a method of research that produces descriptive (non-numerical) data, such as observations of behavior or personal accounts of experiences. The goal of gathering this qualitative data is to examine how individuals can perceive the world from different vantage points. A variety of techniques are subsumed under qualitative research, including content analyses of narratives, in-depth interviews, focus groups, participant observation, and case studies, often conducted in naturalistic settings.
A variety of academics discuss the meaning of qualitative research and content analysis. Both hypothetical and actual research projects are used to illustrate concepts.
Professor John Creswell analyzes the characteristics of qualitative research and the qualitative researcher. He explains that good qualitative researchers tend to look at the big picture, notice details, and write a lot. He discusses how these characteristics tie into qualitative research.
This is just one segment in a series about qualitative research. You can find the rest of the series in our SAGE database, Research Methods:
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