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

Volume 16 Number 5 September 2011
    Ronald J. Chenail, Ph.D., Sally St. George, Ph.D., Dan Wulff, Ph.D., Maureen Duffy, Ph.D.,
Laurie L. Charles, Ph.D., Karen Wilson Scott, Ph.D., and Robin Cooper, Ph.D., Editors
Laura Patron, Managing Editor | Adam Rosenthal, TQR Community Coordinator

ISSN 1052-0147

Table of Contents


Exploring Iranian Women's Perceptions Regarding Control and Prevention of Breast Cancer (pp. 1214-1229)
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Eileen Thomas, Socorro Escandon, Minoor Lamyian, Fazlolah Ahmadi, Sam Mohammad Setoode, and Shokoofe Golkho

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to explore Iranian women's perceptions, behaviors, and beliefs related to breast cancer screening, breast cancer, and follow up care. A qualitative descriptive inquiry with both individual and focus group interviews was conducted in Tehran with 31 Farsi-speaking women, age 35 to 65 years of age. A constant comparison method of analysis assisted the researchers in gaining an understanding of factors that influence Iranian women's perceptions regarding the control and prevention of breast cancer. Findings suggest that insufficient knowledge regarding breast cancer and breast cancer screening is a significant factor among this population. Breast cancer programs are needed in Iran that address women's religious beliefs and spiritual needs. Key Words: Breast Cancer, Screening, Iranian Women, Qualitative Research, Constant Comparison Analysis

Winning the PhD Game: Evocative Playing of Snakes and Ladders (pp. 1230-1244)
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Carolyn Dickie

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to describe a qualitative approach to developing an understanding of the lived experiences of PhD students. Rather than relying on textbook reports and theories about studying a higher degree by research, by allowing the students' voices to be heard, explicit and conscious research can be used to generate appropriate responses to the needs of students as they progress through the PhD process. Thematic analysis focuses on identified themes and patterns of research-learner behaviours. Key Words: Higher Degrees by Research, Post-Graduate Studies, Qualitative Research Methodology, Thematic Analysis

A Tool in the Kit: Uses of Bullshitting among Millennial Workers (pp. 1245-1269)
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Daniel D. Martin and Janelle L. Wilson

Abstract: This study explores the nature, use, and social organization of one form of communicative action that is common in everyday life -- "bullshitting." We use this form of communication to assess the ways in which dimensions of community, power and status are created in interaction. Abiding by the canons of ethnographic content analysis, we gathered data from over one hundred student respondents to ascertain the behaviors, utterances, and stories that people define as "bullshitting." The study finds that members of the "millennial generation" hone skills both in the telling and detection of this form of communication as they participate in a variety of contexts, including school, work, and interpersonal relationships. Special attention is given to the ways in which bullshitting is used as a cultural resource for agentive action. Dramaturgical and organizational theories are drawn upon in theorizing the data. Key Words: Ingratiation, Organizational Culture, Injustice Frame, Self-Presentation, Ethnographic Content Analysis

School Counselor and School Psychologist Perceptions of Accountability Policy: Lessons from Virginia (pp. 1270-1290)
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Ryan Richard Ruff

Abstract: This paper is concerned with the professional efficacy of school counselors and school psychologists that operate under the umbrella of accountability reforms. Research questions addressed counselor and psychologist job roles and responsibilities, as well as their personal perspectives on the impact of accountability reforms on both the classroom context and student socio-emotional development. Interviews were conducted with counselors and psychologists of varying professional experience and school level, with analysis following analytic induction. Results indicate that the efficacy of student support personnel has been negatively impacted by accountability reforms, but schools that maintain a positive culture dedicated to excellence minimize that effect. Additionally, results highlight the unanticipated consequences of accountability on the teacher, student, and counselor/psychologist relationship and emphasize the need to cultivate a nurturing socio-emotional environment for students. Key Words: Accountability, Socio-Emotional Health, School Counselor, School Psychologist, No Child Left Behind, Qualitative Interviewing.

Participatory and Action-Oriented Dissertations: The Challenges and Importance of Community-Engaged Graduate Research (pp. 1291-1303)
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Emily van der Meulen

Abstract: Graduate students commonly experience isolation and estrangement when conducting their final research projects, which can contribute to difficulties in completion. A creative and socially beneficial way to offset academic isolation is for graduate students to engage in participatory and action-oriented research projects with local communities. Facilitating a research study with a local partner can be a richly rewarding experience. This article argues that students who enjoy working in collaborative environments and want their final research projects to lead to beneficial social change can find fulfillment in action research (AR) methodologies. Critiqued by some for its lack of tangible and practical methods and its over-reliance on ideology, others, including the author, argue that the benefits of participatory research far outweigh the challenges.Key Words: Action Research; Participatory Research; Community-Engaged Research; Graduate Student; Dissertation.

