Writing the Qualitative Dissertation: Understanding by Doing

By Judith M. Meloy | Go to book overview

8
UNDERSTANDING
BY DOING

Methodology, Analysis, and So Forth

I agree with Bogdan and Biklen (1982) that most books on qualitative research don't write well on analysis. (Ann)

I think one of the reasons Ann comments on analysis is because the processes of qualitative research are multiple; they are linked and interactive, to each other and to the human being who is the research instrument. Activities, such as reading, thinking, researching, writing, redoing and/or rethinking and writing, do not occur in a vacuum; lots of activity occurs simultaneously. Unlike the systematic progression of selecting a particular design and following the formulas for generating significance, the image of progress in qualitative research is more like one of those crazy clocks, the hour and minute hands of which revolve sometimes clockwise, sometimes counterclockwise, sometimes together, and most often in opposition, so that movement forward is not comfortingly, logically visible. We become dizzy just watching it, and “dizzy” is sometimes exactly how individuals doing qualitative research for their theses feel.


METHODOLOGY AND SELF

Because qualitative research requires personal rather than detached engagement in context, it requires multiple, simultaneous actions and reactions from the human being who is the research instrument. As suggested in the previous chapter, writing is one way to make visible what appears to be going on. Talking into a tape recorder or with a friend or colleague is another means of “bringing to consciousness” which is partly analysis and partly enabling of the process of analysis. But even something as

-145-

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Writing the Qualitative Dissertation: Understanding by Doing
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Research Correspondents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Acknowledgments x
  • About This Book xi
  • 1 - Understanding by Finishing 1
  • 2 - Understanding by Beginning 8
  • 3 - Understanding at the Beginning 30
  • 4 - Understanding by Proposing 56
  • 5 - Supporting Understanding 73
  • References 95
  • 6 - Understanding by Focusing 97
  • 7 - Understanding by Writing 118
  • 8 - Understanding by Doing 145
  • 9 - Understanding by Finishing 171
  • 10 - Understanding by Ending 181
  • Appendix A 191
  • Appendix B - Sample Tables of Contents 196
  • Appendix B 205
  • Bibliography 209
  • Author Index 215
  • Subject Index 219
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