Qualitative Research: A Decisive Element to Epistemological & Ontological Discourse

Samiul Parvez Ahmed, Mohammed Tanvir Zubair Ahmed

Abstract


Qualitative research in social science is an invaluable way to understand social world. The qualitative research process of studying, knowing or learning about social world generates some philosophical debates. This article explores various critical concepts of qualitative research and how they are being perceived/defined in the research paradigm. In doing so, the article also examined the epistemological aspects of qualitative research; particularly, the article scrutinizes particular methods of conducting qualitative research and issues related to the appropriateness of verbal communication technique in qualitative research (e.g. ‘capacity’ of interview technique for ‘knowledge construction’, interviewers’ role and its relation to data contamination, ‘evaluation’ of interpretations of qualitative data). Then, the article highlights issues that encompass fundamental (ontological and epistemological) aspects of qualitative research. Finally, the article concludes that irrespective of the inherent issues of qualitative research approach, it plays crucial roles in knowing social world around us.

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