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Qualitative Inquiry

  • Pranee Liamputtong
Living reference work entry

Later version available View entry history

Abstract

This chapter discusses the nature of the qualitative inquiry. Qualitative inquiry refers to “a broad approach” that qualitative researchers adopt as a means to examine social circumstances. The inquiry is based on an assumption which posits that people utilize “what they see, hear, and feel” to make sense of social experiences. There are many features that differentiate qualitative inquiry from the quantitative approach. Fundamentally, it is interpretive. The meanings and interpretations of the participants are the essence of qualitative inquiry. Qualitative researchers can be perceived as constructivists who attempt to find answers in the real world. Fundamentally, qualitative researchers look for meanings that people have constructed. Qualitative research is valuable in many ways. It offers researchers to hear silenced voices, to work with marginalized and vulnerable people, to address social justice issues, and to contribute to the person-centered healthcare and the design of clinical trials. The chapter discusses in great depth the distinctiveness of the qualitative inquiry. In particular, it includes the inductive nature of qualitative research, methodological frameworks, purposive sampling technique, saturation concept, qualitative data analysis, and the trustworthiness of a qualitative study.

Keywords

Qualitative inquiry Meaning and interpretation Qualitative researcher Methodological framework Saturation Trustworthiness 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Science and HealthWestern Sydney UniversityPenrith, SydneyAustralia

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