Explaining qualitative research methods in social science

  • 05 Pages
  • Published On: 15-12-2023


Qualitative research is associated with specific secondary research and data analysis method where the researchers focus on collecting vast range of information and data ain order to conduct in depth analysis and evaluation (Ospina, Esteve and Lee, 2018). This study is helpful to improve understanding about qualitative study where information gathering and data analysis through evaluation and discussion. Gathering a vast range of knowledge and information as well as generating new ideas related to the social science is possible through the qualitative research. The secondary qualitative study is related to the non-numeric data and information gathering through video and audio, text and other information, experience of others and authors opinion. Through the qualitative research, it is hereby possible to involve interpretative, naturalistic approach in the social science.

Research approach

Inductive and deductive are two types of research approach that the researcher select as per the methods of study. For the qualitative research, it is important to choose deductive approach for conducting in-depth analysis and evaluation (Hayashi Jr, Abib and Hoppen, 2019). Deductive approach refers to collecting a vast range of information, theories and concepts related to the research, select proper methods of conducting the study and then analyse the gathered information and data critically, for fulfilling the research aim and objective (Ospina, Esteve and Lee, 2018). For the social science study, deductive approach is advantageous for managing the data collection and analysis process through in-depth critical evaluation.

Data collection method


There are two types of gathering data which are primary and security. For primary data collection, the researcher tries to collect the numeric data from the first hand respondents for further analysis. The secondary data collection method is totally different from the primary one, where the researchers focus on gathering secondary sources of information such as books, journals, articles, online published journals, newspapers and company report (Hayashi Jr, Abib and Hoppen, 2019). For conducting the qualitative research, it is necessary to choose the secondary data collection method for gathering a vast range of information from the books, journals and articles related to the social science research (Hayashi Jr, Abib and Hoppen, 2019).

The researchers try to collect vast range of theories and concepts related to the social science study and it further helps the researcher to conduct the study with in-depth evaluation (Bradbury-Jones et al., 2017). The advantages of secondary data collection method are such as ease of accessing the theories and secondary information, low cost or free journals and articles, time saving method, allowing the researcher to generate new insights from the previous studies, as well as longitudinal analysis, anyone can collect the secondary sources of information and there is huge amount of secondary data and information available through variety of sources (Hayashi Jr, Abib and Hoppen, 2019). On the other hand, the disadvantages of secondary data collection under qualitative study are lack of quality researcher, poor data and information, lack of access of journal and articles websites as well as incomplete information. Though these are the disadvantages, the researchers can conduct qualitative analysis through gathering the secondary sources of information due to the availability of vast range of information and other advantages (Blaikie, 2018).

Data analysis technique

The two types of Data analysis technique are such as qualitative and quantitative analysis. The quantitative data analysis refers to the measurements and analysing the data on the basis of the statistical models, mathematical calculations, and numeric analysis of the data through polls, questionnaire and survey (Bradbury-Jones et al., 2017). On the other hand, the qualitative data analysis involves the identification, examination and interpretation of the data and information through different patterns and themes that are helpful to answer the research questions. The researchers try to conduct the qualitative study through different qualitative data analysis through case study, thematic analysis and narrative (Bradbury-Jones et al., 2017).

Qualitative research method in social science

In order to conduct the qualitative research in social science, it is possible to gather vast range of information through reviewing the existing literatures, including journals, books, online articles and newspapers as well as arranging interview with the respondents and gathering case studies (Aspers and Corte, 2019). Hence, the qualitative study can be conducted through gathering a vast range of information. The qualitative research enables more complex aspects and gathers person experience (Tracy, 2019). It is also beneficial for exploratory research and hypothesis generation, where the researcher would be able to conduct social science studies through in depth analysis and evaluation (Aspers and Corte, 2019). Thematic analysis is one of the effective ways to conduct qualitative research where the researcher is able to develop different themes related tot eh social science research for analysing each themes critically with in-depth evaluation with relation to the social activities. There are different ways of conducting the qualitative research which are narrative, grounded theory, ethnography, phenomenological, and case study (Tracy, 2019).

As per the advantages of qualitative research, it is beneficial to gather vast range of information with smaller sample size where the researcher can get deep insights, open ended questionnaires can be developed for qualitative studies, where the participants can provide in depth information and share their perception as well as it is cost effective research (Aspers and Corte, 2019). Additionally, it is beneficial to conduct social science studies and develop in depth critical analysis and evaluation (Tracy, 2019). The major disadvantages include lack of in-depth evaluation, improper information, lack of skill and knowledge, difficult to analyse the research topic for lack of information. The researcher can conduct the social science study through the qualitative research process for critical analysis after gathering vast range of secondary data and information (Aspers and Corte, 2019).

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The qualitative research is effective for conducting social science studies, where it is possible to include the social activities and develop link between the theories and social activities. Through the secondary data collection and qualitative data analysis method, it is possible for the researcher to conduct social science studies with appropriate interpretation of the gathered data, critical analysis and data evaluation.

Reference list

Aspers, P. and Corte, U., 2019. What is qualitative in qualitative research. Qualitative sociology, 42(2), pp.139-160.

Blaikie, N., 2018. Confounding issues related to determining sample size in qualitative research. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 21(5), pp.635-641.

Bradbury-Jones, C., Breckenridge, J., Clark, M.T., Herber, O.R., Wagstaff, C. and Taylor, J., 2017. The state of qualitative research in health and social science literature: a focused mapping review and synthesis. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 20(6), pp.627-645.

Hayashi Jr, P., Abib, G. and Hoppen, N., 2019. Validity in qualitative research: A processual approach. The Qualitative Report, 24(1), pp.98-112.

Ospina, S.M., Esteve, M. and Lee, S., 2018. Assessing qualitative studies in public administration research. Public Administration Review, 78(4), pp.593-605.

Tracy, S.J., 2019. Qualitative research methods: Collecting evidence, crafting analysis, communicating impact. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

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