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VOL. 02 | The Malaysia Journal of Qualitative Research

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Preface

 

The 5th international Qualitative Research Convention has been successfully held from 7th to 9th December 2009. The Convention was successful in bringing four experts from the United States. United Kingdom and Australia who shared many current issues in qualitative research. On that note, this second issue is happy to record and share the papers presented by there keynote speakers.

We often come across final reports that merely skim the research surface that does not describe the experiences gained during the field studies. Often times too does the researcher not only use techniques that do not fir the rigor of qualitative research, the researcher himself failing to interpret the research well. Pat Bazely introduces strategies to enrich the analysis of qualitative data.

The second article is, Honouring Context and Complexity in Mixed Methods Social Inquiry. The use of mixed methods is often seen as a middle path that a research will take to avoid criticism linked to 'incomplete field of study'.

As such this method has become more popular with researchers. This then raises issues linked to the quality of the data coming from what is considered a 'quick fix' method. Jenifer Greene offers a few ways that can be given focus when using methods that combine qualitative and quantitative means - honouring the context and complexity of the study to provide "meaningfulness or how people make sense of their actions and interactions with others in particular times and places" (Greee 2007,p28).

    Another article of interest to how "practitioners have something unique and different to offer qualitative research". In qualitative research, the researcher is the main research instrument. Therefore, they play a very important role in determining the orientation as well as the quality of the data collected and reported. However, being "self-as-instrument" brings with too many issues regarding bias as well as the validity of data. Julienne Meyer and her friends share their experiences about processes, issues and challenges they faced when engaged in action research. In their paper, they suggested that practitioners use themselves in ways that are different from other qualitative researchers ...so that they can offer something unique and different to qualitative research.

    Based on two research studies, Green and Bowden add to the offering with their article that contrast pure and developmental phenomenographic research. In their article, you will get a step-by-step guide to plan and implement a developmental phenomenographic study.

     Often when we conduct qualitative research, we will undergo episodes or events that engage our emotions, thinking as well as our experience with regards to the experience of the participants that we are observing. However, in Qualitative Research reporting, we find it difficult to report issues that are linked to self even if these issues are those that we are researching. Caroline Ellis in her article presents autoethnographic stories from her life experience and research. She also discusses the issues that arise in doing intimate and caring ethnography. She also provides suggestions on ways to think and respond to the concern of including our vulnerable selves and connection to others in our report.

     This issue ends with a book review by Moses Samuels. A Case for a Case presents the author's experience in conducting a qualitative case study. In conclusion. We believe that this 2nd issue has managed to combine strong and interesting articles that will enhance our understanding and commitment towards qualitative research both from the theoretical as well as the operational aspects.

 

The Editorial Board

January 2009

 

The Qualitative Research Association Of Malaysia

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