Social Capital and Public Health

Qualitative and Ethnographic Approaches
  • Rob Whitley


Qualitative research is a broad umbrella term encompassing several specific methods and paradigms that rely on the collection, analysis and interpretation of non-statistical data. This is gathered principally through researcher-participant interaction and observation in real life settings (Whitley & Crawford, 2005). Qualitative research generally aims for depth rather than breadth in description and analysis, with researchers becoming closely acquainted with one particular community or study setting. The main methods utilized in qualitative research (either in conjunction or isolation) are interviews, focus groups and (participant) observation. These methods are particularly useful in accessing the lived day-to-day experience of the relevant population, allowing investigators to intimately explore and understand phenomena from a “native” point of view.


Focus Group Social Capital Qualitative Study Qualitative Research Ethnic Identity 
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© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rob Whitley
    • 1
  1. 1.Dartmouth Medical School/Dartmouth Psychiatric Research CenterLebanonUSA

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