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Five Qualitative Approaches to Inquiry

want to present a couple of scenarios. In the first, the qualitative researcher does not identify any specific approach to qualitative research he or she is using. Perhaps the methods discussion is short and simply limited to the collection of face-to-face interviews. The findings of the study are presented as a thematic workup of major categories of information collected during the interviews. Contrast this with a second scenario. The researcher adopts a specific approach to qualitative research, such as a narrative research approach. Now the methods section is detailed describing the meaning of such an approach, why it was used, and how it would inform the procedures of the study. The findings in this study convey the specific story of an individual, and it is told chronologically, highlighting some of the tensions in the story. It is set within a specific organization. Which approach would you find to be the most scholarly? The most inviting? The most sophisticated? I think that you would opt for the second approach.
We need to identify our approach to qualitative inquiry in order to present it as a sophisticated study, to offer it as a specific type so that reviewers can properly assess it, and, for the beginning researcher, who can profit from having a writing structure to follow, to offer some way of organizing ideas that can be grounded in the scholarly literature of qualitative research. Of course, this beginning researcher could choose several qualitative approaches, such as narrative research and phenomenology, but I would leave this more advanced methodological approach to more experienced researchers. I often say that the beginning researcher needs to first understand one approach thoroughly, and then venture out and try another approach, before combining different ways of conducting qualitative research.
This chapter will help you begin the mastery of one of the qualitative approaches to inquiry. I take each approach, one by one, and discuss its

origin, the key defining features of it, the various types of ways to use it, steps involved in conducting a study within the approach, and challenges that you will likely incur as you proceed.


  • What is the background for each approach (narrative study, a phenomenology, a grounded theory, an ethnography, and a case study)?
  • What are the central defining features of each approach?
  • What various forms can a study take within each approach?
  • What are the procedures for using the approach?
  • What are challenges associated with each approach?
  • What are some similarities and differences among the five approaches?


Definition and Background

Narrative research has many forms, uses a variety of analytic practices, and is rooted in different social and humanities disciplines (Daiute & Lightfoot, 2004). "Narrative" might be the phenomenon being studied, such as a narrative of illness, or it might be the method used in a study, such as the procedures of analyzing stories told (Chase, 2005; Clandinin & Connolly, 2000; Pinnegar & Daynes, 2007). As a method, it begins with the experiences as expressed in lived and told stories of individuals. Writers have provided ways for analyzing and understanding the stories lived and told. Czarniawska (2004) defines it here as a specific type of qualitative design in which "narrative is understood as a spoken or written text giving an account of an event/action or series of events/actions, chronologically connected" (p. 17). The procedures for implementing this research consist of focusing on studying one or two individuals, gathering data through the collection of their stories, reporting individual experiences, and chronologically ordering the meaning of those experiences (or using life course stages).
Although narrative research originated from literature, history, anthropology, sociology, sociolinguistics, and education, different fields of study have adopted their own approaches (Chase, 2005). I find a postmodern, organizational orientation in Czarniawska (2004); a human developmental

perspective in Daiute and Lightfoot (2004); a psychological approach in Lieblich, Tuval-Mashiach, and Zilber (1998); sociological approaches in Cortazzi (1993) and Riessman (1993, 2008); and quantitative (e.g., statistical stories in event history modeling) and qualitative approaches in Elliott (2005). Interdisciplinary efforts at narrative research have also been encouraged by the Narrative Study of Lives annual series that began in 1993 (see, e.g., Josselson & Lieblich, 1993), and the journal Narrative Inquiry. With many recent books on narrative research, it continues to be a popular "field in the making" (Chase, 2005, p. 651). In the discussion of narrative procedures, I rely on an accessible book written for social scientists called Narrative Inquiry (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000) that addresses "what narrative researchers do" (p. 48). I also bring in the data collection procedures and varied analytic strategies of Riessman (2008).
Daiute 和 Lightfoot (2004) 中的透視;Lieblich,Tuval-Mashiach和Zilber(1998)的心理學方法;Cortazzi (1993) 和 Riessman (1993, 2008) 的社會學方法;Elliott (2005)的定量(例如,事件歷史建模中的統計故事)和定性方法。1993年開始的“生活敘事研究”年度系列(參見Josselson&Lieblich,1993)和《敘事探究》雜誌也鼓勵了敘事研究的跨學科努力。隨著最近許多關於敘事研究的書籍的出現,它仍然是一個受歡迎的“正在形成的領域”(Chase,2005 年,第 651 頁)。在討論敘事程式時,我依賴於一本為社會科學家寫的無障礙書籍,名為《敘事探究》(Clandinin & Connelly,2000),該書講述了“敘事研究人員的工作”(第48頁)。我還引入了Riessman(2008)的數據收集程序和各種分析策略。

Defining Features of Narrative Studies

Reading through a number of narrative articles published in journals and reviewing major books on narrative inquiry, a specific set of features emerged that define its boundaries. Not all narrative projects contain these elements, but many do, and the list is not exhaustive of possibilities.
  • Narrative researchers collect stories from individuals (and documents, and group conversations) about individuals' lived and told experiences. These stories may emerge from a story told to the researcher, a story that is co-constructed between the researcher and the participant, and a story intended as a performance to convey some message or point (Riessman, 2008). Thus, there may be a strong collaborative feature of narrative research as the story emerges through the interaction or dialogue of the researcher and the participant(s).
  • Narrative stories tell of individual experiences, and they may shed light on the identities of individuals and how they see themselves.
  • Narrative stories are gathered through many different forms of data, such as through interviews that may be the primary form of data collection, but also through observations, documents, pictures, and other sources of qualitative data.
  • Narrative stories often are heard and shaped by the researchers into a chronology although they may not be told that way by the participant(s). There is a temporal change that is conveyed when individuals talk about their experiences and their lives. They may talk about their past, their present, or their future (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000).
  • Narrative stories are analyzed in varied ways. An analysis can be made about what was said (thematically), the nature of the telling of the story (structural), or who the story is directed toward (dialogic/ performance) (Riessman, 2008).
  • Narrative stories often contain turning points (Denzin, 1989a) or specific tensions or interruptions that are highlighted by the researchers in the telling of the stories.
  • Narrative stories occur within specific places or situations. The context becomes important for the researcher's telling of the story within a place.

Types of Narratives 敘述類型

Narrative studies can be differentiated along two different lines. One line is to consider the data analysis strategy used by the narrative researcher. Several analytic strategies are available for use. Polkinghorne (1995) discusses narrative in which the researcher extracts themes that hold across stories or taxonomies of types of stories, and a more storytelling mode in which the narrative researcher shapes the stories based on a plotline, or a literary approach to analysis. Polkinghorne (1995) goes on to emphasize the second form in his writings. More recently, Chase (2005) suggests analytic strategies based on parsing constraints on narratives, narratives that are composed interactively between researchers and participants, and the interpretations developed by various narrators. Combining both of these approaches, we see an insightful analysis of strategies for analyzing narratives in Riessman (2008). She conveys three types of approaches used to analyze narrative stories: a thematic analysis in which the researcher identifies the themes "told" by a participant; a structural analysis in which the meaning shifts to the "telling" and the story can be cast during a conversation in comic terms, tragedy, satire, romance, or other forms; and a dialogic/performance analysis in which the focus turns to how the story is produced (i.e., interactively between the researcher and the participant) and performed (i.e., meant to convey some message or point).
Another line of thinking is to consider the type of narratives. A wide variety of approaches have emerged (see, e.g., Casey, 1995/1996). Here are some popular approaches.
  • A biographical study is a form of narrative study in which the researcher writes and records the experiences of another person's life.
  • Autoethnography is written and recorded by the individuals who are the subject of the study (Ellis, 2004; Muncey, 2010). Muncey (2010) defines autoethnography as the idea of multiple layers of consciousness, the vulnerable self, the coherent self, critiquing the self in social contexts, the subversion of dominant discourses, and the evocative potential. They contain the personal story of the author as well as the larger cultural meaning for the individual's story. An example of autoethnography is Neyman's (2011) doctoral dissertation in which she explored her teaching experiences in the background of major problems of public schools in America and Ukraine. Her story about problems such as low academic performance, poor discipline, theft, insufficient parents' involvement, and other issues shed light on her personal and professional life.
    自傳民族志是由研究對象的個人撰寫和記錄的(Ellis,2004;Muncey,2010 年)。Muncey(2010)將自傳民族志定義為多層意識,脆弱的自我,連貫的自我,在社會背景下批判自我,顛覆主導話語以及喚起潛力的想法。它們包含作者的個人故事以及個人故事的更大文化意義。自傳民族志的一個例子是Neyman(2011)的博士論文,她在論文中探討了她在美國和烏克蘭公立學校主要問題背景下的教學經驗。她關於學習成績低下、紀律不嚴、盜竊、父母參與不足等問題的故事揭示了她的個人和職業生活。
  • A life bistory portrays an individual's entire life, while a personal experience story is a narrative study of an individual's personal experience found in single or multiple episodes, private situations, or communal folklore (Denzin, 1989a).
  • An oral bistory consists of gathering personal reflections of events and their causes and effects from one individual or several individuals (Plummer, 1983). Narrative studies may have a specific contextual focus, such as stories told by teachers or children in classrooms (Ollerenshaw & Creswell, 2002) or the stories told about organizations (Czarniawska, 2004). Narratives may be guided by interpretive frameworks. The framework may advocate for Latin Americans through using testimonios (Beverly, 2005), or report stories of women using feminist interpretations (see, e.g., Personal Narratives Group, 1989), a lens that shows how women's voices are muted, multiple, and contradictory (Chase, 2005). It may be told to disrupt the dominant discourse around teenage pregnancy (Muncey, 2010).
    口頭傳記包括從一個人或幾個人那裡收集對事件及其因果關係的個人反思(Plummer,1983)。敘事研究可能具有特定的情境重點,例如教師或兒童在課堂上講述的故事(Ollerenshaw & Creswell,2002)或講述的關於組織的故事(Czarniawska,2004)。敘述可能以解釋框架為指導。該框架可以通過使用證詞來宣導拉丁美洲人(Beverly,2005),或者使用女權主義解釋來報導女性的故事(參見,例如,Personal Narratives Group,1989),這是一個展示女性聲音如何沉默,多重和矛盾的鏡頭(Chase,2005)。它可能會被告知破壞圍繞少女懷孕的主導話語(Muncey,2010)。

Procedures for Conducting Narrative Research

Using the approach taken by Clandinin and Connelly (2000) as a general procedural guide, the methods of conducting a narrative study do not follow a lockstep approach, but instead represent an informal collection of topics. Riessman (2008) adds useful information about the data collection process and the strategies for analyzing data.
  • Determine if the research problem or question best fits narrative research. Narrative research is best for capturing the detailed stories or life

