This article attempts to answer the phenomenological question, “What does it mean to be a qualitative researcher?” and an ancillary question, “What does ‘making meaning’ mean?” The author, in collaboration with selected participants at the 2018 The Qualitative Report and the International Institute for Qualitative Methodology’s Qualitative Research Methods conferences, proposes that research is devotion. Three major categories or components of devotion are purpose (personal and professional validation), belonging (communal grounding), and meaning (an enriched life). Ten subcategories or “elements of style” as qualitative researchers include: meticulous vigilance of details, unyielding resiliency, visionary reinvention, social savvy, humble vulnerability, representational responsibility, finding your methodological tribes, emotional immersion, gifting your ideas, and knowing and understanding yourself.


Phenomenology, Research, Qualitative Research, Meaning, Style

Author Bio(s)

Johnny Saldaña is Professor Emeritus with the School of Film, Dance, and Theatre at Arizona State University. Participants of the 2018 TQR and IIQM’s Qualitative Methods Conferences provided oral and written feedback for revision of Saldaña’s keynote address.

Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: Johnny Saldaña, 2313 E. Taxidea Way, Phoenix AZ 85048. E-mail: Johnny.Saldana@asu.edu.


This manuscript has also been published in the International Journal of Qualitative Methods (IJQM) as part of a Special Issue featuring the keynote presenters from recent conferences held by the International Institute for Qualitative Methodology (IIQM).

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