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

Social Justice and Qualitative Community Research

Author(s): Ernest Quimby

Pp: 161-166 (6)

Doi: 10.2174/978160805258511201010161

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Research, pedagogy, instruction, learning and practice are not neutral endeavors. Values neutrality is insisted by some; others regard it as unachievable. Both positions are concerned about the role of values in QCR. Ethics and values are embedded and revealed through qualitative processes of cognition, reflection, interpretation and construction of knowledge. These are fundamental for conceptual and methodological issues of representation and voice. Qualitative research is a science, not an ideology. However, eliminating social inequities, reducing disparities and achieving social justice are goals of some researchers, educators, policy-makers, practitioners and everyday people. Qualitative advocacy research necessitates consideration of one’s stance and methods. Research perspectives may reinforce or challenge inequitable power relations, social structures, cultural assumptions, values, norms and behaviors. Different groups have different views about the meanings and uses of research. These are researchable issues. Advocacy research is characterized by a collaborative approach that affirms and confirms the value of insights by participants and researchers. Data are collected and analyzed through multiple sources and methods. Value is placed on participants’ and researchers’ cognitive frameworks, experiences, cultures, discourses, meaning-making, reflecting, and related ways of shaping and expressing their realities. The participants’ community is also considered a validator of the credibility, authenticity and reliability of the findings, not just the researcher’s scientific community.

Keywords: Values Neutrality, Stance and Methods, Critical Issues.

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