    experiences of a single individual or the lives of a small number of individuals.
  • Select one or more individuals who have stories or life experiences to tell, and spend considerable time with them gathering their stories through multiples types of information. Clandinin and Connelly (2000) refer to the stories as "field texts." Research participants may record their stories in a journal or diary, or the researcher might observe the individuals and record field notes. Researchers may also collect letters sent by the individuals, assemble stories about the individuals from family members, gather documents such as memos or official correspondence about the individuals, or obtain photographs, memory boxes (collection of items that trigger memories), and other personal-family-social artifacts. After examining these sources, the researcher records the individuals' life experiences.
  • Consider how the collection of the data and their recording can take different shapes. Riessman (2008) illustrates different ways that researchers can transcribe interviews to develop different types of stories. The transcription can highlight the researcher as a listener or a questioner, emphasize the interaction between the researcher and the participant, convey a conversation that moves through time, or include shifting meanings that may emerge through translated material.
  • Collect information about the context of these stories. Narrative researchers situate individual stories within participants' personal experiences (their jobs, their homes), their culture (racial or ethnic), and their bistorical contexts (time and place).
  • Analyze the participants' stories. The researcher may take an active role and "restory" the stories into a framework that makes sense. Restorying is the process of reorganizing the stories into some general type of framework. This framework may consist of gathering stories, analyzing them for key elements of the story (e.g., time, place, plot, and scene), and then rewriting the stories to place them within a chronological sequence (Ollerenshaw & Creswell, 2002). Often when individuals tell their stories, they do not present them in a chronological sequence. During the process of restorying, the researcher provides a causal link among ideas. Cortazzi (1993) suggests that the chronology of narrative research, with an emphasis on sequence, sets narrative apart from other genres of research. One aspect of the chronology is that the stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Similar to basic elements found in good novels, these aspects involve a predicament, conflict, or struggle; a protagonist, or main character; and a sequence with implied causality (i.e., a plot) during which the predicament is resolved in some fashion (Carter,
1993). A chronology further may consist of past, present, and future ideas (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000), based on the assumption that time has a unilinear direction (Polkinghorne, 1995). In a more general sense, the story might include other elements typically found in novels, such as time, place, and scene (Connelly & Clandinin, 1990). The plot, or story line, may also include Clandinin and Connelly's (2000) three-dimensional narrative inquiry space: the personal and social (the interaction); the past, present, and future (continuity); and the place (situation). This story line may include information about the setting or context of the participants' experiences. Beyond the chronology, researchers might detail themes that arise from the story to provide a more detailed discussion of the meaning of the story (Huber & Whelan, 1999). Thus, the qualitative data analysis may be a description of both the story and themes that emerge from it. A postmodern narrative writer, such as Czarniawska (2004), adds another element to the analysis: a deconstruction of the stories, an unmaking of them by such analytic strategies as exposing dichotomies, examining silences, and attending to disruptions and contradictions. Finally, the analysis process consists of the researcher looking for themes or categories; the researcher using a microlinguistic approach and probing for the meaning of words, phrases, and larger units of discourse such as is often done in conversational analysis (see Gee, 1991); or the researcher examining the stories for how they are produced interactively between the researcher and the participant or performed by the participant to convey a specific agenda or message (Riessman, 2008).
  • Collaborate with participants by actively involving them in the research (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000). As researchers collect stories, they negotiate relationships, smooth transitions, and provide ways to be useful to the participants. In narrative research, a key theme has been the turn toward the relationship between the researcher and the researched in which both parties will learn and change in the encounter (Pinnegar & Daynes, 2007). In this process, the parties negotiate the meaning of the stories, adding a validation check to the analysis (Creswell & Miller, 2000). Within the participant's story may also be an interwoven story of the researcher gaining insight into her or his own life (see Huber & Whelan, 1999). Also, within the story may be epiphanies, turning points, or disruptions in which the story line changes direction dramatically. In the end, the narrative study tells the story of individuals unfolding in a chronology of their experiences, set within their personal, social, and historical context, and including the important themes in those lived experiences. "Narrative inquiry is stories lived and told," said Clandinin and Connolly (2000, p. 20).
    通過積极參與研究來與參與者合作(Clandinin&Connelly,2000)。當研究人員收集故事時,他們會協商關係,平穩過渡,並提供對參與者有用的方法。在敘事研究中,一個關鍵主題是轉向研究者與被研究者之間的關係,雙方都將在相遇中學習和改變(Pinnegar&Daynes,2007)。在這個過程中,各方協商故事的含義,在分析中添加驗證檢查(Creswell&Miller,2000)。在參與者的故事中,也可能是一個相互交織的故事,即研究人員深入瞭解她或他自己的生活(見Huber&Whelan,1999)。此外,在故事中可能會出現頓悟、轉捩點或中斷,其中故事情節會急劇改變方向。最後,敘事研究講述了個人的故事,按照他們經歷的時間順序展開,在他們的個人、社會和歷史背景下展開,並包括這些生活經歷中的重要主題。“敘事探究是生活和講述的故事,”Clandinin 和 Connolly(2000 年,第 20 頁)說。

Challenges 挑戰

Given these procedures and the characteristics of narrative research, narrative research is a challenging approach to use. The researcher needs to collect extensive information about the participant, and needs to have a clear understanding of the context of the individual's life. It takes a keen eye to identify in the source material that gathers the particular stories to capture the individual's experiences. As Edel (1984) comments, it is important to uncover the "figure under the carpet" that explains the multilayered context of a life. Active collaboration with the participant is necessary, and researchers need to discuss the participant's stories as well as be reflective about their own personal and political background, which shapes how they "restory" the account. Multiple issues arise in the collecting, analyzing, and telling of individual stories. Pinnegar and Daynes (2007) raise these important questions: Who owns the story? Who can tell it? Who can change it? Whose version is convincing? What happens when narratives compete? As a community, what do stories do among us?


Definition and Background

Whereas a narrative study reports the stories of experiences of a single individual or several individuals, a phenomenological study describes the common meaning for several individuals of their lived experiences of a concept or a phenomenon. Phenomenologists focus on describing what all participants have in common as they experience a phenomenon (e.g., grief is universally experienced). The basic purpose of phenomenology is to reduce individual experiences with a phenomenon to a description of the universal essence (a "grasp of the very nature of the thing," van Manen, 1990, p. 177). To this end, qualitative researchers identify a phenomenon (an "object" of human experience; van Manen, 1990, p. 163). This human experience may be a phenomenon such as insomnia, being left out, anger, grief, or undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery (Moustakas, 1994). The inquirer then collects data from persons who have experienced the phenomenon, and develops a composite description of the essence of the experience for all of the individuals. This description consists of "what" they experienced and "how" they experienced it (Moustakas, 1994).
敘事研究報告單個人或幾個人的經歷故事,而現象學研究則描述了幾個人對一個概念或現象的生活經歷的共同意義。現象學家專注於描述所有參與者在經歷一種現象時的共同點(例如,悲傷是普遍經歷的)。現象學的基本目的是將個體對現象的體驗簡化為對普遍本質的描述(“對事物本質的把握”,van Manen,1990,第177頁)。為此,定性研究人員確定了一種現象(人類經驗的“物件”;van Manen,1990,第163頁)。這種人類經歷可能是一種現象,例如失眠、被遺忘、憤怒、悲傷或接受冠狀動脈搭橋手術(Moustakas,1994)。然後,詢問者從經歷過這種現象的人那裡收集數據,併為所有個體開發經驗本質的綜合描述。這種描述包括他們所經歷的「什麼」和「如何」經歷(Moustakas,1994)。
Beyond these procedures, phenomenology has a strong philosophical component to it. It draws heavily on the writings of the German mathematician Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) and those who expanded on his views, such as Heidegger, Sartre, and Merleau-Ponty (Spiegelberg, 1982). Phenomenology is popular in the social and health sciences, especially in sociology (Borgatta & Borgatta, 1992; Swingewood, 1991), psychology (Giorgi, 1985, 2009; Polkinghorne, 1989), nursing and the health sciences (Nieswiadomy, 1993; Oiler, 1986), and education (Tesch, 1988; van Manen, 1990). Husserl's ideas are abstract, and Merleau-Ponty (1962) raised the question, "What is phenomenology?" In fact, Husserl was known to call any project currently under way "phenomenology" (Natanson, 1973).
除了這些程式之外,現象學還具有很強的哲學成分。它大量借鑒了德國數學家埃德蒙·胡塞爾(Edmund Husserl,1859-1938)的著作,以及海德格爾、薩特和梅洛-龐蒂(Spiegelberg,1982)等擴展其觀點的人的著作。現象學在社會和健康科學中很受歡迎,特別是在社會學中(Borgatta & Borgatta,1992;Swingewood,1991),心理學(Giorgi,1985,2009;Polkinghorne,1989),護理和健康科學(Nieswiadomy,1993;Oiler,1986)和教育(Tesch,1988;van Manen,1990)。胡塞爾的思想是抽象的,梅洛-龐蒂(Merleau-Ponty,1962)提出了一個問題:“什麼是現象學?事實上,眾所周知,胡塞爾將目前正在進行的任何項目稱為「現象學」(Natanson,1973)。
Writers following in the footsteps of Husserl also seem to point to different philosophical arguments for the use of phenomenology today (contrast, for example, the philosophical basis stated in Moustakas, 1994; in Stewart and Mickunas, 1990; and in van Manen, 1990). Looking across all of these perspectives, however, we see that the philosophical assumptions rest on some common grounds: the study of the lived experiences of persons, the view that these experiences are conscious ones (van Manen, 1990), and the development of descriptions of the essences of these experiences, not explanations or analyses (Moustakas, 1994). At a broader level, Stewart and Mickunas (1990) emphasize four philosophical perspectives in phenomenology:
追隨胡塞爾腳步的作家似乎也指出了今天使用現象學的不同哲學論據(例如,Moustakas,1994;Stewart和Mickunas,1990;van Manen,1990)所述的哲學基礎)。然而,縱觀所有這些觀點,我們看到哲學假設建立在一些共同的基礎上:對人的生活經驗的研究,認為這些經驗是有意識的(van Manen,1990),以及對這些經驗的本質的描述的發展,而不是解釋或分析(Moustakas,1994)。在更廣泛的層面上,Stewart和Mickunas(1990)強調了現象學中的四個哲學觀點:
  • A return to the traditional tasks of philosophy. By the end of the 19th century, philosophy had become limited to exploring a world by empirical means, which was called "scientism." The return to the traditional tasks of philosophy that existed before philosophy became enamored with empirical science is a return to the Greek conception of philosophy as a search for wisdom.
  • A philosophy without presuppositions. Phenomenology's approach is to suspend all judgments about what is real-the "natural attitude"-until they are founded on a more certain basis. This suspension is called "epoche" by Husserl.
  • The intentionality of consciousness. This idea is that consciousness is always directed toward an object. Reality of an object, then, is inextricably related to one's consciousness of it. Thus, reality, according to Husserl, is divided not into subjects and objects, but into the dual Cartesian nature of both subjects and objects as they appear in consciousness.
  • The refusal of the subject-object dichotomy. This theme flows naturally from the intentionality of consciousness. The reality of an object is only perceived within the meaning of the experience of an individual.
  • An individual writing a phenomenology would be remiss to not include some discussion about the philosophical presuppositions of phenomenology along with the methods in this form of inquiry. Moustakas (1994) devotes over one hundred pages to the philosophical assumptions before he turns to the methods.

Defining Features of Phenomenology

There are several features that are typically included in all phenomenological studies. I rely on two books for my primary information about phenomenology: Moustakas (1994) taken from a psychological perspective and van Manen (1990) based on a human science orientation.
所有現象學研究中通常都包含幾個特徵。我依靠兩本書來獲取關於現象學的主要資訊:Moustakas(1994)從心理學的角度出發,van Manen(1990)基於人文科學取向。
  • An emphasis on a phenomenon to be explored, phrased in terms of a single concept or idea, such as the educational idea of "professional growth," the psychological concept of "grief," or the health idea of a "caring relationship."
  • The exploration of this phenomenon with a group of individuals who have all experienced the phenomenon. Thus, a heterogeneous group is identified that may vary in size from 3 to 4 individuals to 10 to 15 .
    與一群都經歷過這種現象的人一起探索這種現象。因此,確定了一個異質組,其大小可能從 3 到 4 個個體到 10 到 15 個個體不等。
  • A philosophical discussion about the basic ideas involved in conducting a phenomenology. This turns on the lived experiences of individuals and how they have both subjective experiences of the phenomenon and objective experiences of something in common with other people. Thus, there is a refusal of the subjective-objective perspective, and, for these reasons, phenomenology lies somewhere on a continuum between qualitative and quantitative research.
  • In some forms of phenomenology, the researcher brackets himself or herself out of the study by discussing personal experiences with the phenomenon. This does not take the researcher completely out of the study, but it does serve to identify personal experiences with the phenomenon and to partly set them aside so that the researcher can focus on the experiences of the participants in the study. This is an ideal, but readers learn about the researcher's

    experiences, and can judge for themselves whether the researcher focused solely on the participants' experiences in the description without bringing himself or herself into the picture. Giorgi (2009) sees this bracketing as a matter not of forgetting what has been experienced, but of not letting past knowledge be engaged while determining experiences. He then cites other aspects of life where this same demand holds. A juror in a criminal trial may hear a judge say that a piece of evidence is not admissible; a scientific researcher may hope that a pet hypothesis will be supported, but then note that the results do not support it.
  • Adata collection procedure that involves typically interviewing individuals who have experienced the phenomenon. This is not a universal trait, however, as some phenomenological studies involve varied sources of data, such as poems, observations, and documents.
  • Data analysis that can follow systematic procedures that move from the narrow units of analysis (e.g., significant statements), and on to broader units (e.g., meaning units), and on to detailed descriptions that summarize two elements, "what" the individuals have experienced and "how" they have experienced it (Moustakas, 1994).
  • A phenomenology ends with a descriptive passage that discusses the essence of the experience for individuals incorporating "what" they have experienced and "how" they experienced it. The "essence" is the culminating aspect of a phenomenological study.

