The relevance of qualitative research

Hammersley, Martyn (2000). The relevance of qualitative research. Oxford Review of Education, 26(3-4) pp. 393–405.



This paper addresses the relevance of qualitative inquiry to policymaking and practice; against the background of recent attacks on educational research generally, and on qualitative work in particular. It outlines the contribution of the latter, referring to some examples of this kind of work over the past couple of decades. The discussion is organised around the five capacities ascribed to symbolic interactionist/phenomenological research by David Hargreaves in an article published in 1978: 'appreciative', 'designatory', 'reflective', 'immunological', and 'corrective'. It is argued that today there is more need than ever for research serving these functions.

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