Qualitative Research and Technology
The first qualitative research technology were the researchers themselves. As the primary instrument qualitative researchers used their human senses to see, hear, smell, taste, and feel the world around them. Through these channels researchers generated data and then used their cognitive abilities to make sense of the qualities represented by this data. As qualitative research progressed, the beginnings of new technologies could be seen in the enterprise. Pencils and paper in the field and typewriters in the office led to handheld devices on location and qualitative data analysis programs in the clouds. All along this evolutionary pathway, these technologies not only help researchers perform their instrumental duties, but also helped the change the nature of these acts themselves to the point that the prominence of the qualitative researcher as main instrument in qualitative research may be called into question by the dominance of technological advancements.
Qualitative researchers are not alone in these challenging encounters with technologies in their everyday lives. Each of us in our daily activities can observe the greater and greater place technology plays in how we live, work, and play. Discovering how we utilize these technologies, how we experience them, and how we enact change with them are all wonderful areas in which we as qualitative researchers can engage our inquiries.
At TQR2013, we want to explore technology and the qualitative researcher by featuring works of and on qualitative inquiry that exemplify the presence of technology in life and in our research about this technology-infused state-of-living. To this end we encourage prospective presenters to submit their paper and paper panel proposals that will inspire conference attendees to consider technology's ubiquity in all its forms. Be it in business, education, government, healthcare, recreation, and home life, we are interested in studies which such a focus. We are also very interested in presentations on the application of new technologies in the practice and performance of qualitative research. As always, we are also open to receiving creative presentation forms and content especially those proposals incorporating technology in effective and creative ways.
The call for submissions is now closed. Over the next few weeks we will share more details about TQR2013 including our first call for posters and exhibitors.