Qualitative Research

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Qualitative Research by Mind Map: Qualitative Research

1. Understand the meaning people have constructed about their world and their experiences. How and why an experience affected the participants and what opinions or attitudes resulted

1.1. Ch. 3: How Cultural Values Shape Learning in Older Adulthood: The Case of Malaysia Purpose: To understand the nature of learning among older adults in Malaysia, a non-western culture. Results: Older Malaysian adults tend to learn in a nonformal and communal setting as part of their daily lives and are driven by spiritual and religious concerns.

1.1.1. Religious classes at a local mosque are the only “formal” educational settings attended by participants of the study. (p.47)

1.1.2. Learning is practical and communal. Sisters Grady and Mary watch TV together with other women in a retirement home (p.49). This allows them to learn about each other while conversing away from the men.

1.2. Ch. 4: Spirituality and Emancipatory Adult Education in Women Adult Educators for Social Change Purpose: To explore how personal spirituality affects the work and attitudes of “a multicultural group of feminists or antiracist women emancipatory adult educators.” (p. 65)

1.2.1. Tisdell first does a thorough examination of supporting literature and discovered that “empirical research on how spirituality relates to a commitment to do social justice work is extremely limited.” (p63) Even though Tisdell did not find a great quantity of research for what she herself was studying, she did support her own concepts by drawing parallels to other studies.

1.2.2. Primary purpose: To discover the motivating elements of emancipatory educators as it relates to spirituality and culture. (p. 65) How and why does their cultural background influence both their spirituality and their work as adult emancipatory educators?

2. The researcher is the primary instrument for data collection and analysis. Subjectivity is expected and bias is revealed.

2.1. Ch 3: Main researcher: Sharan B. Merriam, considered an outsider, or foreigner, in the non-western culture of Malaysia.

2.1.1. Merriam was able to observe a lack of a need for privacy among participants of the study. The interviewees “shared their disappointments, hopes, and fears” in front of others (p.59). An older Indian women shared about her preparations for dying in front of her daughter during her interview.

2.2. Curiousity about the foreigner, or “white lady” (p.60) attracted some participants to take part in the study. This prompted Merriam to ask all of the questions during the interviews rather than the other researcher who holds an insider’s position.

2.3. Ch. 4 In this study, the researcher discusses her own similarities to the group under study.

2.3.1. Tisdell describes herself as a woman who grew up in the culture of an organized religion and then “tried to negotiate a more relevant adult spirituality.” (p69) The parallels continue when Tisdell explains that she, like the participants of the study, teaches adults on issues concerning race, class, and gender. Tisdell says that these “issues [her similarity to the study group] were factors that affected the data collection and analysis process.” (p. 69)

2.4. Interviews with the participants was the data collection method. The researcher began the interviews by sharing personal information about herself. “I believe this provided a context for why I was doing this work, helped create a rapport with the participants, and made the interviews a shared conversation in which specific topics were pursued as they arose naturally.” (p. 69)

3. The process is inductive. An analysis is done to form generalization or patterns that may be applied to others in similar situations or circumstances.

3.1. Ch. 3 Several patterns or generalizations emerged about the Malaysian culture from the data collection process.

3.1.1. Harmony is more important than independent thought in the eastern cultural context. Rather than risk leaving anyone out and losing face, interviews include many other participants in addition to the main interviewee. It may include a third-party contact, the village elder, and/or a superior figure. (p.59)

3.1.2. Malaysians tend to be nonconfrontational, sensitive, and indirect (p.60). Some participants may feign illness rather than say no to an interview. Others would become distracted when the interview was nearing the time of one of the daily Muslim prayer calls (p.60).

3.2. Ch. 4 Inductive reasoning begins with specifics and works outward toward generalities. Tisdell found commonality and patterns in the data.

3.2.1. Tisdell discusses three commonalities between the participants in the study: 18 of 19 participants grew up in a household that was involved in organized religion; all participants have experienced marginalization; and the age range of the subjects is between 37 and 69, thus putting their formative years during the civil rights movement era. (p. 70)

3.2.2. In further exploration looking for common thread, Tisdell says, “There were five overlapping themes of spiritual experience that focus on the interconnection of spirituality, culture, and social justice education that emerged from the data.” (also p. 70)

4. Qualitative inquiry is richly descriptive. Data is detailed and full of non-numeric descriptors. Research recounts context, dialog, personal characteristics, and circumstances of the participants

4.1. Ch. 3 Detailed dialog is recorded during interviews, which are the primary source of data in this study (p.45). Description of the context, characteristics, and circumstances are also included.

4.1.1. Description of participants: Devi, a seventy-year-old Indian housewife, learns songs and poetry from a Tamil radio program and picks up the English language from her grandson.

4.1.2. Cultural context: Malaysia emphasizes formally educating the youth. There are no formal programs for senior adults. It is also not culturally acceptable for the elderly to participate in such educational contexts, especially since most do not have enough education to merit the status to receive further education. (p.53)

4.2. Ch. 4 Tisdell used two different data collection methods. The data from interviews and written follow-ups provided Tisdell with a much deeper understanding of the connection between the spirituality, culture, and emancipatory educational practices of the participants.

4.2.1. Personal interviews with participants: These interviews were digitally recorded, and Tisdell offers lengthy quotes from six of the participants concerning each person’s identity defining spiritual event. (pp. 71-76)

4.2.2. Written documents and emails: These were provided after the interviews by the participants and offered additional information on their “involvement in social action pursuits” (p. 70)