Prudencia Mweemba

Abstract: Sexual violence occurs at alarming rates in children and adults. Survivors experience myriad negative health outcomes and legal problems, which place them in need of professional services. A meta-summary was conducted of 31 published qualitative studies on adults' responses to sexual violence, with a focus on survivors' use of professional services. Combined samples included 46 men, 984 women, and six couples who had experienced sexual violence at any point in their lives. Findings indicated that qualities of professional service providers and outcomes of professional services were perceived either positively or negatively (rather than neutrally) by survivors, regardless of the provider's professional discipline. Professionals who work with sexual violence survivors can use these findings to improve their practices. Key Words: Sexual Violence, Qualitative Meta-Summary, and Professional Services

Protecting my Interests: HRM and Target's Coping with Workplace Bullying (pp. 507-534)
PDF Full Text

Premilla D'Cruz and Ernesto Noronha

Abstract: Based on a study rooted in van Manen's hermeneutic phenomenology, conducted with agents working in international facing call centers in Mumbai and Bangalore, India, this paper describes targets' coping with workplace bullying. Data were gathered through conversational interviews and were subject to sententious and selective thematic analyses. The core theme of "protecting my interests" displayed two prominent features: the presence of stages and the critical role of HRM in influencing multiple facets of the experience. Major themes, organized around these defining characteristics, include experiencing confusion, engaging organizational options, moving inwards and exiting the organization. The findings break new ground in empirically uncovering the organization's etiological role in workplace bullying, apart from reconceptualizing targets' exit coping response. Key Words: Workplace Bullying, Targets, Coping, Human Resource Management, and India

The Ground They Walk On: Photography and Narrative Inquiry (pp. 574-568)
PDF Full Text

Diane Ketelle

Abstract: In this project, the author explores a novel variation on an established social science research method, photo-elicitation. The author photographed eight school principals during a two-year period and asked the principals to respond to the photographs by writing narratives below each. The author uses photography, reflections, and her own memories to construct descriptive narrative snapshots of the eight principals. Further, the author argues that this approach underscores how photographs are both technically and socially constructed and through the use of photo-elicitation new ways of understanding self and others in relation can be explored. Key Words: Key Words: Narrative Inquiry, Photography, and Photo-Elicitation

Teaching Experiences of African American Educators in the Rural South (pp. 568-599)
PDF Full Text

Ellene Polidore, Stacey L. Edmonson, and John R. Slate

Abstract: A scarcity of research exists regarding the voices of African American teachers who taught in the rural South. In this study, we report the life experiences, perceptions, thoughts, and feelings of three female African American educators as they pertain to their experiences teaching before, during, and after desegregation. Three female African American educators who taught before, during, and after desegregation in the same school district in the rural South were interviewed extensively. Data analysis revealed themes that mirrored those themes found in resiliency research. By examining these resilience themes within the context of this study, a model of adult resilience in teaching emerged. Key Words: Resilience, African American, Teachers, and Desegregation

Legislative Decision Making on Education Issues: A Qualitative Study (pp. 600-629)
PDF Full Text

Kathy Canfield-Davis and Sachin Jain

Abstract: The purpose of this descriptive, single case study was to provide knowledge and insight about state education policy-making, specifically, the process by which education-related bills pass through a legislature. This study was also designed to identify factors of influence shaping legislative decision-making as perceived by lawmakers and observers of the legislative process. Sources of evidence included interviews, direct observation, archival records, public records documentation, and tape recordings of committee meetings and Senate floor sessions. Results show that a bill's fate is subject to many planned and unplanned sequential steps, and to a collection of diverse personalities that drive the legislative process. Trust forms the foundation upon which other factors depend including bill sponsors, party leadership, lobbyists, fellow legislators, and constituents. Key Words: Legislative Process, Decision-Making, and Education-Related Bills

Using Wordle as a Supplementary Research Tool (pp. 630-643)
PDF Full Text

Carmel McNaught and Paul Lam

Abstract: A word cloud is a special visualization of text in which the more frequently used words are effectively highlighted by occupying more prominence in the representation. We have used Wordle to produce word-cloud analyses of the spoken and written responses of informants in two research projects. The product demonstrates a fast and visually rich way to enable researchers to have some basic understanding of the data at hand. Word clouds can be a useful tool for preliminary analysis and for validation of previous findings. However, Wordle is an adjunct tool and we do not recommend that this method be used as a stand-alone research tool comparable to traditional content analysis methods. Key Words: Wordle, Research Tool, Word Clouds, and Qualitative Research

Attributes of Spirituality Described by Survivors of Sexual Violence (pp. 644-657)
PDF Full Text

Gregory P. Knapik, Donna S. Martsolf, Claire B. Draucker, and Karen D. Strickland

