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

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A Critical Evaluation of the Merits and Shortcomings ***** 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 right job. In fact, there is a v*****st array ***** methodologies available for virtually any type of research project today, but some of these will clearly be superior to others. One ***** the first decisions a researcher will be required to make in determ*****ing which approach is best suited for a given project, though, involves ***** 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 for certain research applications, and in some cases *****s even use them both ***** maximize their return on their research resources. Nevertheless, in m***** cases, a qualitative or quantitative analysis is the perfect fit for a given ***** topic, but knowing the difference in the *****ethodologies is required, as well as when they should be use separately or ***** combinati***** ***** each other or another research methodology. To this end, this paper provides a critic*****l evaluation of the merits and shortcomings of qualitative ***** quantitative research techniques and procedures, followed by a summ*****ry ***** the ***** and salient findings in the conclusion.

Review and Discussion

Background and Overview.

There has been a good de*****l of attention paid to research and those who conduct it ***** recent years, ***** the debate over qualitative versus quantitative research techniques is certainly not new. ***** this regard, Goodson and Phillimore emphasize that, "The quantitative versus ***** debate has a long his*****ry in ***** science research" (p. 42). ***** some extent, the debate over the su*****eriority of qualitative versus ***** research relates to how the various ***** ***** ***** technique are perceived by its adherents, and how the weaknesses and constraints of each ***** viewed ***** its critics. In this regard, Crowley (1994) reports that, "Some *****ers argue ***** qualitative research is unscientific and that quantitative methods remain the ***** of choice for serious-minded, social-***** researchers. These researchers 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 ***** seems ***** be waning in recent years, remnants of it remain" (*****, p. 65). Likewise, Benz and Newman (1998) maintain that the attributes ***** one research methodology may be preferable to researchers for purely subjective reasons: "The debate between qualitative ***** quantitative researchers is based upon the differences in assumptions about what reality is and whether or not it is measurable. ***** debate further rests on differences of op*****ion about ***** we can best understand what we 'know,' whether through objective or subjective *****" (p. 2).

This 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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