What are the main types of qualitative approaches to research?
While there are many different investigations that can be done,a studywith a qualitative approach generally can be described with the characteristics of one of the following three types:
Historical researchdescribes past events, problems, issues and facts. Data are gathered from written or oral descriptions of past events, artifacts, etc. It describes what was in an attempt to recreate the past. It is different from a report in that it involves interpretation of events and its influence on the present. It answers the question: What was the situation?
Examples of Historical Research:
Ethnographic researchdevelops in-depth analytical descriptions of current systems, processes, and phenomena and/or understandings of the shared beliefs and practices of a particular group or culture. This type of design collects extensive narrative data (non-numerical data) based on many variables over an extended period of time in a natural setting within a specific context. The background, development, current conditions, and environmental interaction of one or more individuals, groups, communities, businesses or institutions is observed, recorded, and analyzed for patterns in relation to internal and external influences. It is a complete description of present phenomena.
One specific form of ethnographic research is called acase study. It is a detailed examination of a single group, individual, situation, or site.
Ameta-analysisis another specific form. It is a statistical method which accumulates experimental and correlational results across independent studies. It is an analysis of analyses.
Examples of Ethnographic Research:
Narrative researchfocuses on studying a single person and gathering data through the collection of stories that are used to construct a narrative about the individuals experience and the meanings he/she attributes to them.
Examples of Narrative Research: