Qualitative research reflects the multiple ways researcher’s collect data and explore information through literature review. Participant’s review is often observed for analysis while “the role of the researcher focuses as the primary data collection instrument necessitates the identification of personal values, assumptions and biases at the outset of the study; Qualitative researchers ask at least one central question” (Creswell, 2014), which can be explored in several contexts with further questions. According to the text Research Design (2014), “the researcher’s role is typically involved in a sustained and intensive experience with participants. This introduces a range of strategic, ethical, and personal issues into the qualitative research process” (p.187).
The one of a kind issues that researchers ought to be worried about with respect to their part in researching can be an aspect of cultural anthropology which normal setting, “where human conduct and events occur, providing social order, structure and stability for individuals and groups of people” (Creswell, 2014, p 189. Ethical considerations should always be a priority and of high importance. According to McMurphy (2013) “Recognizing that responsibility for ethical research is a shared goal of both researchers and REB/IRBs, improved collaboration and constructive interaction can assist in understanding each other’s perspective and work towards the development of mutual trust and respect.”
This is particularly a test in ethnographical research because it remarkable aids in data analysis and interpretation however “it is considered obtrusive because a participant observation invades the life of the informant” (Creswell, 2014, p. 208), it is crucial to obtain written consent to protect the informant’s rights. The challenge is to combine participation and observation to better understand the experience as an insider, other challenges can be situational responsiveness and sensitivity to acquire more accurate data. The goal is to share the human experience and gather the required data needed without causing the informant to feel displaced and taken advantage off.
The actions researchers can make to guarantee they hold their moral and impartial position in performing qualitative research and revealing their qualitative research results can begin with a written permission note from the informant, legally consenting to obtain accurate information needed for the case study. Include statements about past experiences to help the reader understand the connection between the researchers and the study, and know what the limitations are. While information can be gathered from interviews, documents, and observations the informant should be reminded that they can leave the settings at any given time and are not forced to give any information against their will.
Researchers can be considerate and understand that “not all people are equally articulated and perceived; some information may be protected and unavailable to public or private access” (Creswell, 2014, p. 208), or perhaps have an adult present if the observations involve a minor; know the extent of the questions before asking. Recording information can prove usefulness to re-examine work if needed (keep a journal). Ask open-ended questions and take field notes and if necessary use audio and visual materials to make the process transition easier.
Regarding Alice Goffman’s recent ethnographical work in inner-city Philadelphia (2009), it is believed that Goffman maintained an ethical and neutral stance. The qualitative research/data was conducted by survey data, field experiments, and interviews. Similar to what researchers do today to acquire information. Six years of fieldwork is sufficient, although the case study primarily focuses on Black neighborhoods it pertains to the social injustices and how punishment is dealt with by the law. But from the information gathered much has changed since the 1980’s. Although the data already exists, Goffman’s article states that “Urban ethnographers described the distrust that Black people often felt towards the police and one another” (Goffman, 2009, p. 14) – Ethical considerations are observed, allowing the participant to freely express their views on the selected study.
Based on Goffman’s work, the information that was gained by performing a qualitative ethnography into the social problems of inner-city Philadelphia, “the research literature relied on statistical data, interviews and field experiments” (Goffman, 2009), the data relates to the poor communities that rely on the justice system and the lengths of how Black communities struggled, before the 1990’s it was “abandoned by law enforcement” (Goffman, 2009, p. 3). The information attained from the article appears to be an inductive and deductive data analysis because the researcher builds patterns describing the common means thereof the lack of law enforcement because the community is described as “ghetto”. Goffman conducted face to face and phone interviews and relied on her observations and documents to determine the final outcome.
Based on the information provided, this could have been possible with a quantitative research study as well because quantitative data is stored in numbers such as survey questions and as previously quoted by Goffman (2009) “the research literature relied on statistical data, interviews and field experiments” (Goffman, 2009), “Qualitative research is based on assumptions that differ from quantitative designs” (Creswell, 2014). However the interaction among the people in the article are more than numbers, understanding people on a human level and their ethical aspects on life are all taken into consideration. Goffman relied primarily on her observations, although there is a note about the men’s age and felid experiments, the data is slightly sufficient to fall under quantitative research study because it is more of a calculated observation. Quantitative research leans towards “a numeric description of trends, attitudes, or opinions of a population by studying a sample of that population” (Creswell, 2014, p.155).
With respect to qualitative research and specifically ethnographic research in supporting basic leadership and the making of open policy, it has been determined that various tactics are employed to analyze the underlying cause of the problem. According to Goffman’s (2009) article, Black communities distant themselves from authorities; the idea is to learn from their past experiences and interpret new ones to help create a better environment. Using the qualitative research guidelines, and focusing on past historical, social and cultural experiences it can possibly shape interpretations drawn from the case study. Going out into the field and talking or observing people amongst their cultural phenomena perhaps is the best way to gather and analyze ethnographic data. According to researchers (Close, Suther, Foster, El-Amin & Battle, 2013) “The purpose of ethnographic research allows for the study to explore community awareness and perceptions among Blacks.”