Types of Phenomenology 現象學的類型

Two approaches to phenomenology are highlighted in this discussion: hermeneutic phenomenology (van Manen, 1990) and empirical, transcendental, or psychological phenomenology (Moustakas, 1994). Van Manen (1990) is widely cited in the health literature (Morse & Field, 1995). An educator, van Manen (1990) has written an instructive book on bermeneutical phenomenology in which he describes research as oriented toward lived experience (phenomenology) and interpreting the "texts" of life (hermeneutics) (p. 4). Although van Manen does not approach phenomenology with a set of rules or methods, he discusses it as a dynamic interplay among six research activities. Researchers first turn to a phenomenon, an "abiding concern" (van Manen, 1990, p. 31), which seriously interests them (e.g., reading, running, driving, mothering). In the process, they reflect on essential themes, what constitutes the nature of this lived experience. They write a description of the phenomenon, maintaining a
本討論強調了兩種現象學方法:解釋學現象學(van Manen,1990)和經驗,先驗或心理現象學(Moustakas,1994)。Van Manen(1990)在健康文獻中被廣泛引用(Morse&Field,1995)。van Manen(1990)是一位教育家,他寫了一本關於伯曼尼特現象學的指導性著作,他在書中將研究描述為面向生活經驗(現象學)和解釋生活的“文本”(解釋學)(第4頁)。儘管van Manen沒有用一套規則或方法來研究現象學,但他將其討論為六種研究活動之間的動態相互作用。研究人員首先轉向一種現象,一種“持久的關注”(van Manen,1990,第31頁),他們對此非常感興趣(例如,閱讀,跑步,駕駛,育兒)。在這個過程中,他們反思了基本主題,即構成這種生活體驗的本質。他們寫下了對這種現象的描述,保持了

strong relation to the topic of inquiry and balancing the parts of the writing to the whole. Phenomenology is not only a description, but it is also an interpretive process in which the researcher makes an interpretation (i.e., the researcher "mediates" between different meanings; van Manen, 1990, p. 26) of the meaning of the lived experiences.
與探究主題有很強的聯繫,並平衡寫作的各個部分與整體。現象學不僅是一種描述,而且也是一個解釋過程,在這個過程中,研究者對生活經驗的意義進行解釋(即,研究者在不同的意義之間“調解”;van Manen,1990,第26頁)。
Moustakas's (1994) transcendental or psychological phenomenology is focused less on the interpretations of the researcher and more on a description of the experiences of participants. In addition, Moustakas focuses on one of Husserl's concepts, epoche (or bracketing), in which investigators set aside their experiences, as much as possible, to take a fresh perspective toward the phenomenon under examination. Hence, transcendental means "in which everything is perceived freshly, as if for the first time" (Moustakas, 1994, p. 34). Moustakas admits that this state is seldom perfectly achieved. However, I see researchers who embrace this idea when they begin a project by describing their own experiences with the phenomenon and bracketing out their views before proceeding with the experiences of others.
Besides bracketing, empirical, transcendental phenomenology draws on the Duquesne Studies in Phenomenological Psychology (e.g., Giorgi, 1985, 2009) and the data analysis procedures of Van Kaam (1966) and Colaizzi (1978). The procedures, illustrated by Moustakas (1994), consist of identifying a phenomenon to study, bracketing out one's experiences, and collecting data from several persons who have experienced the phenomenon. The researcher then analyzes the data by reducing the information to significant statements or quotes and combines the statements into themes. Following that, the researcher develops a textural description of the experiences of the persons (what participants experienced), a structural description of their experiences (how they experienced it in terms of the conditions, situations, or context), and a combination of the textural and structural descriptions to convey an overall essence of the experience.
除了括弧之外,經驗的、先驗的現象學還借鑒了現象學心理學中的杜肯研究(例如,Giorgi,1985,2009)以及Van Kaam(1966)和Colaizzi(1978)的數據分析程式。Moustakas(1994)所說明的程式包括確定要研究的現象,將一個人的經歷括起來,並從幾個經歷過該現象的人那裡收集數據。然後,研究人員通過將資訊簡化為重要的陳述或引述來分析數據,並將這些陳述組合成主題。之後,研究人員對人的經歷進行結構描述(參與者的經歷),對他們的經歷進行結構描述(他們如何在條件、情況或背景方面體驗),以及紋理和結構描述的組合,以傳達體驗的整體本質。

Procedures for Conducting Phenomenological Research

I use the psychologist Moustakas's (1994) approach because it has systematic steps in the data analysis procedure and guidelines for assembling the textual and structural descriptions. The conduct of psychological phenomenology has been addressed in a number of writings, including Dukes (1984), Tesch (1990), Giorgi (1985, 1994, 2009), Polkinghorne (1989), and,

most recently, Moustakas (1994). The major procedural steps in the process would be as follows:
  • The researcher determines if the research problem is best examined using a phenomenological approach. The type of problem best suited for this form of research is one in which it is important to understand several individuals' common or shared experiences of a phenomenon. It would be important to understand these common experiences in order to develop practices or policies, or to develop a deeper understanding about the features of the phenomenon.
  • A phenomenon of interest to study, such as anger, professionalism, what it means to be underweight, or what it means to be a wrestler, is identified. Moustakas (1994) provides numerous examples of phenomena that have been studied. Van Manen (1990) identifies the phenomena such as the experience of learning, riding a bike, or the beginning of fatherhood.
    確定了一種值得研究的現象,例如憤怒、專業精神、體重過輕意味著什麼,或者成為一名摔跤手意味著什麼。Moustakas(1994)提供了許多已經研究過的現象的例子。Van Manen(1990)指出了諸如學習,騎自行車或開始為人父之類的現象。
  • The researcher recognizes and specifies the broad philosophical assumptions of phenomenology. For example, one could write about the combination of objective reality and individual experiences. These lived experiences are furthermore "conscious" and directed toward an object. To fully describe how participants view the phenomenon, researchers must bracket out, as much as possible, their own experiences.
    研究人員認識並具體說明現象學的廣泛哲學假設。例如,人們可以寫客觀現實和個人經驗的結合。此外,這些生活經驗是「有意識的」 ,並指向一個物件。為了充分描述參與者如何看待這一現象,研究人員必須盡可能多地列出他們自己的經歷。
  • Data are collected from the individuals who have experienced the phenomenon. Often data collection in phenomenological studies consists of in-depth and multiple interviews with participants. Polkinghorne (1989) recommends that researchers interview from 5 to 25 individuals who have all experienced the phenomenon. Other forms of data may also be collected, such as observations, journals, poetry, music, and other forms of art. Van Manen (1990) mentions taped conversations, formally written responses, and accounts of vicarious experiences of drama, films, poetry, and novels.
    數據是從經歷過這種現象的個人那裡收集的。現象學研究中的數據收集通常包括對參與者的深入和多次訪談。Polkinghorne(1989)建議研究人員採訪5到25個經歷過這種現象的人。還可以收集其他形式的數據,例如觀察、日記、詩歌、音樂和其他形式的藝術。Van Manen(1990)提到了錄音對話,正式的書面回應,以及戲劇,電影,詩歌和小說的替代經驗。
  • The participants are asked two broad, general questions (Moustakas, 1994): What have you experienced in terms of the phenomenon? What contexts or situations have typically influenced or affected your experiences of the phenomenon? Other open-ended questions may also be asked, but these two, especially, focus attention on gathering data that will lead to a textual and structural description of the experiences, and ultimately provide an understanding of the common experiences of the participants.
  • Phenomenological data analysis steps are generally similar for all psychological phenomenologists who discuss the methods (Moustakas, 1994; Polkinghorne, 1989). Building on the data from the first and second research questions, data analysts go through the data (e.g., interview transcriptions) and highlight "significant statements," sentences, or quotes that provide an understanding of how the participants experienced the phenomenon. Moustakas (1994) calls this step horizonalization. Next, the researcher develops clusters of meaning from these significant statements into themes.
  • These significant statements and themes are then used to write a description of what the participants experienced (textural description). They are also used to write a description of the context or setting that influenced how the participants experienced the phenomenon, called imaginative variation or structural description. Moustakas (1994) adds a further step: Researchers also write about their own experiences and the context and situations that have influenced their experiences. I like to shorten Moustakas's procedures, and reflect these personal statements at the beginning of the phenomenology or include them in a methods discussion of the role of the researcher (Marshall & Rossman, 2010).
  • From the structural and textural descriptions, the researcher then writes a composite description that presents the "essence" of the phenomenon, called the essential, invariant structure (or essence). Primarily this passage focuses on the common experiences of the participants. For example, it means that all experiences have an underlying structure (grief is the same whether the loved one is a puppy, a parakeet, or a child). It is a descriptive passage, a long paragraph or two, and the reader should come away from the phenomenology with the feeling, "I understand better what it is like for someone to experience that" (Polkinghorne, 1989, p. 46).

Challenges 挑戰

A phenomenology provides a deep understanding of a phenomenon as experienced by several individuals. Knowing some common experiences can be valuable for groups such as therapists, teachers, health personnel, and policymakers. Phenomenology can involve a streamlined form of data collection by including only single or multiple interviews with participants. Using the Moustakas (1994) approach for analyzing the data helps provide

a structured approach for novice researchers. It may be too structured for some qualitative researchers. On the other hand, phenomenology requires at least some understanding of the broader philosophical assumptions, and researchers should identify these assumptions in their studies. These philosophical ideas are abstract concepts and not easily seen in a written phenomenological study. In addition, the participants in the study need to be carefully chosen to be individuals who have all experienced the phenomenon in question, so that the researcher, in the end, can forge a common understanding. Finding individuals who have all experienced the phenomenon may be difficult given a research topic. As mentioned earlier, bracketing personal experiences may be difficult for the researcher to implement because interpretations of the data always incorporate the assumptions that the researcher brings to the topic (van Manen, 1990). Perhaps we need a new definition of epoche or bracketing, such as suspending our understandings in a reflective move that cultivates curiosity (LeVasseur, 2003). Thus, the researcher needs to decide how and in what way his or her personal understandings will be introduced into the study.
為新手研究人員提供結構化方法。對於一些定性研究人員來說,它可能過於結構化。另一方面,現象學至少需要對更廣泛的哲學假設有一定的瞭解,研究人員應該在他們的研究中確定這些假設。這些哲學思想是抽象的概念,在書面現象學研究中不容易看到。此外,需要仔細選擇研究的參與者是所有經歷過相關現象的個人,以便研究人員最終能夠達成共識。考慮到一個研究課題,找到所有經歷過這種現象的人可能很困難。如前所述,將個人經驗括起來對研究人員來說可能很難實施,因為對數據的解釋總是包含研究人員為該主題帶來的假設(van Manen,1990)。也許我們需要一個新的時代或括弧的定義,例如在培養好奇心的反思中暫停我們的理解(LeVasseur,2003)。因此,研究人員需要決定如何以及以何種方式將他或她的個人理解引入研究。


Definition and Background

While narrative research focuses on individual stories told by participants, and phenomenology emphasizes the common experiences for a number of individuals, the intent of a grounded theory study is to move beyond description and to generate or discover a theory, a "unified theoretical explanation" (Corbin & Strauss, 2007, p. 107) for a process or an action. Participants in the study would all have experienced the process, and the development of the theory might help explain practice or provide a framework for further research. A key idea is that this theory development does not come "off the shelf," but rather is generated or "grounded" in data from participants who have experienced the process (Strauss & Corbin, 1998). Thus, grounded theory is a qualitative research design in which the inquirer generates a general explanation (a theory) of a process, an action, or an interaction shaped by the views of a large number of participants.
This qualitative design was developed in sociology in 1967 by two researchers, Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss, who felt that theories
這種定性設計是由兩位研究人員巴尼·格拉澤(Barney Glaser)和安塞姆·施特勞斯(Anselm Strauss)於1967年在社會學中提出的,他們認為理論

used in research were often inappropriate and ill suited for participants under study. They elaborated on their ideas through several books (Corbin & Strauss, 2007; Glaser, 1978; Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Strauss, 1987; Strauss & Corbin, 1990, 1998). In contrast to the a priori, theoretical orientations in sociology, grounded theorists held that theories should be "grounded" in data from the field, especially in the actions, interactions, and social processes of people. Thus, grounded theory provided for the generation of a theory (complete with a diagram and hypotheses) of actions, interactions, or processes through interrelating categories of information based on data collected from individuals.
用於研究通常不合適且不適合正在研究的參與者。他們通過幾本書詳細闡述了他們的想法(Corbin&Strauss,2007;格拉澤,1978 年;格拉澤和施特勞斯,1967年;施特勞斯,1987 年;Strauss&Corbin,1990,1998)。與社會學中先驗的理論取向相反,紮根理論家認為理論應該“紮根”於來自該領域的數據,特別是在人們的行動、互動和社會過程中。因此,紮根理論通過基於從個人收集的數據相互關聯的信息類別,為行動、互動或過程的理論(配有圖表和假設)提供了生成。
Despite the initial collaboration of Glaser and Strauss that produced such works as Awareness of Dying (Glaser & Strauss, 1965) and Time for Dying (Glaser & Strauss, 1968), the two authors ultimately disagreed about the meaning and procedures of grounded theory. Glaser has criticized Strauss's approach to grounded theory as too prescribed and structured (Glaser, 1992). More recently, Charmaz (2006) has advocated for a constructivist grounded theory, thus introducing yet another perspective into the conversation about procedures. Through these different interpretations, grounded theory has gained popularity in fields such as sociology, nursing, education, and psychology, as well as in other social science fields.
Another recent grounded theory perspective is that of Clarke (2005) who, along with Charmaz, seeks to reclaim grounded theory from its "positivist underpinnings" (p. xxiii). Clarke, however, goes further than Charmaz, suggesting that social "situations" should form our unit of analysis in grounded theory and that three sociological modes can be useful in analyzing these situations-situational, social world/arenas, and positional cartographic maps for collecting and analyzing qualitative data. She further expands grounded theory "after the postmodern turn" (Clarke, 2005, p. xxiv) and relies on postmodern perspectives (i.e., the political nature of research and interpretation, reflexivity on the part of researchers, a recognition of problems of representing information, questions of legitimacy and authority, and repositioning the researcher away from the "all knowing analyst" to the "acknowledged participant") (Clarke, 2005, pp. xxvii, xxviii). Clarke frequently turns to the postmodern, poststructural writer Michael Foucault (1972) to base the grounded theory discourse. In my discussion of grounded theory, I will be relying on the books by Corbin and Strauss (2007) who provide a structured approach to grounded theory and Charmaz (2006) who offers a constructivist and interpretive perspective on grounded theory.
另一個最近的紮根理論觀點是克拉克(2005)的觀點,他與查爾馬茲一起試圖從其“實證主義基礎”(第xxiii頁)中恢復紮根理論。然而,克拉克比查爾馬茲走得更遠,他建議社會“情境”應該構成我們在紮根理論中的分析單位,並且三種社會學模式可用於分析這些情境——情境、社會世界/競技場和用於收集和分析定性數據的位置製圖。她進一步擴展了「後現代轉向之後」的紮根理論(Clarke,2005,第xxiv頁),並依賴於後現代的觀點(即研究和解釋的政治性質,研究人員的反身性,對表示資訊問題的認識,合法性和權威問題,以及將研究人員從「全知分析師」重新置放為「公認的參與者」)(克拉克, 2005年,第XXVII、XXVIII頁)。克拉克經常求助於後現代、後結構作家邁克爾·福柯(Michael Foucault,1972)作為紮根理論話語的基礎。在我討論紮根理論時,我將依靠Corbin和Strauss(2007)的書,他們為紮根理論提供了結構化的方法,而Charmaz(2006)則為紮根理論提供了建構主義和解釋性的觀點。

Defining Features of Grounded Theory

There are several major characteristics of grounded theory that might be incorporated into a research study:
  • The researcher focuses on a process or an action that has distinct steps or phases that occur over time. Thus, a grounded theory study has "movement" or some action that the researcher is attempting to explain. A process might be "developing a general education program" or the process of "supporting faculty to become good researchers."
    研究人員專注於一個過程或一個動作,該過程或動作具有隨時間推移而發生的不同步驟或階段。因此,紮根的理論研究具有研究人員試圖解釋的「運動」或某些動作。一個過程可能是「制定通識教育計劃」或「支持教師成為優秀研究人員」 的過程。
  • The researcher also seeks, in the end, to develop a theory of this process or action. There are many definitions of a theory available in the literature, but, in general, a theory is an explanation of something or an understanding that the researcher develops. This explanation or understanding is a drawing together, in grounded theory, of theoretical categories that are arrayed to show how the theory works. For example, a theory of support for faculty may show how faculty are supported over time, by specific resources, by specific actions taken by individuals, with individual outcomes that enhance the research performance of a faculty member (Creswell & Brown, 1992).
  • Memoing becomes part of developing the theory as the researcher writes down ideas as data are collected and analyzed. In these memos, the ideas attempt to formulate the process that is being seen by the researcher and to sketch out the flow of this process.
  • The primary form of data collection is often interviewing in which the researcher is constantly comparing data gleaned from participants with ideas about the emerging theory. The process consists of going back and forth between the participants, gathering new interviews, and then returning to the evolving theory to fill in the gaps and to elaborate on how it works.
  • Data analysis can be structured and follow the pattern of developing open categories, selecting one category to be the focus of the theory, and then detailing additional categories (axial coding) to form a theoretical model. The intersection of the categories becomes the theory (called selective coding). This theory can be presented as a diagram, as propositions (or hypotheses), or as a discussion (Strauss & Corbin, 1998). Data analysis can also be less structured and based on developing a theory by piecing together implicit meanings about a category (Charmaz, 2006).

Types of Grounded Theory Studies

The two popular approaches to grounded theory are the systematic procedures of Strauss and Corbin (1990, 1998) and the constructivist approach of Charmaz . In the more systematic, analytic procedures of Strauss and Corbin (1990, 1998), the investigator seeks to systematically develop a theory that explains process, action, or interaction on a topic (e.g., the process of developing a curriculum, the therapeutic benefits of sharing psychological test results with clients). The researcher typically conducts 20 to 30 interviews based on several visits "to the field" to collect interview data to saturate the categories (or find information that continues to add to them until no more can be found). A category represents a unit of information composed of events, happenings, and instances (Strauss & Corbin, 1990). The researcher also collects and analyzes observations and documents, but these data forms are often not used. While the researcher collects data, she or he begins analysis. My image for data collection in a grounded theory study is a "zigzag" process: out to the field to gather information, into the office to analyze the data, back to the field to gather more information, into the office, and so forth. The participants interviewed are theoretically chosen (called theoretical sampling) to help the researcher best form the theory. How many passes one makes to the field depends on whether the categories of information become saturated and whether the theory is elaborated in all of its complexity. This process of taking information from data collection and comparing it to emerging categories is called the constant comparative method of data analysis.
紮根理論的兩種流行方法是施特勞斯和科爾賓(1990,1998)的系統程式和Charmaz的建構主義方法 。在 Strauss 和 Corbin (1990, 1998) 更系統的分析程式中,研究者試圖系統地發展一種理論來解釋一個主題的過程、行動或互動(例如,開發課程的過程,與客戶分享心理測試結果的治療益處)。研究人員通常會根據幾次「實地」訪問進行 20 到 30 次訪談,以收集訪談數據以飽和類別(或找到繼續添加到其中的資訊,直到找不到更多)。類別表示由事件,事件和實例組成的資訊單元(Strauss&Corbin,1990)。研究人員還收集和分析觀察結果和檔,但這些數據形式通常不被使用。當研究人員收集數據時,她或他開始分析。我在紮根理論研究中收集數據的形象是一個「曲折」的過程:到現場收集資訊,到辦公室分析數據,回到現場收集更多資訊,到辦公室,等等。從理論上選擇接受採訪的參與者(稱為理論抽樣),以説明研究人員最好地形成理論。一個人向該領域傳遞了多少次,取決於資訊類別是否飽和,以及理論是否在其所有複雜性中得到闡述。這種從數據收集中獲取資訊並將其與新興類別進行比較的過程稱為數據分析的恆定比較方法。
The researcher begins with open coding, coding the data for its major categories of information. From this coding, axial coding emerges in which the researcher identifies one open coding category to focus on (called the "core" phenomenon), and then goes back to the data and creates categories around this core phenomenon. Strauss and Corbin (1990) prescribe the types of categories identified around the core phenomenon. They consist of causal conditions (what factors caused the core phenomenon), strategies (actions taken in response to the core phenomenon), contextual and intervening conditions (broad and specific situational factors that influence the strategies), and consequences (outcomes from using the strategies). These categories relate to and surround the core phenomenon in a visual model called the axial coding paradigm. The final step, then, is selective coding, in which the researcher takes the model and develops propositions (or hypotheses) that interrelate the categories in the model

or assembles a story that describes the interrelationship of categories in the model. This theory, developed by the researcher, is articulated toward the end of a study and can assume several forms, such as a narrative statement (Strauss & Corbin, 1990), a visual picture (Morrow & Smith, 1995), or a series of hypotheses or propositions (Creswell & Brown, 1992).
In their discussion of grounded theory, Strauss and Corbin (1998) take the model one step further to develop a conditional matrix. They advance the conditional matrix as a coding device to help the researcher make connections between the macro and micro conditions influencing the phenomenon. This matrix is a set of expanding concentric circles with labels that build outward from the individual, group, and organization to the community, region, nation, and global world. In my experience, this matrix is seldom used in grounded theory research, and researchers typically end their studies with a theory developed in selective coding, a theory that might be viewed as a substantive, low-level theory rather than an abstract, grand theory (e.g., see Creswell & Brown, 1992). Although making connections between the substantive theory and its larger implications for the community, nation, and world in the conditional matrix is important (e.g., a model of work flow in a hospital, the shortage of gloves, and the national guidelines on AIDS may all be connected; see this example provided by Strauss & Corbin, 1998), grounded theorists seldom have the data, time, or resources to employ the conditional matrix.
在對紮根理論的討論中,Strauss和Corbin(1998)將模型向前推進了一步,開發了一個條件矩陣。他們將條件矩陣推進為編碼設備,以説明研究人員在影響現象的宏觀和微觀條件之間建立聯繫。這個矩陣是一組不斷擴展的同心圓,帶有從個人、團體和組織向外構建的社區、地區、國家和全球世界的標籤。根據我的經驗,這個矩陣很少用於紮根理論研究,研究人員通常以選擇性編碼開發的理論結束他們的研究,這種理論可能被視為一個實質性的、低級的理論,而不是一個抽象的、宏大的理論(例如,參見Creswell&Brown,1992)。儘管在條件矩陣中,在實質性理論及其對社區、國家和世界的更大影響之間建立聯繫是很重要的(例如,醫院的工作流程模型、手套短缺和國家愛滋病指南可能都是相互關聯的;參見Strauss&Corbin,1998)提供的這個例子),但紮根的理論家很少擁有數據。 使用條件矩陣的時間或資源。
A second variant of grounded theory is found in the constructivist writing of Charmaz (2005, 2006). Instead of embracing the study of a single process or core category as in the Strauss and Corbin (1998) approach, Charmaz advocates for a social constructivist perspective that includes emphasizing diverse local worlds, multiple realities, and the complexities of particular worlds, views, and actions. Constructivist grounded theory, according to Charmaz (2006), lies squarely within the interpretive approach to qualitative research with flexible guidelines, a focus on theory developed that depends on the researcher's view, learning about the experience within embedded, hidden networks, situations, and relationships, and making visible hierarchies of power, communication, and opportunity. Charmaz places more emphasis on the views, values, beliefs, feelings, assumptions, and ideologies of individuals than on the methods of research, although she does describe the practices of gathering rich data, coding the data, memoing, and using theoretical sampling (Charmaz, 2006). She suggests that complex terms or jargon, diagrams, conceptual maps, and systematic approaches (such as Strauss & Corbin, 1990) detract from grounded theory and represent an attempt to gain power in their
紮根理論的第二種變體是在Charmaz(2005,2006)的建構主義著作中發現的。Charmaz 沒有像 Strauss 和 Corbin (1998) 那樣接受對單一過程或核心類別的研究,而是倡導社會建構主義視角,包括強調不同的局部世界、多種現實以及特定世界、觀點和行動的複雜性。根據 Charmaz (2006) 的說法,建構主義紮根理論完全在於定性研究的解釋方法,具有靈活的指導方針,專注於取決於研究人員觀點的理論,瞭解嵌入式、隱藏的網路、情境和關係中的經驗,並使權力、溝通和機會的等級可見。Charmaz 更強調個人的觀點、價值觀、信仰、感受、假設和意識形態,而不是研究方法,儘管她確實描述了收集豐富數據、編碼數據、記憶和使用理論抽樣的做法(Charmaz,2006年)。她認為,複雜的術語或行話、圖表、概念圖和系統方法(如Strauss&Corbin,1990)有損於紮根的理論,並代表了一種試圖獲得權力的嘗試。

use. She advocates using active codes, such as gerund-based phrases like recasting life. Moreover, for Charmaz, a grounded theory procedure does not minimize the role of the researcher in the process. The researcher makes decisions about the categories throughout the process, brings questions to the data, and advances personal values, experiences, and priorities. Any conclusions developed by grounded theorists are, according to Charmaz (2005), suggestive, incomplete, and inconclusive.
用。她主張使用主動代碼,例如基於動名詞的短語,例如重鑄生活。此外,對於Charmaz來說,紮根的理論程序並沒有最小化研究人員在這個過程中的作用。研究人員在整個過程中對類別做出決策,對數據提出問題,並推進個人價值觀、經驗和優先事項。根據 Charmaz (2005) 的說法,紮根理論家得出的任何結論都是暗示性的、不完整的和不確定的。

Procedures for Conducting Grounded Theory Research

In this discussion I include Charmaz's interpretive approach (e.g., reflexivity, being flexible in structure, as discussed in Chapter 2), and I rely on Strauss and Corbin (1990, 1998) and Corbin and Strauss (2007) to illustrate grounded theory procedures because their systematic approach is helpful to individuals learning about and applying grounded theory research.
The researcher needs to begin by determining if grounded theory is best suited to study his or her research problem. Grounded theory is a good design to use when a theory is not available to explain or understand a process. The literature may have models available, but they were developed and tested on samples and populations other than those of interest to the qualitative researcher. Also, theories may be present, but they are incomplete because they do not address potentially valuable variables or categories of interest to the researcher. On the practical side, a theory may be needed to explain how people are experiencing a phenomenon, and the grounded theory developed by the researcher will provide such a general framework.
The research questions that the inquirer asks of participants will focus on understanding how individuals experience the process and identify the steps in the process (What was the process? How did it unfold?). After initially exploring these issues, the researcher then returns to the participants and asks more detailed questions that help to shape the axial coding phase, questions such as these: What was central to the process (the core phenomenon)? What influenced or caused this phenomenon to occur (causal conditions)? What strategies were employed during the process (strategies)? What effect occurred (consequences)?
These questions are typically asked in interviews, although other forms of data may also be collected, such as observations, documents, and

audiovisual materials. The point is to gather enough information to fully develop (or saturate) the model. This may involve 20 to 60 interviews.
視聽材料。關鍵是要收集足夠的資訊來充分開發(或飽和)模型。這可能涉及 20 到 60 次面試。
The analysis of the data proceeds in stages. In open coding, the researcher forms categories of information about the phenomenon being studied by segmenting information. Within each category, the investigator finds several properties, or subcategories, and looks for data to dimensionalize, or show the extreme possibilities on a continuum of the property.
In axial coding, the investigator assembles the data in new ways after open coding. In this structured approach, the investigator presents a coding paradigm or logic diagram (i.e., a visual model) in which the researcher identifies a central phenomenon (i.e., a central category about the phenomenon), explores causal conditions (i.e., categories of conditions that influence the phenomenon), specifies strategies (i.e., the actions or interactions that result from the central phenomenon), identifies the context and intervening conditions (i.e., the narrow and broad conditions that influence the strategies), and delineates the consequences (i.e., the outcomes of the strategies) for this phenomenon.
在軸向編碼中,研究人員在開放編碼后以新的方式組裝數據。在這種結構化方法中,研究者提出了一個編碼範式或邏輯圖(即視覺模型),其中研究者識別一個中心現象(即關於該現象的中心類別),探索因果條件(即影響現象的條件類別),指定策略(即由中心現象產生的動作或相互作用), 確定背景和干預條件(即影響策略的狹義和廣義條件),並描述這種現象的後果(即策略的結果)。
In selective coding, the researcher may write a "story line" that connects the categories. Alternatively, propositions or hypotheses may be specified that state predicted relationships.
The result of this process of data collection and analysis is a theory, a substantive-level theory, written by a researcher close to a specific problem or population of people. The theory emerges with help from the process of memoing, in which the researcher writes down ideas about the evolving theory throughout the process of open, axial, and selective coding. The substantive-level theory may be tested later for its empirical verification with quantitative data to determine if it can be generalized to a sample and population (see mixed methods design procedures, Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011). Alternatively, the study may end at this point with the generation of a theory as the goal of the research.
這種數據收集和分析過程的結果是一種理論,一種實質層面的理論,由接近特定問題或人群的研究人員撰寫。該理論是在記憶過程的幫助下出現的,在這個過程中,研究人員在整個開放、軸向和選擇性編碼過程中寫下有關不斷發展的理論的想法。實體水準理論可以在以後進行測試,以便用定量數據進行實證驗證,以確定它是否可以推廣到樣本和總體(參見混合方法設計程式,Creswell和Plano Clark,2011)。或者,研究可能在這一點上結束,以產生理論作為研究的目標。

Challenges 挑戰

A grounded theory study challenges researchers for the following reasons. The investigator needs to set aside, as much as possible, theoretical ideas or notions so that the analytic, substantive theory can emerge. Despite the evolving, inductive nature of this form of qualitative inquiry, the researcher must recognize that this is a systematic approach to research with specific steps in data analysis, if approached from the Corbin and Strauss (2007)

perspective. The researcher faces the difficulty of determining when categories are saturated or when the theory is sufficiently detailed. One strategy that might be used to move toward saturation is to use discriminant sampling, in which the researcher gathers additional information from individuals different from those people initially interviewed to determine if the theory holds true for these additional participants. The researcher needs to recognize that the primary outcome of this study is a theory with specific components: a central phenomenon, causal conditions, strategies, conditions and context, and consequences. These are prescribed categories of information in the theory, so the Strauss and Corbin (1990, 1998) or Corbin and Strauss (2007) approach may not have the flexibility desired by some qualitative researchers. In this case, the Charmaz (2006) approach, which is less structured and more adaptable, may be used.


Definition and Background

Although a grounded theory researcher develops a theory from examining many individuals who share in the same process, action, or interaction, the study participants are not likely to be located in the same place or interacting on so frequent a basis that they develop shared patterns of behavior, beliefs, and language. An ethnographer is interested in examining these shared patterns, and the unit of analysis is typically larger than the 20 or so individuals involved in a grounded theory study. An ethnograpby focuses on an entire culture-sharing group. Granted, sometimes this cultural group may be small (a few teachers, a few social workers), but typically it is large, involving many people who interact over time (teachers in an entire school, a community social work group). Thus, ethnography is a qualitative design in which the researcher describes and interprets the shared and learned patterns of values, bebaviors, beliefs, and language of a culture-sharing group (Harris, 1968). As both a process and an outcome of research (Agar, 1980), ethnography is a way of studying a culture-sharing group as well as the final, written product of that research. As a process, ethnography involves extended observations of the group, most often through participant observation, in which the researcher is immersed in the day-to-day lives of the people and observes and interviews the group participants. Ethnographers study the meaning of the behavior, the language, and the interaction among members of the culture-sharing group.
儘管紮根理論研究人員通過檢查許多共用相同過程、行動或互動的個體來發展理論,但研究參與者不太可能位於同一個地方或如此頻繁地互動,以至於他們發展出共同的行為模式、信念和語言。民族志學家有興趣研究這些共同的模式,分析單位通常大於參與紮根理論研究的 20 個左右的個人。民族志專注於整個文化共享群體。誠然,有時這個文化團體可能很小(幾個老師,幾個社會工作者),但通常它很大,涉及許多隨著時間的推移互動的人(整個學校的教師,一個社區社會工作小組)。因此,民族志是一種定性設計,研究人員在其中描述和解釋文化共用群體的價值觀、行為、信仰和語言的共用和學習模式(Harris,1968)。作為研究的過程和結果(Agar,1980),民族志是研究文化共享群體的一種方式,也是該研究的最終書面產品。作為一個過程,民族志涉及對群體的擴展觀察,通常是通過參與者觀察,其中研究人員沉浸在人們的日常生活中,觀察和採訪群體參與者。民族志學家研究行為、語言的意義以及文化共享群體成員之間的互動。
Ethnography had its beginning in comparative cultural anthropology conducted by early 20th-century anthropologists, such as Boas, Malinowski, Radcliffe-Brown, and Mead. Although these researchers initially took the natural sciences as a model for research, they differed from those using traditional scientific approaches through the firsthand collection of data concerning existing "primitive" cultures (Atkinson & Hammersley, 1994). In the 1920s and 1930s, sociologists such as Park, Dewey, and Mead adapted anthropological field methods to the study of cultural groups in the United States (Bogdan & Biklen, 1992). Recently, scientific approaches to ethnography have expanded to include "schools" or subtypes of ethnography with different theoretical orientations and aims, such as structural functionalism, symbolic interactionism, cultural and cognitive anthropology, feminism, Marxism, ethnomethodology, critical theory, cultural studies, and postmodernism (Atkinson & Hammersley, 1994). This has led to a lack of orthodoxy in ethnography and has resulted in pluralistic approaches. Many excellent books are available on ethnography, including Van Maanen (1988) on the many forms of ethnography; LeCompte and Schensul (1999) on procedures of ethnography presented in a tool kit of short books; Atkinson, Coffey, and Delamont (2003) on the practices of ethnography; and Madison (2005) on critical ethnography. Major ideas about ethnography developed in this discussion will draw on Fetterman's (2010) and Wolcott's (2008a) approaches. I found Fetterman's (2010) discussion to proceed through the phases of research typically conducted by an ethnographer. His discussions about the basic features of ethnography and the use of theory, and his entire chapter on anthropological concepts, are well worth reading closely. Wolcott (2008a) takes a more topical approach to the subject of ethnography, but his chapter "Ethnography as a Way of Seeing" is unparalleled for obtaining a good understanding of the nature of ethnography, the study of groups, and the development of an understanding of culture. I also draw on Wolcott's (2010) companion "primer" on ethnographic lessons.
民族志起源於 20 世紀初由博阿斯、馬林諾夫斯基、拉德克利夫-布朗和米德等人類學家進行的比較文化人類學。儘管這些研究人員最初將自然科學作為研究的模型,但他們通過收集有關現有“原始”文化的第一手數據,與使用傳統科學方法的研究人員不同(Atkinson&Hammersley,1994)。在1920年代和1930年代,派克,杜威和米德等社會學家將人類學田野方法應用於美國文化群體的研究(Bogdan&Biklen,1992)。最近,民族志的科學方法已經擴展到包括具有不同理論取向和目標的民族志的“流派”或亞型,例如結構功能主義,符號互動主義,文化和認知人類學,女權主義,馬克思主義,民族方法論,批判理論,文化研究和後現代主義(Atkinson&Hammersley,1994)。這導致了民族志中缺乏正統觀念,並導致了多元化的方法。有許多關於民族志的優秀書籍,包括Van Maanen(1988)關於民族志的多種形式;LeCompte和Schensul(1999)關於在短書工具包中提出的民族志程式;Atkinson,Coffey和Delamont(2003)關於民族志的實踐;和麥迪森(2005)關於批判性民族志。本次討論中發展的關於民族志的主要思想將借鑒Fetterman(2010)和Wolcott(2008a)的方法。我發現Fetterman(2010)的討論貫穿了通常由民族志學家進行的研究階段。 他關於民族志的基本特徵和理論運用的討論,以及他關於人類學概念的整個章節,都非常值得仔細閱讀。沃爾科特(2008a)對民族志的主題採取了更主題的方法,但他的章節“民族志作為一種觀看方式”對於獲得對民族志本質的良好理解,群體研究以及對文化的理解的發展是無與倫比的。我還借鑒了沃爾科特(2010)關於民族志課程的配套“入門”。

