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


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

Review and Discussion

Background ***** Overview.

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

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


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