Doing Qualitative Community Research: Lessons For Faculty, Students And Communities

Indexed in: Scopus, EBSCO

This text describes important considerations for conceptualizing, designing and carrying out qualitative research in community settings. The book covers various research aspects with respect to ...
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Challenges to Qualitative Community Research

Pp. 167-171 (5)

Ernest Quimby


Qualitative research has much to offer, not just as an adjunct to quantitative or mixed methods, but as a leader in particular studies. QCR’s role and applicability partly depend on recognition of its conceptual and methodological challenges. The field could benefit from consistent and rigorous self-inquiry. More conceptual and methodological rigor is needed. Among the conceptual challenges are the following: non-consensus on what constitutes core principles of qualitative inquiry; overreliance on quantified approaches; tendency to see qualitative research as an illuminating supplement, rather than a potential stand-alone contributor; and resistance to mixed models of research. Among methodological challenges are: non-understanding of scientific basis and methods of ethnography and other qualitative research approaches; problems in analyzing, interpreting and integrating subjective data; and difficulties in achieving validity, reliability and generalizability. Grappling with these challenges is aided by vigilance in linking a project’s conceptualization, aims, questions and methods. QCR’s challenges and resolutions occur within theoretical, methodological and analytical frameworks.


General, Conceptual and Methodological Challenges, Grappling with Challenges.


Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Howard University, Washington, D.C.