The Transcendence of Quality Over Paradigms in Qualitative Research

A graduate course in qualitative research methods may be framed arouunitynd discussions of the particular theoretical or philosophical paradigms – belief systems or world view – that qualitative researchers use in varying degrees to orient their approach for any given study.  And, indeed, if the instructor is using popular texts such as those from Norman Denzin and Yvonna Lincoln  (2011) or John Creswell (2013) – each of which have new 2017 editions – students would be learning first about the different implications and approaches associated with various paradigm orientations, followed by (or along with) the corresponding methodological considerations.

There have been over the years debates in the academic qualitative research community about how best to identify and talk about these paradigms as well as quality concerns related to conducting research based around any one of these belief systems.  In the broadest sense, the most oft-discussed paradigms in qualitative research are: postpositivism – often allied with a more quantitative approach where the emphasis is on maintaining objectivity and controlling variables in order to approximate “reality”; constructivism or interpretivism – in which the belief is not hinged to one objective reality but multiple Read Full Text