Module 6 Discussion

A fundamental pitfall in qualitative research is to confuse the actual observations with the interpretation of the observations. It is important that these two things remain distinctly separate. Dr. D is conducting an interview with Amber, who works as a cocktail waitress.

Here is an excerpt:

Dr. D:        What shift do you typically work?

Amber:      Night.  I come in around 7:00 p.m. and work until 2:00 a.m.

Dr. D:        Cocktail waitressing has a bad reputation.  How bad is it to work here?

Amber:      Not so bad.  Most of our customers are pretty nice guys.  They’re regulars and they

                 don’t drink too much and get out of control.  In fact, if one customer is giving me a

                 hard time, another often steps in and helps out.

Dr. D:        As the evening progresses, the men give you more and more problems, don’t

                  they?  What do you do about that?

Amber:      I ignore it as long as I can.  I get the manager to step in if they don’t straighten up.

Do you notice any problems with the interviewing technique of Dr. D?  Describe the problems

you see in the excerpts and then explain what Dr. D should do differently.

Next respond to this question. Research is evaluated based on whether it’s well done, valid and reliable, and useful. Why, then, are open-mindedness and explicitness of assumptions and biases hallmarks of well-done qualitative research? 

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