Research methodologies represent complex sociohistorical evolutions within the social sciences ranging from reductionist to reflexive sensibilities (Tuchman, 1994). These inquiries each emphasize dissimilar variations of data analysis as found in their subsequent conclusions obtained from and during the research process. Unlike quantitative methodology with its explicit formulaic constructions, qualitative research includes a veritable cornucopia of methodologies, paradigms and methods. This paper briefly reviews those experiences encountered and processes which unfolded during a pilot project for a research class. Although Miller and Crabtree (1992) proposed a research roadmap with associated typologies within qualitative research, this paper focuses on the process of learning to "drive" with this roadmap by synthesizing theory to the field and back to theory. Agar's (1986) observation of research, specifically ethnography, as requiring "intense personal involvement. . .and an ability to learn from a long series of mistakes" (p. 12) best characterizes the research process written about here.


qualitative research

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