Defining Features of Ethnographies

From a review of published ethnographies, a brief list of defining characteristics of good ethnographies can be assembled.
  • Ethnographies focus on developing a complex, complete description of the culture of a group, a culture-sharing group. The ethnography may be of the entire group or a subset of a group. As
Wolcott (2008a) mentioned, ethnography is not the study of a culture, but a study of the social behaviors of an identifiable group of people.
  • In an ethnography, the researcher looks for patterns (also described as rituals, customary social behaviors, or regularities) of the group's mental activities, such as their ideas and beliefs expressed through language, or material activities, such as how they bebave within the group as expressed through their actions observed by the researcher (Fetterman, 2010). Said in another way, the researcher looks for patterns of social organization (e.g., social networks) and ideational systems (e.g., worldview, ideas) (Wolcott, 2008a).
  • This means that the culture-sharing group has been intact and interacting for long enough to develop discernible working patterns.
  • In addition, theory plays an important role in focusing the researcher's attention when conducting an ethnography. For example, ethnographers start with a theory-a broad explanation as to what they hope to find-drawn from cognitive science to understand ideas and beliefs, or from materialist theories, such as technoenvironmentalism, Marxism, acculturation, or innovation, to observe how individuals in the culture-sharing group behave and talk (Fetterman, 2010).
  • Using the theory and looking for patterns of a culture-sharing group involves engaging in extensive fieldwork, collecting data primarily through interviews, observations, symbols, artifacts, and many diverse sources of data (Fetterman, 2010).
  • In an analysis of this data, the researcher relies on the participants' views as an insider emic perspective and reports them in verbatim quotes, and then synthesizes the data filtering it through the researchers' etic scientific perspective to develop an overall cultural interpretation. This cultural interpretation is a description of the group and themes related to the theoretical concepts being explored in the study. Typically, in good ethnographies, not much is known about how the group functions (e.g., how a gang operates), and the reader develops a new, and novel, understanding of the group. As Wolcott (2008a) says, we expect ethnographers to go far afield, to someplace "new and strange" (p. 45).
  • This analysis results in an understanding of how the culturesharing group works, the essence of how it functions, the group's way of life. Wolcott (2010) provides two helpful questions that, in the end, must be answered in an ethnography: "What do people in this setting have to know and do to make this system work?" and
"If culture, sometimes defined simply as shared knowledge, is mostly caught rather than taught, how do those being inducted into the group find their 'way in' so that an adequate level of sharing is achieved?" (p. 74).

Types of Ethnographies 民族志的類型

There are many forms of ethnography, such as a confessional ethnography, life history, autoethnography, feminist ethnography, ethnographic novels, and the visual ethnography found in photography and video, and electronic media (Denzin, 1989a; Fetterman, 2010; LeCompte, Millroy, & Preissle, 1992; Pink, 2001; Van Maanen, 1988). Two popular forms of ethnography will be emphasized here: the realist ethnography and the critical ethnography.
民族志有多種形式,如懺悔民族志、生活史、自傳民族志、女權主義民族志、民族志小說,以及攝影、錄像和電子媒體中的視覺民族志(Denzin,1989a;Fetterman,2010 年;LeCompte,Millroy和Preissle,1992;粉紅色,2001年;Van Maanen,1988年)。這裡將強調兩種流行的民族志形式:現實主義民族志和批判民族志。
The realist etbnography is a traditional approach used by cultural anthropologists. Characterized by Van Maanen (1988), it reflects a particular stance taken by the researcher toward the individuals being studied. Realist ethnography is an objective account of the situation, typically written in the third-person point of view and reporting objectively on the information learned from participants at a site. In this ethnographic approach, the realist ethnographer narrates the study in a third-person dispassionate voice and reports on what is observed or heard from participants. The ethnographer remains in the background as an omniscient reporter of the "facts." The realist also reports objective data in a measured style uncontaminated by personal bias, political goals, and judgment. The researcher may provide mundane details of everyday life among the people studied. The ethnographer also uses standard categories for cultural description (e.g., family life, communication networks, work life, social networks, status systems). The ethnographer produces the participants' views through closely edited quotations and has the final word on how the culture is to be interpreted and presented.
現實主義 etbnography 是文化人類學家使用的一種傳統方法。Van Maanen(1988)的特徵是,它反映了研究人員對被研究者所採取的特定立場。現實主義民族志是對情況的客觀描述,通常以第三人稱視角撰寫,並客觀地報告從現場參與者那裡瞭解到的資訊。在這種民族志方法中,現實主義民族志學家以第三人稱冷靜的聲音敘述研究,並報告參與者觀察到或聽到的內容。民族志學家作為“事實”的無所不知的記者留在幕後。現實主義者還以一種不受個人偏見、政治目標和判斷影響的有節制的方式報告客觀數據。研究人員可能會提供被研究者日常生活的平凡細節。民族志學家還使用標準類別進行文化描述(例如,家庭生活、通信網路、工作生活、社交網路、地位系統)。民族志學家通過精心編輯的引文產生參與者的觀點,並對如何解釋和呈現文化擁有最終決定權。
Alternatively, for many researchers, ethnography today employs a "critical" approach (Carspecken & Apple, 1992; Madison, 2005; Thomas, 1993) by including in the research an advocacy perspective. This approach is in response to current society, in which the systems of power, prestige, privilege, and authority serve to marginalize individuals who are from different classes, races, and genders. The critical ethnography is a type of ethnographic research in which the authors advocate for the emancipation of groups marginalized in society (Thomas, 1993). Critical researchers
另外,對於許多研究人員來說,今天的民族志採用了一種「批判性」的方法(Carspecken & Apple, 1992;麥迪森,2005 年;Thomas,1993),在研究中納入了宣傳視角。這種方法是對當前社會的回應,在這種社會中,權力、聲望、特權和權威體系使來自不同階級、種族和性別的個人邊緣化。批判性民族志是一種民族志研究,作者主張解放社會中被邊緣化的群體(Thomas,1993)。關鍵研究人員

typically are politically minded individuals who seek, through their research, to speak out against inequality and domination (Carspecken & Apple, 1992). For example, critical ethnographers might study schools that provide privileges to certain types of students, or counseling practices that serve to overlook the needs of underrepresented groups. The major components of a critical ethnography include a value-laden orientation, empowering people by giving them more authority, challenging the status quo, and addressing concerns about power and control. A critical ethnographer will study issues of power, empowerment, inequality, inequity, dominance, repression, hegemony, and victimization.

Procedures for Conducting an Ethnography

As with all qualitative inquiry, there is no single way to conduct ethnographic research. Although current writings provide more guidance to this approach than ever (for example, see the excellent overview found in Wolcott, 2008a), the approach taken here includes elements of both realist ethnography and critical approaches. The steps I would use to conduct an ethnography are as follows:
  • Determine if ethnography is the most appropriate design to use to study the research problem. Ethnography is appropriate if the needs are to describe how a cultural group works and to explore the beliefs, language, behaviors, and issues facing the group, such as power, resistance, and dominance. The literature may be deficient in actually knowing how the group works because the group is not in the mainstream, people may not be familiar with the group, or its ways are so different that readers may not identify with the group.
  • Identify and locate a culture-sharing group to study. Typically, this group is one whose members have been together for an extended period of time, so that their shared language, patterns of behavior, and attitudes have merged into discernable patterns. This may also be a group that has been marginalized by society. Because ethnographers spend time talking with and observing this group, access may require finding one or more individuals in the group who will allow the researcher in-a gatekeeper or key informants (or participants).
  • Select cultural themes, issues, or theories to study about the group. These themes, issues, and theories provide an orienting

    framework for the study of the culture-sharing group. It also informs the analysis of the culture-sharing group. The themes may include such topics as enculturation, socialization, learning, cognition, domination, inequality, or child and adult development (LeCompte et al., 1992). As discussed by Hammersley and Atkinson (1995), Wolcott (1987, 1994b, 2008a), and Fetterman (2010), the ethnographer begins the study by examining people in interaction in ordinary settings and discerns pervasive patterns such as life cycles, events, and cultural themes. Culture is an amorphous term, not something "lying about" (Wolcott, 1987, p. 41), but something researchers attribute to a group when looking for patterns of its social world. It is inferred from the words and actions of members of the group, and it is assigned to this group by the researcher. It consists of what people do (behaviors), what they say (language), the potential tension between what they do and ought to do, and what they make and use, such as artifacts (Spradley, 1980). Such themes are diverse, as illustrated in Winthrop's (1991) Dictionary of Concepts in Cultural Anthropology. Fetterman (2010) discusses how ethnographers describe a bolistic perspective of the group's history, religion, politics, economy, and environment. Within this description, cultural concepts such as the social structure, kinship, the political structure, and the social relations or function among members of the group may be described.
    文化共用小組研究框架。它還為文化共用小組的分析提供了資訊。這些主題可能包括文化融合、社會化、學習、認知、統治、不平等或兒童和成人發展等主題(LeCompte et al., 1992)。正如Hammersley和Atkinson(1995),Wolcott(1987,1994b,2008a)和Fetterman(2010)所討論的那樣,民族志學家通過檢查人們在普通環境中的互動來開始研究,並辨別普遍存在的模式,如生命週期,事件和文化主題。文化是一個無定形的術語,不是“撒謊”的東西(沃爾科特,1987年,第41頁),而是研究人員在尋找其社會世界模式時歸因於一個群體的東西。它是從小組成員的言行中推斷出來的,由研究人員分配給這個小組。它包括人們做什麼(行為),他們說什麼(語言),他們做什麼和應該做什麼,以及他們製造和使用什麼(例如人工製品)之間的潛在張力(Spradley,1980)。這些主題是多種多樣的,正如溫思羅普(Winthrop,1991)的《文化人類學概念詞典》(Dictionary of Concepts in Cultural Anthropology)所說明的那樣。Fetterman(2010)討論了民族志學家如何描述該群體的歷史,宗教,政治,經濟和環境的Bolistic視角。在這種描述中,可以描述文化概念,例如社會結構、親屬關係、政治結構以及群體成員之間的社會關係或功能。
  • To study cultural concepts, determine which type of ethnography to use. Perhaps how the group works needs to be described, or a critical ethnography can expose issues such as power, hegemony, and advocacy for certain groups. A critical ethnographer, for example, might address an inequity in society or some part of it, use the research to advocate and call for changes, and specify an issue to explore, such as inequality, dominance, oppression, or empowerment.
  • Gather information in the context or setting where the group works or lives. This is called fieldwork (Wolcott, 2008a). Gathering the types of information typically needed in an ethnography involves going to the research site, respecting the daily lives of individuals at the site, and collecting a wide variety of materials. Field issues of respect, reciprocity, deciding who owns the data, and others are central to ethnography. Ethnographers bring a sensitivity to fieldwork issues (Hammersley & Atkinson, 1995), such as attending to how they gain access, give back or reciprocate with the participants, and engage in ethical research, such as presenting themselves honestly and describing the purpose of the study. LeCompte and Schensul (1999) organize types of ethnographic data into

    observations, tests and measures, surveys, interviews, content analysis, elicitation methods, audiovisual methods, spatial mapping, and network research.
  • From the many sources collected, the ethnographer analyzes the data for a description of the culture-sharing group, themes that emerge from the group, and an overall interpretation (Wolcott, 1994b). The researcher begins by compiling a detailed description of the culturesharing group, focusing on a single event, on several activities, or on the group over a prolonged period of time. The ethnographer moves into a theme analysis of patterns or topics that signifies how the cultural group works and lives, and ends with an "overall picture of how a system works" (Fetterman, 2010, p. 10).
    從收集到的許多資料中,民族志學家分析了數據,以描述文化共用群體,群體中出現的主題以及整體解釋(Wolcott,1994b)。研究人員首先對文化共用小組進行詳細描述,重點關注單個事件、多個活動或長時間的小組。民族志學家進入對模式或主題的主題分析,這些模式或主題標誌著文化群體如何工作和生活,並以“系統如何運作的整體畫面”結束(Fetterman,2010,第 10 頁)。
  • Forge a working set of rules or generalizations as to how the culture-sharing group works as the final product of this analysis. The final product is a holistic cultural portrait of the group that incorporates the views of the participants (emic) as well as the views of the researcher (etic). It might also advocate for the needs of the group or suggest changes in society. As a result, the reader learns about the culture-sharing group from both the participants and the interpretation of the researcher. Other products may be more performance based, such as theater productions, plays, or poems.

