Substantive Dimensions of the Deliberations

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False equivalences

PostMon Apr 25, 2016 4:47 pm

Qualitative and interpretive researchers describe their research process, methodologies, and sources/evidence. This is to be expected; it is also more than enough. To require all raw evidence would not only flout most IRBs; it would also represent making false equivalences. For example, if researcher A says s/he is interviewing 100 men and 100 women, we have no way of checking (maybe some would prefer not to list a sexuality; others might be trans, etc., etc.), because we do not know the names/contact info, etc. But we can conduct our own survey -- or qualitative in-depth interviews -- with populations we think are similar (and describe the process of doing so) because we are intrigued by the question, or a variant of the question. We can then provide a "check" on the work of researcher A, and take his/her work as a check on ours, or as a way to probe part of the research question further.
This is what research and debate about findings are about. We could conclude that researcher A's findings are incomplete or faulty, based on what we know of the categorizations, methodology of getting respondents, etc. Researcher A can do the same re our research. End of story.
We already debate methodologies, sources, and findings. This is what good research debates are about. The DART proposals will only hinder the range of research engaged in by scholars, and they are based on the false assumption that all quantitative research is completely transparent and replicable, which it is not, and cannot be.

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