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Exploring The Perception Of Homelessness In Ireland A Qualitative Research Study

1089 words - 5 pages

Foundationally, qualitative or quantitative research is an active study to address a pre-defined question. More specifically, Creswell suggests qualitative research is a process of data collection in an organic environment, studying individuals or groups to gather data for analysis and evaluation of (potentially repetitious) trends (2007, p. 37), commonly described as social research. Bryman further defines social research as an academic investigation to explore questions concerning such areas of study as sociology (2012, p. 4). It is through qualitative analysis that researchers look for meaning through daily interactions between individuals within a defined sample area (Lapan, ...view middle of the document...

When formulating a research question and respective hypothesis to be explored, intentional selection of an appropriate methodology with consideration to budget, time and available resources is important. Ultimately this in turn defines how to obtain the most fruitful information to address the question (Creswell, 2007, p. 132). It is important to distinguish between methodology and methods, be it the design of the study (methodology) in comparison to the actual tactics to generate data for analysis (methods) (Birks and Mills, 2011, p. 4). Krippendorff emphasizes methodology is not practice of research in itself, but the purposeful creation of a strategic plan for execution and for future evaluation (2004, xxi). In practical application various methods may be used to conduct field research in an effort to expand understanding and more simply, to answer a question. To conduct such research, there are three primary methods including case study (semi-structured), survey (structured), and experiment (Balnaves, and Caputi, 2001, p. 105), with each method offering an inimitable value as a chosen research method. As previously stated, two distinct methods have been used in this research study; structured interviews (the conducting of twenty face-to-face questionnaire interviews), and semi-structured interviews (the completion of two in-depth interviews); specific critical analysis and data findings will be discussed later in this paper. These methods were employed in best practice, following Flick’s strategic guidance to embrace flexibility, and be open to new or unexpected findings (2009, p. 98). Selection of said research methods is important as it may affect the cogency and quality of data collection and respective analysis (Kumar, 2001, p. 148).

Formal, appreciative and respectful best practice was executed to ensure etiquette was displayed (Belk, 2007, p. 560) throughout the course of the study. Choice of sample, that is, those who would participate in the study, was important in relation to not only the research question but also to the hypothesis. This specific research study practiced traditional sampling theory, concentrating on a general sampling representative of the residents of Ireland. Employing random selection of participants to complete the structured interview process (Krippendorff, 2004, p. 113). Individuals partaking in the semi-structured interviews were also residents of Ireland, and selected based on individual experience in relation to their charitable work with homelessness to gain insight from their respective knowledgebase and experiences (Hennik, Hutter, and...

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