Challenges 挑戰

Ethnography is challenging to use for the following reasons. The researcher needs to have an understanding of cultural anthropology, the meaning of a social-cultural system, and the concepts typically explored by those studying cultures. The time to collect data is extensive, involving prolonged time in the field. In much ethnography, the narratives are written in a literary, almost storytelling approach, an approach that may limit the audience for the work and may be challenging for authors accustomed to traditional approaches to scientific writing. There is a possibility that the researcher will "go native" and be unable to complete or be compromised in the study. This is but one issue in the complex array of fieldwork issues facing ethnographers who venture into an unfamiliar cultural group or system. Sensitivity to the needs of individuals being studied is especially important, and the researcher must access and report his or her impact in conducting the study on the people and the places being explored.


Definition and Background

The entire culture-sharing group in ethnography may be considered a case, but the intent in ethnography is to determine how the culture works rather than to either develop an in-depth understanding of a single case or explore an issue or problem using the case as a specific illustration. Thus, case study research involves the study of a case within a real-life, contemporary context or setting (Yin, 2009). Although Stake (2005) states that case study research is not a methodology but a choice of what is to be studied (i.e., a case within a bounded system, bounded by time and place), others present it as a strategy of inquiry, a methodology, or a comprehensive research strategy (Denzin & Lincoln, 2005; Merriam, 1998; Yin, 2009). I choose to view it as a methodology: a type of design in qualitative research that may be an object of study, as well as a product of the inquiry. Case study research is a qualitative approach in which the investigator explores a real-life, contemporary bounded system (a case) or multiple bounded systems (cases) over time, through detailed, in-depth data collection involving multiple sources of information (e.g., observations, interviews, audiovisual material, and documents and reports), and reports a case description and case themes. The unit of analysis in the case study might be multiple cases (a multisite study) or a single case (a within-site study).
The case study approach is familiar to social scientists because of its popularity in psychology (Freud), medicine (case analysis of a problem), law (case law), and political science (case reports). Case study research has a long, distinguished history across many disciplines. Hamel, Dufour, and Fortin (1993) trace the origin of modern social science case studies through anthropology and sociology. They cite anthropologist Malinowski's study of the Trobriand Islands, French sociologist LePlay's study of families, and the case studies of the University of Chicago Department of Sociology from the 1920s and '30s through the 1950s (e.g., Thomas and Znaniecki's 1958 study of Polish peasants in Europe and America) as antecedents of qualitative case study research. Today, the case study writer has a large array of texts and approaches from which to choose. Yin (2009), for example, espouses both quantitative and qualitative approaches to case study development and discusses explanatory, exploratory, and descriptive qualitative case studies. Merriam (1998) advocates a general approach to 
qualitative case studies in the field of education. Stake (1995) systematically establishes procedures for case study research and cites them extensively in his example of "Harper School." Stake's (2006) most recent book on multiple case study analysis presents a step-by-step approach and provides rich illustrations of multiple case studies in Ukraine, Slovakia, and Romania. In discussing the case study approach, I will rely on Stake (1995) and Yin (2009) to form the distinctive features of this approach. 

Defining Features of Case Studies 

A review of many qualitative case studies reported in the literature yields several defining characteristics of most of them: 
  • Case study research begins with the identification of a specific case. This case may be a concrete entity, such as an individual, a small group, an organization, or a partnership. At a less concrete level, it may be a community, a relationship, a decision process, or a specific project (see Yin, 2009). The key here is to define a case that can be bounded or described within certain parameters, such as a specific place and time. Typically, case study researchers study current, real-life cases that are in progress so that they can gather accurate information not lost by time. A single case can be selected or multiple cases identified so that they can be compared.
  • The intent of conducting the case study is also important. A qualitative case study can be composed to illustrate a unique case, a case that has unusual interest in and of itself and needs to be described and detailed. This is called an intrinsic case (Stake, 1995). Alternatively, the intent of the case study may be to understand a specific issue, problem, or concern (e.g., teenage pregnancy) and a case or cases selected to best understand the problem. This is called an instrumental case (Stake, 1995).
  • A hallmark of a good qualitative case study is that it presents an in-depth understanding of the case. In order to accomplish this, the researcher collects many forms of qualitative data, ranging from interviews, to observations, to documents, to audiovisual materials. Relying on one source of data is typically not enough to develop this in-depth understanding.
  • The selection of how to approach the data analysis in a case study will differ. Some case studies involve the analysis of multiple units within the case (e.g., the school, the school district) while others report on the

    entire case (e.g., the school district). Also, in some studies, the researcher selects multiple cases to analyze and compare while, in other case studies, a single case is analyzed.
  • A key to understanding analysis also is that good case study research involves a description of the case. This description applies to both intrinsic and instrumental case studies. In addition, the researcher can identify themes or issues or specific situations to study in each case. A complete findings section of a case study would then involve both a description of the case and themes or issues that the researcher has uncovered in studying the case.
  • In addition, the themes or issues might be organized into a chronology by the researcher, analyzed across cases for similarities and differences among the cases, or presented as a theoretical model.
  • Case studies often end with conclusions formed by the researcher about the overall meaning derived from the case(s). These are called "assertions" by Stake (1995) or building "patterns" or "explanations" by Yin (2009). I think about these as general lessons learned from studying the case(s).

Types of Case Studies

Thus, types of qualitative case studies are distinguished by the size of the bounded case, such as whether the case involves one individual, several individuals, a group, an entire program, or an activity. They may also be distinguished in terms of the intent of the case analysis. Three variations exist in terms of intent: the single instrumental case study, the collective or multiple case study, and the intrinsic case study. In a single instrumental case study (Stake, 1995), the researcher focuses on an issue or concern, and then selects one bounded case to illustrate this issue. In a collective case study (or multiple case study), the one issue or concern is again selected, but the inquirer selects multiple case studies to illustrate the issue. The researcher might select for study several programs from several research sites or multiple programs within a single site. Often the inquirer purposefully selects multiple cases to show different perspectives on the issue. Yin (2009) suggests that the multiple case study design uses the logic of replication, in which the inquirer replicates the procedures for each case. As a general rule, qualitative researchers are reluctant to generalize from one case to another because the contexts of cases differ. To best generalize, however, the inquirer needs to select representative cases for
因此,定性案例研究的類型通過有界案例的大小來區分,例如案例是否涉及一個人、幾個人、一個團體、整個專案或一項活動。它們也可以根據案例分析的意圖加以區分。就意圖而言,存在三種變體:單一工具案例研究、集體或多案例研究以及內在案例研究。在單個工具案例研究(Stake,1995)中,研究人員專注於一個問題或關注點,然後選擇一個有界案例來說明這個問題。在集體案例研究(或多個案例研究)中,再次選擇一個問題或關注點,但詢問者選擇多個案例研究來說明該問題。研究人員可能會選擇來自多個研究網站的多個程式或單個網站中的多個程序進行研究。通常,詢問者有目的地選擇多個案例來展示對問題的不同觀點。Yin (2009)認為,多案例研究設計使用複製邏輯,其中詢問者複製每個案例的程式。作為一般規則,定性研究人員不願意從一個案例推廣到另一個案例,因為案例的背景不同。然而,為了最好地概括,詢問者需要選擇具有代表性的案例

inclusion in the qualitative study. The final type of case study design is an intrinsic case study in which the focus is on the case itself (e.g., evaluating a program, or studying a student having difficulty-see Stake, 1995) because the case presents an unusual or unique situation. This resembles the focus of narrative research, but the case study analytic procedures of a detailed description of the case, set within its context or surroundings, still hold true. 

Procedures for Conducting a Case Study 

Several procedures are available for conducting case studies (see Merriam, 1998; Stake, 1995; Yin, 2009). This discussion will rely primarily on Stake's (1995) and Yin's (2009) approaches to conducting a case study. 
  • First, researchers determine if a case study approach is appropriate for studying the research problem. A case study is a good approach when the inquirer has clearly identifiable cases with boundaries and seeks to provide an in-depth understanding of the cases or a comparison of several cases. 
  • Researchers need next to identify their case or cases. These cases may involve an individual, several individuals, a program, an event, or an activity. In conducting case study research, I recommend that investigators first consider what type of case study is most promising and useful. The case can be single or collective, multisited or within-site, and focused on a case or on an issue (intrinsic, instrumental) (Stake, 1995; Yin, 2009). In choosing which case to study, an array of possibilities for purposeful sampling is available. I prefer to select cases that show different perspectives on the problem, process, or event I want to portray (called "purposeful maximal sampling"; see Creswell, 2012), but I also may select ordinary cases, accessible cases, or unusual cases. 
  • The data collection in case study research is typically extensive, drawing on multiple sources of information, such as observations, interviews, documents, and audiovisual materials. For example, Yin (2009) recommends six types of information to collect: documents, archival records, interviews, direct observations, participant observation, and physical artifacts. 
  • The type of analysis of these data can be a bolistic analysis of the entire case or an embedded analysis of a specific aspect of the case (Yin, 2009). Through this data collection, a detailed description of the case 
(Stake, 1995) emerges in which the researcher details such aspects as the history of the case, the chronology of events, or a day-by-day rendering of the activities of the case. (The gunman case study in Appendix F involved tracing the campus response to a gunman for 2 weeks immediately following the near-tragedy on campus.) After this description ("relatively uncontested data"; Stake, 1995, p. 123), the researcher might focus on a few key issues (or analysis of themes), not for generalizing beyond the case, but for understanding the complexity of the case. One analytic strategy would be to identify issues within each case and then look for common themes that transcend the cases (Yin, 2009). This analysis is rich in the context of the case or setting in which the case presents itself (Merriam, 1988). When multiple cases are chosen, a typical format is to provide first a detailed description of each case and themes within the case, called a within-case analysis, followed by a thematic analysis across the cases, called a cross-case analysis, as well as assertions or an interpretation of the meaning of the case. 
  • In the final interpretive phase, the researcher reports the meaning of the case, whether that meaning comes from learning about the issue of the case (an instrumental case) or learning about an unusual situation (an intrinsic case). As Lincoln and Guba (1985) mention, this phase constitutes the lessons learned from the case. 


One of the challenges inherent in qualitative case study development is that the researcher must identify the case. The case selected may be broad in scope (e.g., the Boy Scout organization) or narrow in scope (e.g., a decision-making process at a specific college). The case study researcher must decide which bounded system to study, recognizing that several might be possible candidates for this selection and realizing that either the case itself or an issue, which a case or cases are selected to illustrate, is worthy of study. The researcher must consider whether to study a single case or multiple cases. The study of more than one case dilutes the overall analysis; the more cases an individual studies, the less the depth in any single case. When a researcher chooses multiple cases, the issue becomes, "How many cases?" There is no one answer to this question. However, researchers typically choose no more than four or five cases. What motivates the researcher to consider a large number of cases is the idea of generalizability, a term that holds little meaning for most qualitative 
researchers (Glesne & Peshkin, 1992). Selecting the case requires that the researcher establish a rationale for his or her purposeful sampling strategy for selecting the case and for gathering information about the case. Having enough information to present an in-depth picture of the case limits the value of some case studies. In planning a case study, I have individuals develop a data collection matrix in which they specify the amount of information they are likely to collect about the case. Deciding the "boundaries" of a case-how it might be constrained in terms of time, events, and processes-may be challenging. Some case studies may not have clean beginning and ending points, and the researcher will need to set boundaries that adequately surround the case. 


