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 v*****st array ***** 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 ***** be required to make in determining which approach is *****st suited for a given *****, though, involves the decision as ***** whether to use a qualitative or quantitative analytical approach. Both of these techniques have some attri*****es that make them appropriate f***** certain research applications, and in some cases researchers even use them both ***** maximize their return on ***** research resources. Nevertheless, in m***** *****, a qu*****litative or quantitative analysis is the perfect fit for a given rese*****rch topic, but knowing the difference in the ***** is required, as well as when they should be use separately or in co*****bination ***** each other ***** another research methodology. To this end, this paper provides a critic*****l evaluation of the merits and shortcomings of qualitative and quantitative ***** techniques ***** procedures, followed by a summary of ***** research and salient findings in the conclusion.

Review and Discussion

***** ***** Overview.

There has been a good de*****l ***** attention paid to ***** and those who conduct it ***** recent years, ***** the debate over qualitative versus quantitative research techniques is *****ly not new. In this regard, Goodson ***** Phillimore emphasize that, "The ***** versus ***** debate has a long his*****ry in social science research" (p. 42). To some extent, the debate over the superiority of qualitative versus quantitative research relates to how ***** various attributes ***** ***** technique are perceived by its adherents, and how the weaknesses and constra*****ts of each are viewed by its critics. In ***** regard, Crowley (1994) reports that, "Some ********** argue ***** qualitative research is unscientific and that quantitative methods remain the methods 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 ***** seems to be waning in ***** years, remnants of it remain" (1994, p. 65). Likewise, Benz and Newman (1998) maintain ***** the ***** ***** 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 ***** ***** we can best understand what we 'know,' whether through objective or subjective *****" (p. 2).

This lengthy his*****ry 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 analysis


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