One of my last assignments in my Graduate Certificate was to write an essay defending qualitative research to people who are unfamiliar with it.
While I appreciate the reality of the educational system in asking us to do this, I realised my thoughts can be summed up in much less space than an essay:
- A good researcher will use any methodology that is appropriate.
- Of course, questions of inductive vs deductive will influence this, but I view them (and other variables) as appropriate filters, rather than guiding ideals.
What kind of ended up bugging me about this topic as I wrote is was the “defending” qualitative research.
My thoughts ran in a pattern a bit like this: “are you telling me that a professional researcher can’t research enough to know that there are other reliable methods of research?”
I know this may be over simplistic as it ignores academic disciplinary norms (let alone my own bias towards qualitative research) but even so, at the heart of a good researcher should be inquiry, not methodology.
How do you feel about “defending” qualitative research?