Essay - A Critical Evaluation of the Merits and Shortcomings of Qualitative...

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A Critical Evaluation of the Merits and Shortcomings of Qualitative and Quantitative Research Techniques and Procedures


***** mankind was faced with at least one of the same problems confronting modern social researchers: selecting the right tool for the ***** job. In fact, there is a vast array of methodologies available for virtually any type of research project today, but some ***** these will clearly be superior to others. One of the first decisions a researcher ***** ***** required ***** make in determ*****ing which approach is best suited for a given project, though, involves the dec*****ion as to whether to use a qu*****litative or quantitative analytical approach. Both of these techniques have some attributes that make them appropriate f***** certain research applications, and in some cases researchers even use them both to maximize their return on ***** research resources. Nevertheless, in m***** *****, a qu*****litative or quantitative analysis is the perfect fit f***** a given research topic, but knowing ***** difference in the ***** is required, as well as when they should be use separately or in co*****binati***** with each other or another research methodology. To this end, this paper provides a critic*****l evaluation of the merits and sh*****tcomings of qualitative and quantitative ***** techniques ***** procedures, followed by a summ*****ry ***** ***** research and salient findings in the conclusion.

Review and Discussion

***** and Overview.

There has been a good deal of attention paid to research and those who conduct it in recent years, but the debate over qual*****ative versus quantitative research techniques is certainly not new. ***** this regard, Goodson and Phillimore emphasize that, "The quantitative versus qualitative debate has a long history in ***** science research" (p. 42). To some extent, the debate over the superiority of qualitative versus quantitative research relates to how ***** various ***** of each technique are perceived by its adherents, and how the weaknesses and constra*****ts of ***** are viewed by its critics. In ***** regard, Crowley (1994) reports that, "Some researchers argue that qualitative research is unscientific and that quantitative methods remain the methods of choice for serious-minded, social-***** *****. These *****ers deny the value of any method that departs from traditional quantitative methodologies. For others, only qualitative methods yield data of interest and worth. Though this debate seems to be waning in ***** years, remnants of it rema*****" (1994, p. 65). Likewise, Benz and Newman (1998) maintain that the attri*****es of one research methodology may ***** preferable to researchers ***** purely subjective reasons: "The debate between qualitative ***** ***** researchers is based upon the differences in assumptions about what reality is and whe*****r or not it is measurable. ***** debate further rests on differences of op*****ion about how we can best underst***** what we 'know,' whether through objective or subjective *****" (p. 2).

***** lengthy his*****ry of controversy ***** added some fuel to the current fires over ***** research technique is superior and why, especially during a period in history where so much information has now become available for analysis


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