Promise and Possibility for Aspiring Principals: An Emerging Leadership Identity through Learning to Do Action Research (pp. 1304-1329)
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Stella C. Batagiannis

Abstract: This case study explored the promise and possibility of doing action research both for aspiring principals engaged in such research and for professors using it as pedagogy for teaching educational leadership. The study of a class of graduate students aspiring to be principals had a constructivist theoretical framework. The research design consisted of three tiers: tier one: a reflective self-study by the professor evaluating the pedagogy of developing action research team projects; tier two: an analysis of the self-evaluations of the aspiring principals on the pedagogy of developing action research team projects and its effect on their learning; and tier three: the perceived deep learning resulting from the action research topics. The study concluded that for aspiring principals, learning to do action research in teams has the potential for powerful impact on emerging leadership identity; on the focus on deep issues and first steps in transformational leadership; and on individual and mutual reflection and the development of professional learning communities. For university professors, action research melds theory and practice and is effective pedagogy for teaching leadership. Key Words:Action Research; Pedagogy in Higher Education; Team Projects; Educational Leadership; Transformational Leadership, Constructivism.

Stigmatization of Overweight Patients by Nurses (pp. 1330-1351)
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Eileen Creel and Ken Tillman

Abstract: The focus of this research study was the exploration of the phenomenon of stigmatization of obese persons by nurses. The philosophical tradition of Phenomenology based on Heidegger's view of the person guided the researchers in uncovering the meaning of stigmatization for eight chronically ill individuals with a body mass index greater than 30. Stigmatization by nurses for this group of medically obese women meant being exposed to unintentional harm, presuppositions, and reluctant care. Perceptions of stigma were manifested in shame, marginalization, and anxiety in seeking health care. Nursing care could advance positive outcomes when including non-discriminatory care related to weight in the total care needs identified for obese patients. Key Words:Obesity, Stigma, Nursing Chronic illness, Phenomenology.

Conversations on Method: Deconstructing Policy through the Researcher Reflective Journal (pp. 1352-1360)
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Ruth C. Slotnick and Valerie J. Janesick

Abstract: In this article the authors argue that the researcher reflective journal is a critical interpretive tool for conducting educational policy analysis. The idea for this research grew from the experiences of a doctoral candidate (Ruth) in pursuit of a policy focused dissertation and a series of on-going conversations with her qualitative methodologist (Valerie). The structure of the paper takes a dialogue form on the topic of policy analysis and the various uses of the journal, including found data poetry and photographic representations of the self as a research instrument, which may expand the findings and increase options for data presentation. Sections of the paper include a discussion on journal writing as a creative process, the reflective role of the researcher when examining policies, and the challenges of constructing a well-designed methodological framework.Key Words: Researcher Reflective Journal, Alternative Policy Analysis, Qualitative Methods.

Till Death Do Us Part: Lived Experiences of HIV-Positive Married African American Women (pp. 1361-1379)
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Lorece V. Edwards, Shalon M. Irving, and Anita S. Hawkins

Abstract: HIV/AIDS disease continues to be an escalating health problem, particularly among women. However, African American women are among the leading demographic groups for HIV prevalence in the United States. The typical woman with HIV/AIDS is young, in her late twenties, economically challenged, and of childbearing age. Participants were recruited from an HIV/AIDS outpatient clinic to explore their perceptions of social support, life experiences and marriage. Data were collected through tape-recorded interviews using a semi-structured guide and journaling. Participants reported that most of their time was spent providing care for their husbands who were HIV-positive. Very often their health and well-being were compromised by providing care to others. Participants reported a lack of social support and challenges managing their self-care. Key Words:Marriage, HIV/AIDS Medication Adherence, Perceived Social Support, Qualitative Study, African-American Women.

The Unfocused Focus Group: Benefit or Bane? (pp. 1380-1388)
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Nancy K. Franz

Abstract: Facilitating successful focus groups requires both science and art. One element that can fully challenge focus group facilitators includes how to handle the unfocused focus group. This article describes "unfocus" and the benefits and disadvantages of unfocus in focus groups. Lessons learned from and approaches taken on this journey are shared to enhance focus group facilitation best practices. Key Words:Focus Groups, Facilitation, Group Process, Context, Unfocus.

A Definition of Gender Role Conflict among Black Professional Fathers (pp. 1389-1406)
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Ora Robinson

Abstract: There is very little literature that depicts the parental role of Black professional fathers positively or that samples Black participants from the upper economic strata. The purpose of this study is to gain insight into how Black professional fathers experience or perceive gender role conflict and identify clinical implications. Grounded in phenomenological methodology and gender role conflict theory, the framework is based on gender role devaluations, gender role restrictions, and gender role violations (O'Neil, Good, & Holmes, 1995). The emerging experiences found in this project were (a) a conflict between the Black and White races and (b) conflict with parental role expectations. Key Words:Gender Role Conflict, Parental Role Conflict, Role Theory, Horizontal Abuse, Phenomenology.

