December 4, 2016 In Cooperative approaches to sustainability, Qualitative understanding, social ecology
Five things I like about qualitative research
There are so many good things about qualitative analysis. Here are five of them.
- We talk to people. Strange as it may seem, some social research is about numbers rather than people, their ideas, their concerns, their strengths, the challenges they face etc. People get asked to ‘agree/disagree’ or ‘circle the most appropriate response’. With qualitative analysis you talk, you interact, you learn lots and you meet some great people.
- We play in the grey. ‘Playing in the grey’ is acknowledging that things are not black or white.
- By playing in the grey, we recognise and analyse complexities and develop multi-layered understanding.
- Because of this, we can act on these complexities so our work reflects the ‘on the ground’ realities of people. We know people are social actors who can engage with all kinds of things.
- Because of all this, our positive impacts are long-term. They reflect realities rather than averages, they reflect the voices and experiences of people, real people (not people who have been ‘banded’ according to some characteristics), and they have high levels of ‘buy in’ as a result.