Abstract: This study focuses on what aspects of attributes of spirituality as defined by Martsolf and Mickley (1998) are most salient for female and male survivors of sexual violence. Content analysis of secondary narrative data, provided by 50 participants in a study of women's and men's responses to sexual violence, was coded to the five attributes of spirituality as defined by Martsolf and Mickley. The attribute aspects of connecting with others in spiritual ways and with God/higher power were particularly significant. The attribute of transcendence was found less important, and the attributes of value, becoming, and meaning were not found important. The Martsolf and Mickley framework helped organize narrative data for a content analysis of spirituality in survivors of sexual violence. Key Words: Attributes, Connecting, Content Analysis, Recovery, Sexual Violence, and Spirituality

A Hockey Night in Canada: An Imagined Conversation between Theorists (pp. 658-674)
PDF Full Text

Curtis Fogel

Abstract: In this paper, various methodological issues surrounding the sociological study of sport are explored. Through an imagined dialogue between two graduate students at a hockey game, this work brings together three divergent approaches to social enquiry: Positivist Grounded Theory, Constructivist Grounded Theory, and Actor-Network Theory. This paper challenges conventional writing on method in two ways: (a) assembling three divergent approaches within a single work, and (b) employing a scripted narrative as a means of exploring methodological issues. Through this innovative approach, many of the overlaps and tensions between these theories/methods are captured. In so doing, numerous methodological questions about the sociological study of sport, as well social science research more generally are raised. Key Words: Grounded Theory, Actor-Network Theory, Sport, Constructivism, and Qualitative Research

Collage Life Story Elicitation Technique: A Representational Technique for Scaffolding Autobiographical Memories (pp. 675-695)
PDF Full Text

Gertina J. Van Schalkwyk

Abstract: A basic premise in narrative therapy and inquiry is that life story telling is a mechanism by which experiences are rendered meaningful within some form of structure. However, narrative inquiry has to take cognisance of difficulties ensuing from discursive practices for different populations when eliciting their life stories. In this article I explicate a unique method, the Collage Life story Elicitation Technique (CLET), geared towards scaffolding life story remembering. Based on the theoretical underpinnings of social constructionism (Gergen, 2000), symbolic interactionism (Berg, 2009) and performative strategies in social science research the CLET provides a mode of expression and narrative performance for positioning the dialogical self. As the individual engages in collage-making and narrating, cognitive, motivational and affective aspects of autobiographical memories emerge while telling her or his life story. Different forms of positioning in the dialogical self and significant attachments to people, objects and life events co-exist in the verbal and non-verbal communications elicited with this technique. As suggested by the pilot study, the CLET provides a structure within which non-English speaking participants could explore multiple forms of positioning in the dialogical self without the restrictions of a verbal interview conversation. Key Words: Dialogical Self, Positioning, Life Story Remembering, Autobiographical Memories, Narrative Performance, Representation Strategies, and Scaffolding

Innovative Data Collection Strategies in Qualitative Research (pp. 696-726)
PDF Full Text

Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie, Nancy L. Leech, and Kathleen M. T. Collins

Abstract: This article provides an innovative meta-framework comprising strategies designed to guide qualitative data collection in the 21st century. We present a meta-framework comprising strategies for collecting data from interviews, focus groups, observations, and documents/material culture. We present a template for collecting nonverbal data during interviews and discuss the concept of debriefing the interviewer. We identify types of data that can be collected in focus groups in addition to the actual statements made by the participants and provide templates for categorizing these data. Also, we outline the role that social networking websites can play in focus group interviews. Further, we provide models for observations that include photographs and videos. Finally, we outline ways of accessing and collating documents/material culture that can be used for document analyses. Key Words: Qualitative Research, Qualitative Data Collection, Debriefing, Interviews, Focus Groups, Observations, Nonverbal Data, Documents, Material Culture, and Computer-Mediated Communication


Using Millie Thayer's Making Transnational Feminism to Connect Transnational Feminist Theories to Transnational Feminist Practices (pp. 727-730)
PDF Full Text

Camille Sutton-Brown

Abstract: I review Millie Thayer's 2010 book, Making Transnational Feminism, from a methodological standpoint to discuss its ability to effectively connect transnational feminist theories with transnational activist practices. Transnational feminism is at once a theoretical and practical model, consisting of an intricate, yet complex, web of small entities that work with and for one another to address related concerns. Thayer illuminates the processes that are involved in creating and sustaining these transnational feminist networks in the attempt to deconstruct the complex social relations and power dynamics that operate within the current structures of globalization. I purport that Making Transnational Feminism is an appropriate and useful text for academics, students, practitioners, feminists, and any individual who is interested in transnational social movements. Key Words: Transnational, Feminism, Ethnography, Cross-Cultural Research, and Methodology

Review of Three Qualitative Studies of Family Presence During Resuscitation (pp. 731-736)
PDF Full Text