Evolutionary Theory of Mate Selection and Partners of Trans People: A Qualitative Study Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (pp. 1407-1434)
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Amanda Forde

Abstract: Despite much research into mate selection, non-heterosexual populations are often only included for comparison purposes, while trans people and their partners are overlooked. This study attempts to address this using qualitative methodology to explore the mate selection of the partners of trans people. Six participants were recruited from online communities and interviewed via instant messaging, the results were then analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The author organised the results into four themes. Theme one: Identities/relationships which defy categorisation, Theme Two: Attractive traits and mate selection, Theme Three: Impact of past romantic relationships, other relationships and life changes and Theme Four: The self as a source of strength. These results challenge the traditional conclusions of mate selection studies, emphasising the need for more qualitative research. Key Words:Mate Selection, Evolutionary Psychology, Sexual Identity, Transgender, Relationships, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.

How-To Essay

Mind the Gap: Unexpected Pitfalls in Doing Classroom Research (pp. 1435-1447)
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Amanda A. Baker and Joseph J. Lee

Abstract: Inherent in classroom research are the inevitable, and often unanticipated, challenges experienced by researchers. This article moves beyond the main issues highlighted in the literature and identifies some of the problems the authors encountered when conducting two common methodological procedures, classroom observations and stimulated recall interviews (SRIs), as part of our dissertation research investigations. The paper first surveys what the literature describes as the main areas of concern with these two procedures. It then pulls away from these resources to explore actual difficulties we experienced that we believe are inadequately addressed in the literature. Using illustrations from our dissertation projects, we examined several recurring challenges we faced, including participant discomfort with specific types of SRI questions and different forms of participant-researcher interaction during non-participatory classroom observations. For each of these problems, we provide a series of recommendations for researchers who plan to use similar methodological protocols in classroom research. Key Words: Classroom Research, Classroom Observation, Stimulated Recall, Qualitative Research.

Book Reviews

Induction, Deduction, and Cyclical Movement: A Review of Qualitative Research Methods (pp. 1448-1451)
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Christine L. Patton

Abstract: In Qualitative Research Methods, Hennink, Hutter, and Bailey (2011) offer readers an overview of every phase of qualitative research from formulating research questions, to participant recruitment, to writing and presenting results. In each of these phases, the authors push readers to continuously move between induction and deduction and embrace the cyclical nature of the qualitative research process. Key Words: Qualitative Research, Research Cycle, Public Health.

Qualitative Research from Start to Finish: A Book Review (pp. 1452-1455)
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Linnea L. Rademaker

Abstract: I reviewed Yin's (2011) recent publication entitled Qualitative Research from Start to Finish, with a particular eye to the benefits for the seasoned researcher, as well as significant aspects that are appropriate for the beginning and intermediate graduate student. A unique element of the book is the inclusion of a discussion of worldviews at the end of the book. Additionally, the adaptive focus of the book might be helpful for both novice and seasoned researchers. Key Words: Qualitative Research, Adaptive, Emergent Designs, Doctoral Students.

Exercising the Mind: A Review of Stretching Exercises for Qualitative Researchers (pp. 1456-1460)
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Kristen Chorba

Abstract: In this third version of Stretching Exercises for Qualitative Researchers, Janesick (2011) continues to refine and expand upon ways in which qualitative researchers-both new to the field and experienced-can extend and hone a number of skills essential to being an effective researcher. This book will be helpful to those wishing to learn more about and practice the art of qualitative research. Janesick combines valuable information and practical exercises in this text, which will assist in the development of skills essential to qualitative research, including interviewing, observing, journaling, narrating, analyzing, interpreting, and collaborating. This new edition includes a discussion on using technology in qualitative research and interviewing, new exercises, and additional discussion on data analysis and interpretation. Key Words: Qualitative Research, Dewey, Photography, Creativity, Stretching, Observation.

Case Closed: An Earnest Review of Ganon's Case Study as Research Method (pp. 1461-1464)
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Brian T. Gearity

Abstract: Gagnon's (2011) text is the most recent contribution to the growing corpus of knowledge on case study research. As a whole, the text contains all of the typical parts one would expect in an introductory text on case study research. The text begins with a brief discussion of paradigms and epistemologies and then gives way to issues of reliability and validity. Next, the reader is taken through a "step-by-step" approach to case study research with chapters on data collection, analysis, interpretation and writing reports. Drawing upon his own experiences using case study method, Gagnon identifies enduring concerns and provides several practical tips for the novice researcher. However, the text could be improved by a clear definition of case study and a lucid explanation of the relationship between methodologies and methods Key Words:Case Study, Method, Management, Qualitative Research, Constructivist.

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