Term Paper: Qualitative Frame Analysis Versus Quantitative

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¶ … Frame Analysis vs. Quantitative Frame Analysis

How does qualitative frame analysis differ from quantitative frame analysis?

Frame analysis attempts to clarify social phenomena in terms of the everyday use of schemes or frames. These are symbolic-interpretive constructs which people use to make their social actuality meaningful. Such frames or constructs comprise beliefs, images or symbols shared by people in their society. The amount of such frames accessible to people to make sense of their surroundings is limited by the particular society in which they live. According to framing theory, people are inclined to order their experiences by connecting them to previously known patterns. What they see and identify are recognised by orientation to a pre-existing cognitive structure. The inclination to refer to steady and recurring patterns in order to distinguish new stimuli has been confirmed by psychological studies. It is thought that people recognize reality and shape expectations with respect to it by connecting temporary positions with pre-existing stable patterns of behavior. Therefore, varied elements are connected to an already known and persistent background which becomes a point of orientation for the person (Methodologies, 2011).

Discourse analysis, used in qualitative research, is an approach which surpasses the dichotomy between subjective meanings and objective reality, as well as the dichotomy between user-centered and system-centered research. It concentrates on the analysis of knowledge formations, which organize institutional practices and societal reality on a large scale. Discourse analysis is a part of the linguistic turn in the social sciences and the humanities which emphasizes the role of language in the construction of social reality. It is one of the dominant or mainstream research approaches in communication, sociology, social psychology, and psychology (Talja, n.d.).

Discourse analysis studies practices of producing knowledge and meanings in concrete contexts and institutions. Discourse analysis systematizes different ways of talking in order to make visible the perspectives and starting points on the basis of which knowledge and meanings are produced in a particular historical moment. It pays attention to the way in which discourses produce and transform social reality, and makes it possible to evaluate the practical consequences of different ways of approaching a particular phenomenon (Talja, n.d.).

Characteristically qualitative data involves words and quantitative data involves numbers, which makes some researchers feel that one is better or more scientific than the other. "Another major difference between the two is that qualitative research is inductive and quantitative research is deductive. In qualitative research, a hypothesis is not needed to begin research. However, all quantitative research requires a hypothesis before research can begin" (Barnes et al., 2005).

Another difference between qualitative and quantitative research is the fundamental suppositions about the function of the researcher. In quantitative research, the researcher is in an ideal world an objective spectator that neither takes part in nor sways what is being studied. In qualitative research, though, it is thought that the researcher can discover the most about a position by participating or being immersed in it. These basic fundamental assumptions of both methodologies guide and succession the types of data collection methods used (Barnes et al., 2005).

Even though there are obvious dissimilarities between qualitative and quantitative approaches, some researchers uphold that the option between using qualitative or quantitative approaches in reality has less to do with methodologies than it does with locating oneself within a particular discipline or research ritual. The complexity of deciding on a method is compounded by the fact that research is frequently associated with universities and other institutions. The findings of research projects frequently guide significant choices about specific practices and policies. The option of which approach to utilize may reveal the interests of those carrying out or benefitting from the research and the reasons for which the findings will be used. Choices about which kind of research method to utilized may also be founded on the researcher's own experience and preference, the people being researched, the anticipated audience for findings, time, funds, and… [END OF PREVIEW]

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