Definition of Qualitative Research
(noun) Non-numeric exploratory research that seeks to understand the experiences of individuals or groups from their perspective.
Examples of Qualitative Research
Qualitative Research Pronunciation
Syllabification: qual·i·ta·tive re·search
- American English – /kwAHl-uh-tay-tiv rEE-suhrch/
- British English – /kwOl-i-tuh-tiv ri-sUHRch/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /ˈkwɑləˌteɪtɪv riˈsɜrʧ/
- British English – /ˈkwɒlɪtətɪv rɪˈsɜːʧ/
- Plural: qualitative researches
- Qualitative research is compared and contrasted with quantitative research.
- Qualitative research is viewed as holistic whereas quantitative research is viewed as reductionistic. However, qualitative and quantitative research are complementary, not contradictory.
- Qualitative research typically has smaller sample sizes that quantitative research.
- Reductively, qualitative research seeks to explain the “how” and “why” and quantitative research seeks to identify “how much” and “how often”.
- Also called:
- qualitative data analysis
- qualitative method
- qualitative research method
- qualitative sociology
- Qualitative Research Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “qualitative” and “research” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
- content analysis
- detached observation
- grounded theory
- participant observation
Andersen, Margaret L., and Howard Francis Taylor. 2011. Sociology: The Essentials. 6th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Carrabine, Eamonn, Pam Cox, Maggy Lee, Ken Plummer, and Nigel South. 2009. Criminology: A Sociological Introduction. 2nd ed. London: Routledge.
Ferris, Kerry, and Jill Stein. 2010. The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology. 2nd ed. New York: Norton.
Macionis, John, and Kenneth Plummer. 2012. Sociology: A Global Introduction. 4th ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.
Marsh, Ian, and Mike Keating, eds. 2006. Sociology: Making Sense of Society. 3rd ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.
Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/).
Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).
Schaefer, Richard. 2013. Sociology: A Brief Introduction. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Scott, John, and Gordon Marshall. 2005. A Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.
Stolley, Kathy S. 2005. The Basics of Sociology. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).
Cite the Definition of Qualitative Research
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “qualitative research.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved March 25, 2023 (https://sociologydictionary.org/qualitative-research/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
qualitative research. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/qualitative-research/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “qualitative research.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed March 25, 2023. https://sociologydictionary.org/qualitative-research/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“qualitative research.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 25 Mar. 2023. <https://sociologydictionary.org/qualitative-research/>.