Selected Methodological Issues
Pp. 172-179 (8)
This chapter highlights particular qualitative methodological issues. An outline of grounded
theory, a major analytical approach, is presented. It involves refinement and confirmation of themes.
Transcription coding schemes are essential for analyzing discourse and interviews. Analysis can be
done manually or by qualitative software. Through constant comparisons of information from within
each category, codes can be collapsed into manageable categories. Inter-rater reliability is important.
Software can run descriptive analyses of coded data, based on a list of codes entered into the program.
Emergent general patterns within and across domains or categories can be formulated. Social science
and pedagogical theory are foundations of ethnography. Qualitative community-based research has the
potential to uncover the meanings of concepts, how they are constructed and displayed, and the effects
of definitions and constructs. Socio-cultural research methodologies, qualitative research and
ethnography specifically center on the intersection of social, cultural and individual factors as mediators
in people’s lives. Institutional settings, classroom learning environments and community settings offer
opportunities for exploration and initiation into qualitative research reasoning, conceptualization and
methodologies. Instructional goals affect skills development and influence how students and faculty
think about research. Thinking about research in general and reflecting on QCR in particular are
essential for the intent, design, methodology and use of a research project. Central issues for QCR are
the identification and application of its organizing principles. Several implications can be noted.
Research requires conceptualization, not just design and methodology. Rigor is necessary. Qualitative
research training and emulation are needed.
Grounded Theory Analysis, Theory and Practice, Qualitative Community Research
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Howard University, Washington, D.C.