Clive Seale. Quality in Qualitative Research

Clive Seale. Quality in Qualitative Research. Qualitative Inquiry, Volume 5 Number 4, 1999 465-478
© 1999 Sage Publications, Inc.

A variety of conceptions of qualitative research exist, with competing claims as to what counts as good quality work. Rather than opting for the criteria promoted by one variety, “paradigm,” “moment,” or school within qualitative research, practicing researchers can learn valuable lessons from each one. This is because social research is a craft skill, relatively autonomous from the need to resolve philosophical disputes. At the same time, methodological awareness is a valuable mental resource in research studies. It can be acquired by exposure to almost any intelligent methodological discussion, whether from positivist, naturalistic, constructivist, or postmodern paradigms, as well as from careful consideration of research studies done by others. Particular techniques developed originally to fulfill the requirements of particular paradigms can often be used for other purposes and from within other paradigms if need be. This is illustrated in a case study of triangulation.

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