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Qualitative research method

I need to be pointed to the right direction on this assignment. My research topic is illegal immigration and rates of crime along the Border States in the United States.

Creswell, J.W. (2013) suggested five approaches to qualitative research. The five approaches are: 1.Narrative Research, 2.Phenomenological research, 3.Grounded theory research, 4.Ethnographic research and 5.Case study research.

I was asked to craft a 7-pages paper and do the following:

For each of the five main approaches:
1. Analyze the approach.
2. Develop a research problem, research purpose, and research questions.
3. Defend why the problem, purpose, and questions fit with the approach.

Creswell, J. W. (2013). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

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Five Approaches to Qualitative Research

It has often been stated that the basis of scientific research is observation. A scientist observes a phenomenon and seeks to answer the what, where, and when in attempting to understand the phenomenon. In qualitative research the why and how are investigated using a variety of investigative tools. Qualitative research is rooted in the constructivist proposition that human cognitions, beliefs and attitudes are in part or totally dependent on the interpretations of the actors. In essence, qualitative researchers observe phenomenon and seeks to understand how they came to be (Creswell, 2003). It is about asking questions and exploring issues that affect the target population. It is considered pseudo scientific because it does not use the scientific method of experimentation by developing a hypothesis and establishing variables (dependent and independent) in which the dependent variable is manipulated to measure the results (Franklin, 2012). Validity in part relies on the experiment being able to be duplicated and repeated achieving the same results. For the qualitative researcher validity rest in the conclusions being verified by researchers that follow and by being able draw comparable conclusions using different research methods.

There are several approaches or research methods that qualitative researchers can employ. Among them are Narrative Research, Phenomenological research, Grounded theory research, Ethnographic research and Case study research.

Narrative Research

In the early 20th century, narrative research was developed as a discipline within the field of qualitative research. In narrative research, the method is to gather text and artifacts from the field such as stories autobiographical data, field notes, letters, stories, interviews of various kinds, photos, letters and other artifacts to explain a phenomenon among or the life experience of a particular group (Czarniawska-Joerges, 2004). The goal is to construct a meaningful narrative through research that explains and helps understanding of the way people create meaning and construct their own life narratives. Narrative inquiry or research is historical by the very fact that the researcher cannot will an artifact into existence but relies on artifacts that exist to tell the story and explain the phenomenon.


The first step in a qualitative study is to develop a research question that ask the why or how of a phenomenon. For example, if we wished to examine changes in the psychosocial, socioeconomic and psycho-physiological lives of individuals living in communities along the border who are experiencing higher levels of crime due to people, drug and weapons trafficking we may ask: How are these higher levels of crime along the border effecting the biopsychosocial well being of these communities and individuals?

Strictly speaking, there is no hypothesis development in narrative research probably as a way to limit researcher biases and artifacts and because it does not predefine dependent and independent variables. Nevertheless, we can infer hypothesis from our research question. Our hypothesis would be; higher levels of crime in communities along the US Mexico border result in poorer BPS outcomes. Our null hypothesis would be; higher levels of crime in these communities have no effect on BPS wellbeing or outcomes. These would be more appropriate to quantitative research.

The research would then select or produce the raw data needed to complete the study. These would include artifacts such as historical perspectives on crime statistics, interviews, field notes, observations, age related perspectives (young vs. old for example) and other collectable data that would help fill out the narrative. The data would then be sorted as to relevance to the research question and organized in some manner chronological, structural, thematic or functional based on which method addresses the needs of our research question (Czarniawska-Joerges, 2004). In our case the data would be best organized using chronology so that we can measure change over time or thematic so we can draw distinctions among the differences in the data. Finally, the data is ...

Solution Summary

Illegal immigration and rates of crime along the boarder states in the United States are examined. The research problem, research purpose and research questions are developed.