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 v*****st 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 will ***** required to make in determining which approach is best suited for a given *****, though, involves ***** dec*****ion as ***** 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 to maximize their return on their research resources. Nevertheless, in many cases, a qualitative or quantitative analysis is the perfect fit for a given ***** *****pic, but knowing ***** difference in the ***** is required, as well as when they should be use separately or in 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 ***** techniques and procedures, followed by a summary ***** the research ***** salient findings in the conclusion.

Review and Discussion

***** and Overview.

There has been a good de*****l of attention paid to ***** and those who conduct it ***** recent years, ***** the debate over qual*****ative versus quantitative research techniques is certainly not new. In this regard, Goodson and Phillimore emp*****ize that, "The ***** versus qualitative debate has a long his*****ry in ***** science research" (p. 42). ***** some extent, the debate over the superiority of ***** versus quantitative research relates to how the various ***** ***** ***** technique are perceived by its adherents, and how the weaknesses and constra*****ts of each ***** viewed ***** its critics. In ***** regard, Crowley (1994) reports that, "Some ********** argue that qualitative research is unscientific and ***** quantitative methods remain the methods of choice for serious-minded, social-***** researchers. These researchers deny ***** 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 remain" (*****, 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 and quantitative 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 ***** ***** methods" (p. 2).

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


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