Bonnie Schmidt

Abstract: Despite recommendations to allow family presence during resuscitation, mixed attitudes and practices persist in clinical practice today. The findings of three recent qualitative research studies are presented in this review. These phenomenological studies explore the lived experience of family presence from different perspectives. Miller and Stiles (2009) describe the experiences of hospital nurses, Maxton (2008) focuses on parental perceptions, and Mcmahon-Parkes, Moule, Benger, and Albarran (2009) study the attitudes and beliefs of patients themselves. This article presents an analysis of these study findings and overall conclusions related to family presence during resuscitation. Key Words: Family Presence, Parental Presence, Resuscitation, Family-Witnessed Resuscitation, Nurses, and Qualitative Research

A Guide to Conducting Ethnographic Research: A Review of Ethnography: Step-by-Step (3rd ed.) by David M. Fetterman (pp. 737-739)
PDF Full Text

Maribel Del Rio-Roberts

Abstract: Ethnography: Step-by-Step (3rd ed.) is a book that introduces novice researchers to the practice of ethnographic research. It provides an overview of ethnography, a discussion of methods and techniques utilized in the field, a guide to the use of ethnographic equipment, and basic tenets of the process of analyzing data. In addition, it provides important strategies for writing up the results and a valuable discussion of ethics. Key Words: Ethnography and Qualitative Research

Art as Inquiry: A Book Review of Being with A/r/tography (pp. 740-745)
PDF Full Text

Nicole Manry Pourchier

Abstract: In this essay, the edited anthology, Being with A/r/tography (Springgay, Irwin, Leggo, & Gouzouasis, 2008) is reviewed in regard to its relevance to visual arts research. Art is presented as a method of inquiry as theory, dialogue, and a/r/tographic works are shared within a community of practicing arts-based researchers. This text offers insight into the possibilities of the arts as active and perceptive modes of inquiry. Key Words: Visual Arts, Qualitative Research, and Inquiry

From "Clueless" to "Completed": A Review of The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project (pp. 746-749)
PDF Full Text

Angela Yehl

Abstract: O'Leary (2010) has written her book for the student; however, she delves beyond the "how to" of most introductory research texts. The author works to ground students in the theoretical and foundational aspects of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research, in addition to providing "real world" advice and common scenarios often encountered in the field. From determining an appropriate sample size to navigating political processes in evaluative research, O'Leary stays grounded in the practical, often re-emphasizing the importance of "doability" in planning and conducting any type of research. Key Words: Research Project, Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods

Creative Possibilities and Responsibilities: A Review of Maria J. Mayan's Essentials of Qualitative Inquiry (pp. 750-753)
PDF Full Text

Jacquelyn Browne

Abstract: In her book, Essentials of Qualitative Inquiry (2009), Maria J. Mayan has provided a highly readable text. Using examples, tables, charts, plus exercises at the end of each chapter, a student new to the field, or an instructor looking for a useful text will find a good companion in this book. In addition to her thorough teaching, Maria Mayan uses humor, humility, and transparency to convey her deep moral and philosophical commitment to scientific rigor, as well as a deep sensitivity to honoring the stories researchers strive to tell about the human condition. Key Words: Qualitative Research, Qualitative Research Manual, and Ethics

How To Collect Data Essays

Qualitative Interview Design: A Practical Guide for Novice Investigators (pp. 754-760)
PDF Full Text

Daniel W. Turner, III

Abstract: Qualitative research design can be complicated depending upon the level of experience a researcher may have with a particular type of methodology. As researchers, many aspire to grow and expand their knowledge and experiences with qualitative design in order to better utilize diversified research paradigms for future investigations. One of the more popular areas of interest in qualitative research design is that of the interview protocol. Interviews provide in-depth information pertaining to participants' experiences and viewpoints of a particular topic. Often times, interviews are coupled with other forms of data collection in order to provide the researcher with a well-rounded collection of information for analyses. This paper explores the effective ways to conduct in-depth, qualitative interviews for novice investigators by employing a step-by-step process for implementation. Key Words: Informal Conversational Interview, General Interview Guide, and Open-Ended Interviews

Conducting An Online Focus Group (pp. 761-765)
PDF Full Text

Jeanine Stancanelli

Abstract: Traditionally, focus groups have been conducted in person using the face-to-face format. However, improvements in technology have resulted in the emergence of the online focus groups. Online focus groups are an extension of traditional focus groups, which have been utilized in qualitative research for decades and, for the most part, the principles are consistent with traditional focus groups. Learning to conduct online focus groups requires the researcher to delve into the literature on traditional focus groups, as having a thorough understanding of traditional focus groups is paramount. After gaining a sufficient understanding of traditional focus groups, the researcher can explore journal articles and video clips addressing the nuances of online focus groups. Key Words: Qualitative Research, Focus Group, Online Focus Group, and Traditional Face-to-Face Focus Groups

Click here to get Adobe Acrobat Reader

Return to Table of Contents

Return to the TQR Home Page