All five approaches have in common the general process of research that begins with a research problem and proceeds to the questions, the data, the data analysis, and the research report. They also employ similar data collection processes, including, in varying degrees, interviews, observations, documents, and audiovisual materials. Also, a couple of potential similarities among the designs should be noted. Narrative research, ethnography, and case study research may seem similar when the unit of analysis is a single individual. True, one may approach the study of a single individual from any of these three approaches; however, the types of data one would collect and analyze would differ considerably. In narrative research, the inquirer focuses on the stories told from the individual and arranges these stories in chronological order; in ethnography, the focus is on setting the individuals' stories within the context of their culture and culture-sharing group; in case study research, the single case is typically selected to illustrate an issue, and the researcher compiles a detailed description of the setting for the case. My approach is to recommend, if the researcher wants to study a single individual, the narrative approach or a single case study because ethnography is a much broader picture of the culture. Then when comparing a narrative study and a single case to study a single individual, I feel that the narrative approach is seen as more appropriate because narrative studies tend to focus on a single individual whereas case studies often involve more than one case. 
From these sketches of the five approaches, I can identify fundamental differences among these types of qualitative research. As shown in 
Table 4.1, I present several dimensions for distinguishing among the five approaches. At a most fundamental level, the five differ in what they are trying to accomplish-their foci or the primary objectives of the studies. Exploring a life is different from generating a theory or describing the behavior of a cultural group. Moreover, although overlaps exist in discipline origin, some approaches have single-disciplinary traditions (e.g., grounded theory originating in sociology, ethnography founded in anthropology or sociology), and others have broad interdisciplinary backgrounds (e.g., narrative, case study). The data collection varies in terms of emphasis (e.g., more observations in ethnography, more interviews in grounded theory) and extent of data collection (e.g., only interviews in phenomenology, multiple forms in case study research to provide the in-depth case picture). At the data analysis stage, the differences are most pronounced. Not only is the distinction one of specificity of the analysis phase (e.g., grounded theory most specific, narrative research less defined), but the number of steps to be undertaken also varies (e.g., extensive steps in phenomenology, few steps in ethnography). The result of each approach, the written report, takes shape from all the processes before it. Stories about an individual's life comprise narrative research. A description of the essence of the experience of the phenomenon becomes a phenomenology. A theory, often portrayed in a visual model, emerges in grounded theory, and a holistic view of how a culture-sharing group works results in an ethnography. An in-depth study of a bounded system or a case (or several cases) becomes a case study. 
Relating the dimensions of Table 4.1 to research design within the five approaches will be the focus of chapters to follow. Qualitative researchers have found it helpful to see at this point a general sketch of the overall structure of each of the five approaches. 
The outlines of the general structure in writing each of the five approaches in Table 4.1 may be used in designing a journal-article-length study. However, because of the numerous steps in each, they also have applicability as chapters of a dissertation or a book-length work. I introduce them here because the reader, with an introductory knowledge of each approach, now can sketch the general "architecture" of a study. Certainly, this architecture will emerge and be shaped differently by the conclusion of the study, but it provides a framework for the design issue to follow. I recommend these outlines as general templates at this time. In Chapter 5, we will examine five published journal articles, with each study illustrating one of the five approaches, and explore the writing structure of each. 


In this chapter, I described each of the five approaches to qualitative research—narrative research, phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography, and case study. I provided a definition, some history of the development of the approach, and the major forms it has assumed, and I detailed the major procedures for conducting a qualitative study. I also discussed some of the major challenges in conducting each approach. To highlight some of the differences among the approaches, I provided an overview table that contrasts the characteristics of focus, the type of research problem addressed, the discipline background, the unit of analysis, the forms of data collection, data analysis strategies, and the nature of the final, written report. I also presented outlines of the structure of each approach that might be useful in designing a study within each of the five types. In the next chapter, we will examine five studies that illustrate each approach and look more closely at the compositional structure of each type of approach. 


Several readings extend this brief overview of each of the five approaches of inquiry. In Chapter 1, I presented the major books that will be used to craft discussions about each approach. Here I provide a more expanded list of references that also includes the major works. 

Narrative Research 

Angrosino, M. V. (1989a). Documents of interaction: Biography, autobiography, and life bistory in social science perspective. Gainesville: University of Florida Press. 
Clandinin, D. J. (Ed.). (2006). Handbook of narrative inquiry: Mapping a methodology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 
Clandinin, D. J., & Connelly, F. M. (2000). Narrative inquiry: Experience and story in qualitative research. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 
Czarniawska, B. (2004). Narratives in social science research. London: Sage. 
Denzin, N. K. (1989a). Interpretive biography. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. 
Denzin, N. K. (1989b). Interpretive interactionism. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. 
Elliot, J. (2005). Using narrative in social research: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. London: Sage. 
Lightfoot, C., & Daiute, C. (Eds.). (2004). Narrative analysis: Studying the development of individuals in society. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage 
Lightfoot-Lawrence, S., & Davis, J. H. (1997). The art and science of portraiture. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 
Plummer, K. (1983). Documents of life: An introduction to the problems and literature of a bumanistic method. London: George Allen & Unwin. 
Riessman, C. K. (2008). Narrative methods for the human sciences. Los Angeles, CA: Sage. 


Colaizzi, P. F. (1978). Psychological research as the phenomenologist views it. In R. Vaile & M. King (Eds.), Existential phenomenological alternatives for psychology (pp. 48-71). New York: Oxford University Press. 
Dukes, S. (1984). Phenomenological methodology in the human sciences. Journal of Religion and Health, 23, 197-203. 
Giorgi, A. (Ed.). (1985). Phenomenology and psychological research. Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne University Press. 
Giorgi, A. (2009). A descriptive phenomenological method in psychology: A modified Husserlian approach. Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne University Press. 
Husserl, E. (1931). Ideas: General introduction to pure phenomenology (D. Carr, Trans.). Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press. 
Husserl, E. (1970). The crisis of European sciences and transcendental phenomenology (D. Carr, Trans.). Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press. 
LeVasseur, J.J. (2003). The problem with bracketing in phenomenology. Qualitative Health Research, 31(2), 408-420. 
Lopez, K. A., & Willis, D. G. (2004). Descriptive versus interpretive phenomenology: Their contributions to nursing knowledge. Qualitative Health Research, . 
Merleau-Ponty, M. (1962). Phenomenology of perception (C. Smith, Trans.). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. 
Moustakas, C. (1994). Phenomenological research methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Natanson, M. (Ed.). (1973). Phenomenology and the social sciences. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press. 
Oiler, C. J. (1986). Phenomenology: The method. In P. L. Munhall & C. J. Oiler (Eds.), Nursing research: A qualitative perspective (pp. 69-82). Norwalk, CT: Appleton-Century-Crofts. 
Polkinghorne, D. E. (1989). Phenomenological research methods. In R. S. Valle & S. Halling (Eds.), Existential-phenomenological perspectives in psychology (pp. 41-60). New York: Plenum. 
Spiegelberg, H. (1982). The phenomenological movement (3rd ed.). The Hague, Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff. 
Stewart, D., & Mickunas, A. (1990). Exploring phenomenology: A guide to the field and its literature (2nd ed.). Athens: Ohio University Press. 
Tesch, R. (1990). Qualitative research: Analysis types and software tools. Bristol, PA: Falmer Press. 
Van Kaam, A. (1966). Existential foundations of psychology. Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne University Press. 
van Manen, M. (1990). Researching lived experience: Human science for an action sensitive pedagogy. Albany: State University of New York Press. 

Grounded Theory 

Babchuk, W. A. (2011), Grounded theory as a "family of methods": A genealogical analysis to guide research. US-China Education Review, 8(2), 1548-1566. 
Birks, M., & Mills, J. (2011). Grounded theory: A practical guide. London: Sage. 
Charmaz, K. (1983). The grounded theory method: An explication and interpretation. In R. Emerson (Ed.), Contemporary field research (pp. 109-126). Boston: Little, Brown. 
Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing grounded theory. London: Sage. 
Chenitz, W. C., & Swanson, J. M. (1986). From practice to grounded theory: Qualitative research in nursing. Menlo Park, CA: Addison-Wesley. 
Clarke, A. E. (2005). Situational analysis: Grounded theory after the postmodern turn. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 
Corbin, J., & Strauss, A. (2007). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 
Glaser, B. G. (1978). Theoretical sensitivity. Mill Valley, CA: Sociology Press. 
Glaser, B. G. (1992). Basics of grounded theory analysis. Mill Valley, CA: Sociology Press.
格拉澤,BG(1992 年)。紮根理論分析的基礎知識。加利福尼亞州米爾谷:社會學出版社。
Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory. Chicago: Aldine.
Strauss, A. (1987). Qualitative analysis for social scientists. New York: Cambridge University Press.
施特勞斯,A.(1987 年)。社會科學家的定性分析。紐約:劍橋大學出版社。
Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and tecbniques. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1998). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques (2nd ed.). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Strauss,A.和Corbin,J.(1998)。定性研究基礎:紮根理論程序和技術(第 2 版)。加利福尼亞州紐伯里公園:鼠尾草。

Ethnography 民族志

Atkinson, P., Coffey, A., & Delamont, S. (2003). Key themes in qualitative research: Continuities and changes. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira.
Fetterman, D. M. (2010). Ethnography: Step by step (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
費特曼,DM(2010 年)。民族志:一步一步(第 3 版)。加利福尼亞州千橡市:鼠尾草。
LeCompte, M. D., & Schensul, J. J. (1999). Designing and conducting ethnographic research (Ethnographer's toolkit, Vol. 1). Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira.
LeCompte,MD和Schensul,J.J.(1999)。設計和進行民族志研究(民族志學家工具包,第 1 卷)。加利福尼亞州核桃溪:阿爾塔米拉。
Madison, D. S. (2005). Critical ethnography: Method, ethics, and performance. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
麥迪森,DS(2005 年)。批判性民族志:方法、倫理和績效。加利福尼亞州千橡市:鼠尾草。
Spradley, J. P. (1979). The etbnographic interview. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
斯普拉德利,JP(1979 年)。etbnographic 採訪。紐約:Holt,Rinehart和Winston。
Spradley, J. P. (1980). Participant observation. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
斯普拉德利,JP(1980 年)。參與者觀察。紐約:Holt,Rinehart和Winston。
Wolcott, H. F. (1994b). Transforming qualitative data: Description, analysis, and interpretation. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Wolcott, H. F. (2008a). Ethnography: A way of seeing (2nd ed.). Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira.
沃爾科特,HF(2008a)。民族志:一種觀看方式(第 2 版)。加利福尼亞州核桃溪:阿爾塔米拉。
Wolcott, H. F. (2010). Ethnography lessons: A primer. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.
沃爾科特,HF(2010 年)。民族志課程:入門。加利福尼亞州核桃溪:左海岸出版社。

Case Study 個案研究

Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Merriam, S. (1988). Case study research in education: A qualitative approach. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Lincoln,Y.S.和Guba,EG(1985)。自然主義探究。加利福尼亞州比佛利山莊:鼠尾草。梅里亞姆,S.(1988 年)。教育案例研究研究:定性方法。三藩市:Jossey-Bass。
Stake, R. (1995). The art of case study research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Stake,R.(1995 年)。案例研究研究的藝術。加利福尼亞州千橡市:鼠尾草。
Yin, R. K. (2009). Case study research: Design and method (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
尹,R.K.(2009 年)。案例研究研究:設計與方法(第 4 版)。加利福尼亞州千橡市:鼠尾草。


  1. Select one of the five approaches for a proposed study. Write a brief description of the approach, including a definition, the history, and the procedures associated with the approach. Include references to the literature.
  2. Find a qualitative journal article that states in the article that it is a narrative study, a phenomenology, a grounded theory, an ethnography, or a case study. Using the elements of "defining features" advanced in this chapter, review the article and locate where each defining feature of the particular approach appears in the article.
  3. Take a proposed qualitative study that you would like to conduct. Begin with presenting it as a narrative study, and then shape it into a phenomenology, a grounded theory, an ethnography, and finally a case study. Discuss for each type of study the focus of the study, the types of data collection and analysis, and the final written report.